Interracial dating and religion

Last year, 4,142 marriages in Singapore involved couples of different races, making up 21.5 per cent of all marriages for the year.

In 2005, inter-ethnic marriages made up just 14.9 per cent.

The same goes for my wife, who identifies herself as a third-culture kid.

We both were fortunate to have parents who were willing to break their own cultural and religious traditions for their children, and compromise on a wedding that made everyone happy.

In response, hundreds of netizens have commented on Facebook, eager to share their own experiences in inter-ethnic marriages. The same can’t be said of Facebook writer Hui Jing Ong.

I was heartened to see all those different races and religions coming together – it was like those United Colors of Benetton ads I wished the world could be more like. Inter-racial marriages have been around for a long time. A Singaporean Chinese who is Buddhist, she married an Indian national who is Sikh. In a telephone interview, she told me: “My parents are divorced, but my father until now cannot accept our marriage or children. My mum says as long as I’m happy, she’s okay with it.”Another Facebook user, Jasmine Jay, had dated her husband-to-be for four years.

The documentary profiled three mixed-race couples who spoke about the ups and downs of their relationships, from gaining family acceptance to bringing up their mixed-heritage children. WE’VE HAD IT EASYYet in talking to some of those who wrote on our Facebook page, and re-watching the episodes, it struck me - my wife and I have had it easy, relationship wise.Hazre, a secondary school educator, was upfront about how religion was important to him.With her full understanding, they both pre-empted their parents very early on in their relationship.“I knew first and foremost there were going to be challenges: Parents, friends, religion.Railing fervently against the “hybreeds” spawned by God-defying, racially mixed marriages, Pastor Donny Reagan of Tennessee’s Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ doesn’t look very happy on a widely circulated Internet video that comes across like a relic from some 1950s archive.The pastor minces no words in his sermon: “What white woman would want her baby to be a mulatto by a colored man? preacher and faith healer who died in 1965, identified with the Pentecostal movement until the late ’50s, when he began to reject core aspects of traditional Christian faith.

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