By: Caroline Wingård
Are you currently fighting the world to be with the one you love?
Well, you are not alone.
I have been in relationships with both Americans and non-Americans, and learned how their cultures work. Some have accepted my European background and how we approach life, and some have not. It is never fun trying to convince the parents of the one you love that you are in fact good enough – even if you do not have the same religion, or have a different opinion of where the wedding will take place.
Some people are just too stubborn to compromise.
Born and raised in Sweden, I moved to the States a few years ago and I was surprised to find out the culture differences between the two countries. Since Los Angeles is such a divided city, I also got the privilege to learn about many other cultures.
I believe that all humans are the same. Instead of fighting each other’s cultures, we should embrace and learn from them. R-E-S-P-E-C-T each other’s differences, right?!
Unfortunately, that is not how it works in real life.
For years, I have had to defend myself and my culture from the stereotypes Americans place on Swedish girls. Stereotypes such as, I am a drunken slut.
Yeah. In their dreams. As if one culture is better than the other?
I started to think about this topic the other day while I was watching the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, in which a Greek girl falls in love with an American guy and they struggle to get her family’s approval.
Sadly, this is how it works for many couples around the world who have to fight for their love.
Toula (Nia Vardalos) lives with her parents and works at the restaurant her family owns. She is starting to resent Greek culture and her heritage because she feels like her family is too controlling. She finally meets an American man, Ian (John Corbett), and they fall in love. While Toula is working hard to convince her father to let her marry Ian, she is also learning to accept her huge, loud family and their traditions – which she later embraces in her marriage with the man of her dreams, Ian. Yes, her father finally accepted Ian when he started to notice similarities between the Greek and the American cultures.
The movie Guess Who is another perfect example of how culture and race can sometimes get in the way of a relationship.
Theresa (Zoe Saldana) is about to introduce her boyfriend Simon (Ashton Kutcher) to her father for the first time, and it doesn’t go as smoothly as she had hoped. Not only is Simon recently unemployed, but he is white! Theresa comes from an African-American family and her father (Bernie Mac) always dreamt about his precious daughter marrying a handsome, successful African-American man. Unfortunately his daughter does not share his dreams, so there is a long road of fights and disputes before Theresa’s family finally realizes that their future son-in-law is actually a great man and will make her very happy.
So with this said, I hope that you all help me spread some love around the world and let people, not matter where they are from, love each other.