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July 4, 2005

interracial relationships

seeing that it is the Fourth of July, i.e. Independence Day (i.e. Cool Fireworks Day), i would like to offer some thoughts about a very important freedom.

being biracial, i always joked that unless i dated someone who was also half-Chinese/half-Caucasian and grew up in Japan, it would automatically be an interracial, intercultural relationship. being the obvious -- and very proud -- product of an interracial marriage, i was always very aware of my multicultural heritage. it seemed a foregone conclusion that i'd someday be in an interracial relationship myself.

and cut to: here i am now, and we've finally finished tying all the little red (the Chinese traditional color for weddings) ribbons on the top of our wedding invitations that we've made. the ones in English are ready to go out, but T.T. is just finishing up the translation of the German ones. i just started my rather intensive German language lessons this week, and am rather pleased that i already understand why the famous German phrase that most Americans know, "Ich bin ein Berliner" is constructed the way it is. of course i am also rather intimidated by this very grammar i'm supposed to somehow absorb. (for the curious, T.T. had a head start with English, as he went to boarding school in Ireland in high school. this also explains his charming accent.)
we've been blending for awhile now, our European-slash-American-slash-Asian ways. case in point: he's excellent with chopsticks, and i am apparently able to make a very good pfannkuchen. see?

all that to say i found it immensely interesting to read an article given to me by Ms. Jen from the L.A. Times called "A Cultural Exchange -- Of Vows." it's not uncommon now for a wedding reception to feature sushi and hummus, and sales of ethnically interchangeable cake topper bride-and-groom statuettes are booming. various reasons were given to explain the rise of interracial, intercultural marriages: economic factors, an older average age for a first marriage, the erosion of certain social barriers, and of course, wider acceptance. these statistics from the Pew Research Center interested me:
in 2003, 77% of Americans approved of interracial relationships.
broken down by age:
91% of Generation Y (born 1977-1993),
85% of Generation X (born 1964-1976 -- like me & T.T.),
77% of baby boomers (born 1946-1964 -- like our parents),
and 49% of the World War II generation (my grandparents)approved of interracial relationships.
the statistic that really astounded me though, was this one: as recently as 1987 -- which when my generation was just starting to really think about dating relationships -- only 48% of the public approved of interracial dating. less than half!

so in the time it took me to go from thinking boys were kinda weird to realising guys are kinda weird but really liking them anyway, a profound re-weaving in our social fabric has taken place. it makes me wonder about my parents who got married in 1969, only 2 years to the day after the last 16 states got rid of anti-miscegenation laws (laws making interracial marriage, and thus having mixed-race children, illegal). they claim it was no big deal, but i beg to differ.

i bet there were no interchangeable cake toppers available for their wedding cake...

Posted by hadashi at July 4, 2005 10:03 AM

Comments

I am proud of your parents for being an interracial couple and having you as a multicultural kid. I support it 100%--whoever doesn't is a loser!

Posted by: Rodney at July 16, 2005 5:21 PM

thanks, Rodney! i think people who don't support it actually simply lose out -- on valuable relationships.

Posted by: hadashi at July 16, 2005 7:03 PM

When you descibe each generaton
Baby Boomers 1946-1964
Generation X 1965-1976
Generation Y 1977-1993

I noticed the Baby Boomer generation was twenty years long while Generation X and Y were 12 years. Is there a reason for that definition because I wouldn't consider 1965-1976 an gerneration?

Posted by: Joe Smoe at December 22, 2005 7:02 PM

as i stated in the post, i got this information from the Pew Research Center, and these are the time blocks they used. the definitions of what constitutes Gen X and Gen Y can widely vary, from what years to what characterises each generation. i suggest typing in these terms (Gen X and Gen Y) at Wikipedia (www.en.wikipedia.org) for an excellent and informed discussion, with plenty of links, about these terms.

Posted by: hadashi at December 22, 2005 10:20 PM

Hey! I am so proud of you, Great thinking and if more people thought like you then the world would be a greater place and instead of tolerating each other we should accept each other regardless of race. We are all humans and race, color, creed, class, socioecnomic status, whatever, whenever has no hold on anyone.
I am biracial and proud to shout it to the roof top! I am Native American ( tribe-Cherokee) and African American, My husband is Irish, English and French mixed, Talk about multiracial!! :)
Love does not see color and this is true, I am proud of your parents like I am proud of mine.
Best Wishes!!! :)

Posted by: bonita at May 6, 2006 1:31 AM

thanks, bonita! your words are encouraging!

Posted by: hadashi at May 7, 2006 1:11 PM

Hi, I am an interracial baby boomer. Born 1949, Black father--White,Jewish mother. What a heritage. Immensely grateful for such a rich ethnic combination. Would like to communicate with people sharing similar backgrounds and of this age group.

My website is www.tropicaldaystar.com
Am an artist and writer, living in Maui, Hawaii.

thanks,
Nadine Ramelb

Posted by: Nadine Ramelb at December 8, 2006 11:11 AM

what a heritage, indeed. your story -- and your parents' -- must be fascinating.

Posted by: hadashi at December 14, 2006 3:40 PM

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