By: Twitter Buttons

Monday, 9 November 2009

Black British, Black African or Mixed? Tick your box...

As part of Channel 4's Race and Science season, 'Is It Better To Be Mixed Race?' went on a 'scientific' journey to find out whether coming from a mixed gene pool is actually better that being born from parents who are from the same genetic pool, i.e. same country. It went on to conclude that it is better to a certain degree as it means that the individual is not as susceptible to certain diseases that are prone in certain races e.g. diabetes in Black and Asian communities. They also noted that lifestyle also plays a major role.

With the mixed race population in the UK growing at an incredible rate, is there the risk that the hubbub of cultures that are present today will simply disappear? Arguments against mixed race relationships include that there is a dilution of culture and tradition where unique country-specific traits are lost as each new mixed race generation steps forward. This argument even extends to relationships between individuals within the same race but differences lie in the country they come from and the religion they practice e.g. Nigeria and Jamaica or Hinduism and Islam....come on, some time or another, I suppose a few us have had our parents look us sternly in the eye and say "You can marry whoever you long as they are from (fill in the blank with appropriate country...your own!)."

In some ways I can understand, especially with parents who are not from the U.K and have strong ties to their country, village and even church back home. Living in the UK and having children who are from a place entirely different to them, I can understand their fear that if their children fully adapt to the British way of life and then have children who do not have strong cultural influences in their lives, the culture and everything they believe in will die.

Personally, I am all for the mix and blend. Just because you date outside of your culture and country, it doesn't necessarily mean that you lose this element that is often so embedded in your personality and way you behave. I have had plenty of Aunties who have suddenly turned up to an African party with an 'Uncle Barry' on their arm, complete with cockney accent and all. She didn't lose her culture, in fact they just embraced each others. If you love your culture then you should have no trouble keeping it alive.

What are your thoughts? Is it a big deal to marry inside of your country of origin and culture? Even though being mixed may be best for our health, is it best for our identity?

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