In today's supposedly enlightened society, it may not surprise you to learn that the number of interracial relationships has massively increased over the last few decades. In fact, according to recent official statistics, the number of marriage ceremonies carried out that are classified as “interracial” has tripled since 1980, with more than one in ten weddings being between those from different races. Yet, despite the apparent normality of the situation, it appears that those from different cultures who decide to try to make a go of their relationship often face discrimination, often from unexpected sources including family and friends. It is clear to see that, even though society's tolerance and understanding of diversity has progressed in leaps and bounds over the last half century, there are still many pitfalls to be expected when entering into an interracial relationship. In this article, we look at some of the common problems faced by couples from different ethnic backgrounds and ways of overcoming them.
Racism is not a new phenomenon, however in today's modern world which claims to be enlightened in so many ways, it can come as a surprise that it still exists and even thrives within some communities. While many people are happy to embrace diversity and appreciate the differences between those of different religions and colours, there are many others who see those of other races as a threat and the effect of this intolerance on our society can have far reaching consequences. While racism on a personal level can cause disruption through offensive comments, poor attitudes and occasionally violent outbursts, when it happens on a governmental scale there can be major consequences. When racial discrimination occurs at a national level, we see atrocities such as ethnic cleansing, persecution, discrimination through the judicial system and detrimental segregation laws. There is no denying that racism can be devastating to the culture and well-being of a country, causing economic and moral upheaval. If hatred is allowed to thrive within a society, its negative effects stretch through every part of everyday life.
Everyone is a product of their own experiences and upbringing, and so it makes sense that each of us will have our own opinions across all kinds of issues. While most of us acknowledge that it is these very differences between us that make the world an exciting and interesting place, these variances in our viewpoints can also lead to problems. It is essential for people to learn to be tolerant of diversity, and being open minded towards the lifestyles and beliefs of others has a major role to play in making the world a happier place.
Prejudice in Today's Modern World
Whereas in the past many people remained within their own communities, rarely if ever meeting anyone from outside their regular social circle, today the world has become a much smaller place. With the advent of low cost air travel paired with the power of the internet and the media, increasing numbers of people are now being brought into contact with cultures and people far beyond their realm of personal experience. This exposure to different religions, belief systems, lifestyles and languages can enrich our lives if we let it, however unfortunately some people fail to embrace this change and instead view it as a threat. It can be hard to be open minded when faced with things that we do not understand, but in order to be comfortable about the differences of others, we must first be comfortable in our own skins and accept ourselves for who we are. Sadly, those who are not able to do this mistrust those who do not conform to what they believe to be “the norm”. Those who have a different skin colour, sexuality or religion can be feared and it is this lack of understanding that can lead to unrest in communities and, on a worldwide scale, to warfare and terrorism.