Being in an interracial relationship is something that both my husband and I naturally embrace. The both of us welcomed each of our Indian and Colombian cultures with open hearts and open minds. In our home you will find Indian movies and Colombian vallenatos, samosas and empanadas, our culture, food, religion, music and languages blend together. I wanted to sit down with my husband, Mario, and ask him how it feels from his perspective on dating someone who is Indo-Fijian.
When we first met, what were some of the misconceptions you had about dating?
When I first met you, I definitely thought you were from India, I had no idea that Indians could be from Fiji. When you told me you were from Fiji, I did my own research and realized the difference between being Indian and Indo-Fijian. Another misconception I had was that I would not be accepted by your parents and family as a Latino. It was the first time I knew of a latino x indian relationship. I’m happy that wasn’t the case.
How did your family react when you told them you were dating an Indian woman?
My family was open to it, they were happy that I was happy. I come from a Catholic family so they had a lot of questions in regards to religion and whether or not you were Hindu.
Let’s talk Indian food, love it or hate it?
Prior to meeting you, I never had Indian food before. The first time I ate an Indian dish was at your dad’s house and I didn’t know what to expect. We had long bean curry and chicken tarkari with roti. It was good but I underestimated how spicy it was, I remember sweat dripping from my head, but I ate it! As time has progressed, I discovered how healing the food and ingredients are. I no longer have the chronic heart burn or indigestion issues I had on a daily basis before eating Indian food.
I also learned how big of a role food plays in your culture and how it unites family and friends, no matter what the occasion. That is something I think is really special.
What’s the biggest obstacle you think we face as an interracial couple?
I get this question a lot. Thankfully we are really blessed to live in the time and place that we do today, that we have not met any difficult challenges. We do get an occasional stare from either an older Indian or Colombian generation, but it’s nothing that has been insulting towards me or our relationship. If anything people are amazed at how we’ve embraced each others cultures and customs.
As far as my children are concerned, I worry whether or not they will be accepted in the Indian community, as I know you have struggled with it as well. They speak more English and Spanish than they do Hindi. We can work hard on this but will it make a difference? I am not sure.
What is something you’d tell someone that may be considering dating an Indo-Fijian person?
Be open-minded, and always go to a family members’ house with an empty stomach because you cannot say no to food that’s offered to you under any circumstances.
We know there is so much more to discuss when it comes to interracial relationships. There is also my POV on what it’s like being married to a Colombian! Stay tuned and watch for a video interview with Mario coming this week (be sure to check our social channels @SavoringFiji). Do you have any questions for Mario?