I’m rather excited to start this new series on the blog by sharing your interfaith or multicultural stories. Whether you’re in an interfaith relationship, planning your wedding or married, I want to hear your story and share it with my readers. It’s going to help so many other couples out there in a similar position, so let’s kick off with Kim and Deepak.I first heard from Kim in October 2015 where we discussed her relationship with her partner, the blog and a number of other topics. She made me feel so proud of the blog as she was a massive fan *blushes* and mentioned how it made her feel ‘not so alone’. Fast forward to August 2016 and I received an email to say she’s now engaged. YAAAY! It’s only right I start this series with Kim and Deepak’s multicultural story:
Where are you both from?
I’m from Sydney, Australia, and Deepak is from New Delhi, India. Deepak has lived in Sydney since he was 5
What religion are you?
I’m Catholic, but not practicing, and Deepak is Hindu
How did you meet & tell us about your first date?
Deepak and I met at work, the first conversation we had was at the Christmas party! From that moment I had a crush on him, it was 6 months before we started talking properly, I knew he was shy, so I sent him a message first. Our first date seems pretty standard to anyone else, dinner and a movie. To me though it was one of the best days of my life, I still remember the excitement I had when he grabbed my hand as we were walking to the restaurant. I knew there was something special about him.
How did you find dating someone from a different faith or culture?
The first few months was easy, I didn’t really think too much about it, but as time went on and I started to realise the huge differences in culture, the biggest thing for me was him not introducing me to his family, I found it really odd and confusing.
Were your parents accepting of your partner?
Yes! They love him like he’s their own. And as for his parents, I finally was introduced to them after 14 months of dating. They were very kind and accepting.
Was there any issues from extended family or the community?
None that I was aware of!
Tell me about the proposal
Deepak and I had been talking marriage on and off for the past 12 months. We actually asked Deepak’s family twice, the first time we were told to wait awhile till Deepak was more stable in his career and studies. We waited about 6 months and tried again. We spoke to our families individually and decided to take them to dinner so they could meet.
Everyone was aware of our intention to ask their permission to get married so the pressure of that plus them meeting for the first time was very nerve racking! At the dinner everyone got on really well and agreed that we could start planning our engagement.
Once I realised that I wouldn’t be getting my ring till the engagement night and there wasn’t an official proposal I was a little disappointed, but I looked at the bigger picture, that being I get to marry the love of my life!
It got to about 2 weeks before our engagement and we were going to spend the day together celebrating our 3 year anniversary. We started the day at Blues Point which is a picnic area in front of the Harbour Bridge. Deepak asked me to open the boot of his car to get something out, and suddenly I see a bunch of balloons fly out, one saying will you marry me, and I turn around and he was down on one knee! And of course our friends and Deepak’s brother and Sister in Law were filming the whole thing! I was so happy! I got my official proposal!
How did you decide on having 1 or x amount of ceremonies?
We’re still in the process of planning. We decided on 2 ceremonies, one Hindu, one civil (I didn’t want to let my dream go of getting married in a white dress!)
Did you have any difficulty in finding a place of worship to perform the ceremony?
Still working on it!
Did you have any issues with regards to language barriers?
It’s hard for me sometimes given Deepak’s family speak Hindi at home, but I’m taking classes to try and learn
How did you decide on food catering?
Most of my family love Indian food, so we’re going with 75% Indian, 25% Modern Australian.
What traditions were you determined to have?
Just to have the two ceremonies, it’s important to me that Deepak and I both get the weddings that we grew up envisioning
How much of a say did your parents have?
They’re pretty laid back, and not too fussy, as long as I’m happy they are, which is nice given they’re paying for half of it!
How did you decide on entertainment?
Still working on it, Deepak wants a magician!
Most stressful part of wedding planning?
Haha I’ll get back to you on that one.
Advice you would give to other couples planning their multicultural – fusion – interfaith wedding?
I don’t think I’m qualified to give out wedding advice just yet, but as for multicultural relationships, my advice would be to communicate, be patient, compromise, and be smart. I honestly don’t think Deepak and I would have worked had he not communicated with me about cultural differences. There were certainly ones that I didn’t understand but I had to have patience and learn to compromise. As for being smart, I could tell Deepak was being genuine when he told me that we had a future and that he wouldn’t hurt me. He told me exactly what I needed to hear.