How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Love, L.A. style: 'Mijo he's very handsome and SO tall! And, he's white!...Marry him!'

Photo by Anz-i/Flickr (Creative Commons)


It's no longer a news flash that interracial and interethnic relationships and families are on the rise as the nation goes the way of Los Angeles, becoming increasingly multiethnic.

But what is life in these relationships like behind closed doors, as couples navigate the challenges of work, children, in-laws, even different ways of communicating?

Tomorrow evening, I’ll be moderating a community forum at KPCC in which several couples will share their own experiences. Until then, I’m offering some sneak peeks on this site, as couples who are participating share a bit about themselves in mini-Q&A interviews.

Today’s couple: KPCC's OffRamp host John Rabe and Julian Bermudez, a producer of art exhibits. For a same-sex couple, some of the intercultural challenges are the same as those of male-female couples, others quite different. (There are in-law issues just the same, but they might have more to do with what a staunchly old-country mother tolerates, for example.)

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Love, L.A. style: A Korean-Armenian couple dishes on romance, food, in-laws and 'the dowry'

Photo by qthomasbower/Flickr (Creative Commons)


We’ve all seen the statistics and the stories by now: Interracial and interethnic relationships and families are on the rise, the product of an increasingly multicultural United States. A Pew Research Center report last February charted a growing number of interracial marriages, with 15.1 percent of new marriages in 2010 being between spouses of different races or ethnicities.

But what is life in these relationships like behind closed doors, as couples navigate the challenges of work, children, in-laws, communication - even when English is their first language - as viewed through the lenses of different cultural backgrounds?

This coming Thursday, May 31, I’ll be moderating a community forum at KPCC in which several couples will share their own experiences. Until then, I'll be offering some sneak peeks on this site, as couples who are participating share a bit about themselves in mini-Q&A interviews.

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Seeking, losing and finding 'Love, InshAllah'

Photo by David Campbell/Flickr (Creative Commons)


How do American Muslim women navigate love, culture and identity?  KPCC's Yasmin Nouh gives us a glimpse in this Q&A with the co-editor of a new anthology of Muslim women's personal stories.

"Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women," is an anthology of 25 love stories told by American Muslim women from different backgrounds – black, white, Arab, converts, lesbians, Sunni, Shia, South Asian. Editors Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi say they compiled them to dispel stereotypes that Muslim women are generally repressed, forced into arranged marriages, or live loveless lives dictated by men.

Each tale is more than a simple love story, with complex underlying themes that these women face as they navigate hybrid identities while searching for a sense of belonging as Muslims - and as the children of immigrants, in many cases - in the United States.

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Interracial marriage: Who is most likely to 'marry out,' and where

Photo by WolfS♡ul/Flickr (Creative Commons)


A popular Q&A on this site last year explored who is more or less likely to marry outside their own racial or ethnic group, why, and where in the U.S. they are more likely to do it. Now, the Pew Research Center has further distilled the data on multicultural love.

The new Pew report charts the rise of interracial marriage, with the share of new marriages between spouses of different races or ethnicities having gone up to 15.1 % in 2010. The overall share of existing interracial or inter-ethnic marriages stands at 8.4 percent, an all-time high. It's a far cry from 1980, when only 3 percent of all marriages and less than 7 percent of new ones involved partners of different racial or ethnic groups.

Why the difference? Changing demographics play a part, but in its summary, Pew attributes the trend in part also to changing attitudes, with more than four in ten Americans saying that "more people of different races marrying each other has been a change for the better in our society, while only about one-in-ten think it is a change for the worse." Now for the details:

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