Bicultural Bliss: 10 Benefits of Biculturalism

Yesterday, I was reading a post from Multilingual Living and I couldn’t help but smile.  I loved Corey’s “10 Reasons Why You Should Marry a Foreigner“!  I can’t say that every point on the list fits our relationship, but there are for sure some great points about our bicultural marriage that make it incredibly endearing.

My favorite point from the article, of course…”He thinks I’m fascinating“…this is by far one of the best qualities of bicultural relationships.  There is so much to discover about each other and so many interesting talking points because of the differences that exist between you.  Beyond the unending exploration of each other’s cultures, religions, food, music, etc….here are my top 10 things that I love about my bicultural vida!

10. Skills ~ Trust me, there’s a load of things you never thought that you could do or find opportunities to try, but add another culture to the mix and you can bet you’re bound to discover hidden talents!  Couldn’t cook before?  Suegra will teach you right!  No idea how to dance cumbia, you can bet you’ll be a pro by the time you’re hitched!  Ever wanted to learn a second language, here’s your chance!  A bicultural lifestyle creates many unique opportunities for learning!

9. Friendship ~ Participating in more diverse arenas means that you have more opportunities to discover friends who can relate to you and your family.  You meet people you never would have had the chance to before…or might have been uncomfortable to approach on your own.  More diversity in your friendships equals more chances to find that amazing comadre that was lingering out there, just waiting to meet up with you!

8. Diversity ~ Being bicultural means there’s more variety available in just about everything in your life…from new foods, to jams that make you dance like never before, to clothes with more style and comfort than you’ve ever known and just flat out a ton of sabor flying at you from all angles!  For me, it was ‘bye bye assimilation’…’hello acculturation’!  😉

7. Travel ~ Family trips take on a whole new meaning for biculturals.  It isn’t just a tourist outing, it’s an opportunity for learning, catching up with family and connecting with your heritage.  Travel is something that is often seen as a must, rather than a maybe.  We need those important connections and often times travel is the best method.

6. Awareness ~ Being bicultural partners means that we complete each others learning.  He taps me into the things that matter most to him and I connect him to my concerns.  Our combined interests of entirely different topics increases global awareness in our home.

5. Traditions ~ We can pick and choose any we want, make up new, mix and match…whatever we want!  I love the freedom and fresh ideas that come with experiencing multiple cultures in your home!  Being bicultural brings more choices to the plate and allows you to create some very unique family traditions that speak to your combined heritage!

4. Parenting ~ Multicultural/bicultural parenting makes you a stronger, more open minded parent.  I don’t take things as a given anymore.  We were both raised very differently and with a plethora of values.  This means increased awareness and more consideration in much of the decision making as parents.

3. Familia ~ Love having family that’s always got your back?  For many bicultural familias, the bonds with in-laws are often stronger than with our own families.  Nothing better than having that bond!  You’ll never be alone again…literally!  😉

2. Faith ~ Biculturals often celebrate different faiths.  Believe it or not, schooling our spouse and their family on our spiritual background helps us to become stronger and more appreciative of our own faith.  It also allows us the opportunity to be more understanding of a diversity of faiths, especially that of our spouse.

1. Love ~ Nothing helps you to appreciate love more than having to grow and change in order to cultivate it.  We grow our knowledge of each other’s cultural preferences, vulnerabilities and strengths.  We bend to each others diverse needs and find understanding about a variety of perspectives that we previously might have been blind to.  Finding unique traits of strength in our spouse only adds to the love.

Chantilly Patiño writes the blog Bicultural Mom, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @biculturalmom.

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