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Erm... mom, dad, he isn't from our caste

Last updated on: July 24, 2014 21:48 IST

Erm... mom, dad, he isn't from our caste

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Divya Nair

Having a smooth and successful inter-caste marriage is something you are more likely to realise in a dream than in reality.

Young people have ceased to care for the differences that are still so obvious to an older generation. And that creates huge problems that get worse when the barrier is religious.

For those in this situation, here’s something I learnt from my own experience.

The most critical stage for couples who are seeking a 'love marriage' is when they break the 'bad news' to their respective parents.

No matter how loving and understanding your parents are they will generally be more shocked than surprised by your decision.

There will be tears, bouts of anger, and multiple counselling sessions, all aimed at a single purpose: making you feel guilty and coaxing you to change your mind.

There is much empathy with the parents, but very few people think or worry about what the girl or guy in question goes through during this turbulent time.

Some tips on how to get through this phase with minimal damage, if you have fairly reasonable parents and not the feudal kind we read about in the papers.

The source of news is important

It is always essential that you share the news first with your parents rather than let them hear it from other sources, such as a neighbour, family friend or relatives.

If your parents repose a lot of trust in you, then conveying the news to them first puts you at an advantage.

There will never be a perfect time to break the news; whenever you do it your parents will be furious.

Have you also had an inter-caste marriage?

How did you break the news to your respective parents and how did they react?

What did you do to convince them and consider your side of the story?

What is your advice to couples who are yet to share the news with their parents? Tell us.

Share your experience and advice in the messageboard below.

Please click NEXT to continue reading...

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com


Image: How you communicate the news of your relationship to your immediate family is crucial.


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Approach a friendly relative

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Parents find it difficult to digest the fact that their son/daughter has taken a life decision without consulting them.

They may completely dismiss your views and regard your decision as irrelevant.

So it helps to consult a family friend or relative who is close to your parents and gain their confidence.

They can help you by getting your parents to consider your perspective and have a two-way conversation.

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Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com


Image: Seek help and advice from someone who is close to your family and parents.

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Never raise your voice

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Once you've broken the news, your parents may try and intimidate you in front of relatives and friends and even make you feel guilty for 'lowering their status' in society.

You may be unfortunate enough to have relatives who will add fuel to the fire and put you in an uncomfortable spot.

Resist the temptation to raise your voice and blurt out things that are hurtful and disrespectful.

Avoid saying or doing anything that you'll regret later.

If you feel helpless or unable to control your emotions, just excuse yourself and leave the room.

Speak only after you have regained your composure.

By then, a lot of negative thoughts will have dissipated.

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Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com


Image: Resist the temptation to be rude or angry to your folks.

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Be patient

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Falling in love is easier than convincing your folks to see your side of the story.

A lot of young couples find it difficult to understand their parents' situation.

What are they thinking? Why are they taking so long to decide? Do they even love me?

These questions will give you sleepless nights.

Resist the temptation to run away from home or go for a court marriage without the consent of your parents.

Taking drastic steps is not going to solve the problem.

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Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com


Image: It takes time for parents to understand your priorities and life decisions.

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Address their concerns positively

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A good conversation is all it takes to break the ice.

Find out what concerns your parents have -- the language barrier, religion, relatives, type of marriage -- and offer solutions.

Don't be too giving or accommodative -- you have every right to choose the religion or custom you wish to follow.

In the case of inter-caste marriages, the debate is usually over the type of wedding.

Given the contradicting customs and rituals, if an amicable solution is not possible between two families, by all means go for a court wedding followed by a grand reception mutually decided by the couple.

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Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com


Image: A polite and positive conversation will encourage your parents to consider your perspective.

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Time heals everything

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Share the news of your marriage with everyone who matters to you.

Some of your loved ones might be cross with you and even ridicule you for the decision, but as time passes, and when they see you happy as a couple, they will forget what they said and accept you.

Love in the right measure combined with time heals everything.

Stay positive and you'll cruise through.

Have you also had an inter-caste marriage?

How did you break the news to your respective parents and how did they react?

What did you do to convince them and consider your side of the story?

What is your advice to couples who are yet to share the news with their parents? Tell us.

Share your experience and advice in the messageboard below.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

 


Image: Love is the medicine that cures all problems.

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