Scott and I have been talking about marriage for quite some time now, but we’ve told our parents and closest friends that we’re planning on doing it this year only recently. We’re still in the early stages of wedding planning and haven’t even decided yet on when, where, and how we’re gonna do it.
Obviously we have to decide based on what works best for both of us, and not just for me, or for him. I anticipate many hours of discussion before we come to a decision. But in the meantime, my over-thinking self is already busy asking questions that I wish I could discuss with someone who understands where I’m coming from. Assuming we decide on a Hindu wedding ceremony in Nepal, what is expected of me and my family? How do I plan a wedding when I’m not in Nepal? How would I feel about getting married in a ceremony I am unfamiliar with, surrounded mostly by people from his side of the family? Someone must have gone through this before, and lived to tell the tale (aka wrote a blog post).
So I ran a google search on cross-cultural relationship with a Nepali. There were two blogs that came up that seemed quite popular. One was still active (The Intercultural Girl) while the other one (Musings from an American-Nepali Household) was last updated in 2012. They were run by an American and an Australian who are married to Nepali men. They met their husbands in their home countries, and that’s also where they settled eventually. Although I learned a lot from their posts, and I found great assurance in knowing that there are many others who came before me on this journey, I couldn’t quite relate to the East-West dichotomy. While Filipino culture is very heavily influenced by American culture, by no means do I identify as a westerner. I am Asian. I am Southeast Asian. I am Filipino.
And so I ran another round of google search specifically on relationships between a Nepali and a Filipino. I found a blog post from three years ago by a Filipina who considered herself a victim of racism because her boyfriend’s family did not approve of her. Not just because she’s a foreigner, but specifically because she’s a Filipina. There were three or four women who responded to the original post by sharing related experiences and sweeping negative generalizations about Nepali men.
I am not going to lie. For a brief moment, reading about their experiences scared me a bit. But I took stock of my relationship with my partner, thought long and hard about the past three years, and came to the conclusion that these stories that I just read do not reflect my reality. Every step that Scott and I took in our relationship have collectively assured me of our mutual love for and commitment to each other.
[ETA: I ran a search on Facebook. Now why didn’t I think of this earlier?! So, there’s a Filipino community in Nepal. It seems thriving. They get together for birthdays and farewell parties and just recently, for Christmas celebration. Initial thoughts based on pictures: they seem like nice people (mostly women married to Nepali men), but not the type who would blog about their lives. No wonder there’s no online presence of a Filipino equivalent of a “whitegirlinasari” or an “almostindianwife”.]
I started this blog because I wanted to include my story, our story, to the narrative. Specifically, I wish to broaden the discussion on Filipino-Nepali relationships to include reflections from someone who continues to love and be loved. I hope that when someone seeks for another person to talk to and relate with, she will find some encouragement in this space, and read a story that resonates with her.
I started this blog because I was looking for friends, or even just one friend, who I can talk to about my journey. Someone I can exchange insights with, and learn from.
So, what brought you to my blog? And how did you find it? If you stumbled upon this, chances are, you’re looking for the same thing I’m looking for – a community. I hope we can be that for each other.
I invite comments on this post, but if you wish to connect with me by email, my contact information is on my ABOUT page.