Interracial Couples Explain What Shocked Them Most About Their Significant Other's Culture

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Love is love and mixing it up is all the fun.

Once upon a time mixing race and culture when it came to matters of the heart was tragically forbidden. The heart is going to love who it loves. And when it comes to finding happiness no one should be stopped by different cultural backgrounds. It can be loud and confusing to learn and navigate a loved one's family and all that comes with it. History is imperative in knowing your partner. It's also highly educational and hilarious!!!

Redditor u/haunted-shark wanted to hear from all the lovers out there, about what it's been like to be mixed in race, in their love story and how they learned about one another's histories by wondering.... Interacial couples, what shocked you the most about your SO's culture?

Rice Away.... 

Not my relationship but my sister is french and is dating a Chinese guy. He buys so much rice she told me she could hold a siege for a whole year with it and she keeps texting me stuff like 'can you believe it???' with pics of kilos and kilos of rice he just bought. bumblebee_helee

Food Tears.

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I'd never seen someone cry tears of joy eating good pasta until I met my Italian girlfriend. JMES241

"person who is old

Calling everyone an uncle or auntie when you mean "person who is older." The number of actual relatives is much smaller than the number of family members.

[edit: I love that apparently this happens everywhere except for white middle America. I first got it from my Chinese in-laws] oftenfrequentlyonce

I'm southern US and allllllllll my parents close friends growing up were "Uncle This" or "Aunt That" everything else was reserved for like just adults in general. RobotDeathQueen

Wabbly....

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Jello. So many kinds of Jello. Every person in the surrounding South Dakota farming community brings a different kind of Jello to social gatherings. YoureDelightful

Because we hug... 

My boyfriend is half Japanese, and his very un-emotional relationship with his mother, and his father too, was a huge shock to me.

My parents are european immigrants from the Balkans, and they're incredibly affectionate. My brother and I are affectionate with each other and will hug anytime. I hug my parents nearly every day (before the pandemic). I grew up holding hands with my cousins in public, but my boyfriend absolutely hates PDA of any kind. We've gotten into numerous arguments about physical affection in public or even at parties around our own friends. Naturally he thinks my relationship with my family is very weird. Because we hug... QueenYmir

Don't Listen. 

When I was dating a Mexican, I'd go to his family parties and they would play the most foul mouthed gangster rap. Screw tha police blasting at a 5 year olds birthday. Abuelas and abuelos up and dancing to it.

I made a comment about how liberal his parents and grandparents must be. He said "oh they don't know English. This absolutely wouldn't fly if they knew what it was about." ohso_happy_too

Hands free.

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Oooh being so touchy touchy. I'm Asian and she's Hispanic, 'nuff said.

Also what surprised us was the foods. There were so many things present in our opposite cultures but used in a lot of opposite ways. Like certain ingredients used savory in one culture and sweet in the other and so in. But a lot of ingredients in common. ThaiChili

Bye Nanna. 

Black British with a Jamaican family. Married to a white British guy.

Was most shocked by funerals. When we had his nanna's funeral I was shocked that people were invited and only immediate family. We did the funeral, then went to a pub and there were sandwiches, cakes, tea etc then everyone was heading home by 5.30pm.

Jamaican and Caribbean funerals are NOTHING of the sort. People turn up because they knew the deceased person years ago. Some people don't even make plans to go to the funeral they arrange to go to the "after". There's hot food served like a properly catered function in a hall or centre, there's sound systems set up, and people dance. Also sometimes a couple old men in hats playing dominoes. There's also usually a "nine-night" so nine nights after the person passes away you hold a big party essentially to chase away bad spirits. Lots of music, drinking, food, smoking, etc.

I told husband about this and his face was a picture! AliceLovesBooks

Counting Coin. 

Money management. I was quite surprised that when we got married, we were supposed to give away half of the cash we received as gifts to my SO's cousins. I was then instructed that it was rude to have a savings account. If we had extra money, it should always be given to the family as gifts. Not happening. MyDogIsaGargoyle

Everybody's Business. 

I'm white that married a Mexican. The biggest thing for me was that EVERYTHING is a family affair. Like, I call my family every other week or whatever, but my husband's family does everything together. My first taste of this was when we were dating, and it took the whole family to switch out his mattress for a bigger one. I was like, you couldn't do that yourself? He looked at me funny when I said that. petiteandpale16

So Close...

The EXTREME family closeness. I'm black, but my family isn't particularly close - we live in different states, we talk probably weekly, I don't know the daily ins and outs of their lives. My wife's family though - my god. Take a wild guess at their ethnicity. I'll give you a hint - 90% of her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins live in the same five mile radius in El Paso. redooo

Just Say Hello.

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My wife had to deal with Korean people who will frequently comment about your appearance as a greeting.

My aunt meeting my SO: Hiiiii nice to meet you! your face is so small. fire_escape_balcony

Tick-Tock...

Being late to social gatherings is so ingrained in their culture that showing up right on time is considered rude. She has literally made me pull into a parking lot and wait so that we were at least ten minutes late to dinner at Tita's house. And we were still the first ones there by far. nails_for_breakfast

It's All Relative. 

Sooooo much family. She is Samoan. It feels like every Samoan seems to be related. poisoop1or2

I LOVE big families, though! I came from a family in which my grandma is a child of 9 siblings and whenever we celebrate cny I would literally be able to meet my "nephew" whose 25 years older than I am due to how many cousins we have.

So, how does it felt like to meet so many family members though? I've asked my cousin's wife about this and she said she was pretty overwhelmed at first; what about you? haunted-shark

Well I moved country and went to live with her family at one point. I was the only white guy around. Yes it was overwhelming but I couldn't have been made more welcome. I have met and forgotten hundreds of relatives. Yes, I too have nephews that are a lot older than me and refer to me as Uncle. Great people with warm smiles and hearts. poisoop1or2

I Do!!  

Weddings.

My fiancé (Irish) and I (Indian) started planning our wedding. We're both wanted to go for a small wedding and we sat our parents down and told them about it. I gave my fiancé a heads up to let him know that we'd have to operationally define what a small wedding would be to my parents because to them small would be like a 100 people.

He didn't take me seriously at first, but when we finally got down to it and told my parents, they came up with a guest list of just their friends and my family of about a 125 people.

As a compromise, we've finally arrived on 20 people for the wedding and my parents are throwing us a party after with whoever they want to invite. It was like a war negotiation. acidgreencanvas

Cheers...

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They can drink. Like, seriously. Holy Crap. (Scandinavian, specifically Norwegian, Irish and Swedish). JohnGrant88

Cant' Go Just Anywhere....

A black women's hair is expensive and takes foreverrrrrr. Plus you can't go to any old salon for it. ChloeCohn

Even if I wanted to go to any salon it sadly isn't super possible. Despite going to cosmetology school, many stylists still do not know how to work with hair types that aren't traditionally white. My town has mostly white salons and only less than 5 women available who can do black hair. It's absolutely been an expensive struggle but the final look pays off when I can find a woman to do the job. Blue_Bloom

"Oh you're HUNGRY!"

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I learned very quickly that when you are eating food at my Greek SO's house, you always leave a little bit on your plate. If you don't they'll say "Oh you're HUNGRY!" and pile 5 times as much food onto your plate. svenson_26

So Blunt. 

Hispanic culture has zero version of political correctness. They are extremely blunt. "Hey you look like you got fat" isn't uncommon.

The people have a better view of life in many ways than I grew up. Much more family focused. carnagebestvillain

Pride! 

My biggest surprise is the huge amount of Polish pride someone can have considering that they don't speak Polish or have been to Poland.

Her biggest surprise is that we play hide the money anytime we go to a relative's house. Also, the arguments that ensue when trying to pay the restaurant bill. krsparetime

Big Loud Love.

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I'm half Spanish on my mum's side, we never really got on with my dad's family (which is sad, because some of his more distant relatives are amazing people), so I was raised in my mum's culture.

My husband's family are lovely people, but how their family works is so strange to me. When they talk to each other, it's how I'd interact with a work colleague I don't see very often- polite, cheerful, but never touching on personal subjects. They seemed horribly embarrassed when we called them to announce our engagement (we live on opposite sides of the world).

I was a bit offended until I got to know them better, they do care and they are warm- they just don't express it like my family do.

I did warn my husband about my family, but I don't think he really understood. We are LOUD. Loud enough that if you want to talk, you shout over everyone else. There are a lot of us. We are all up in each other's business. Our family will subsume you if they like you- he gained 5 aunts and uncles and 10 first cousins without asking for them. 80s-Dayglow-Kitten

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