If dating someone of a different faith is tricky, then marrying someone of a different faith can be downright difficult and problematic. Whether a couple about to enter into matrimony is Catholic and Jewish, or Muslim and Mormon, or Buddhist and Protestant, uniting the traditions, cultures and beliefs of two people, and two families, is undeniably complex.
One quarter, one dime and one nickel – times four.
Every morning my mom took out $1.60 in change from her floral-print cardboard box. Every morning she pressed 40 cents – three coins – into the little palms of her three kid brothers: James, Thomas and David. It was cafeteria lunch money. Read the rest of this entry »
Before the days of the Park family minivan, I rode in the backseat of our Toyota Camry hatchback – between my sister and brother. I was nine; they were four and two, respectively.
One afternoon a stranger peered through the car’s back window – my parents had stopped for gas – and asked if we were triplets. Read the rest of this entry »
Short Girls, author Bich Minh Nguyen’s debut novel, is a tale of two sisters learning to reconcile their childhood with their present lives, which are starkly different from, yet strikingly parallel to, each other’s.
Raised in Michigan by Vietnamese immigrant parents, Van and Linny Luong are different in every visible way, apart from their height and physical Asian traits. Van is the diligent, studious daughter who marries her dream man and becomes an immigration lawyer. Linny is the trendy, arguably frivolous, Americanized younger sister who refuses to be confined by Vietnamese immigrant stereotypes. Read the rest of this entry »
Michele Choe is the youngest of six children in her family. The 34-year-old Chicago-based attorney is baby to her Korean father, Caucasian mother and older siblings Margaret, Laura, Jennifer, Stephen and David. Read the rest of this entry »
Three cultures. Two generations. One bond. This Shift video series delves into the lives of mothers who came to the United States from other countries and the daughters they have raised here. Hamsa Ramesha and I have interviewed three pairs of mothers and daughters about a generational gap that separates but more often binds them. Through in-depth interviews on family, career, culture and identity we learned that each pair shared core values. And what we found may surprise: their commonalities are a bridge. Read the rest of this entry »
Dating and marriage, a universal source of parent-child friction, can be especially shaky in the homes of Indian-Americans, as U.S.-raised children of immigrant parents carefully tread between assimilating into American culture, and remaining true to their parents’ old-country beliefs and customs.
Well known and oft-used, “falling in love” is a phrase that’s causing a lot of problems today, says Jack Berkemeyer, a marriage counselor and director of marriage ministry at Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Chicago. The word “falling,” he says, implies passivity, something that happens to you.
The Cook County Marriage Court feels more like a doctor’s office waiting room than a setting to exchange sacred vows. Nearly hidden in the basement of a downtown Chicago courthouse, the lobby is dark and drab, accented only with a few fake plants in shiny gold pots. Four small heart decals are peeling off of the glass door.
“It’s easy to get lazy” about dating, said Flora Brahmbhatt, a matchmaking “scout.” As a scout for Intersections Matchmaking, she hunts for people with specific qualities and refers them to matchmaker, Jasbina Ahluwalia, for a potential set up.