How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Love, L.A. style: 'We are ALL the same, we just have different colored suits'

Photo by jude hill/Flickr (Creative Commons)


We know by now that interracial and interethnic relationships and families are on the rise throughout the United States, something that isn't exactly a news flash in Los Angeles. But what is life in these relationships like behind closed doors, as couples navigate life through different cultural lenses while raising children, paying bills, dealing with in-laws and other challenges?

Tonight I’ll be moderating a community forum at KPCC in which several of bicultural couples will share their own experiences. And all this week, I've been offering sneak peeks on this site as participating couples share a little about themselves in mini-Q&A interviews.

Yesterday we heard from KPCC’s OffRamp host John Rabe and Julian Bermudez, a producer of art exhibits, who shared a bit on the (mostly) ups and (some) downs of life as a bicultural same-sex couple. On Tuesday, Aris and InSun Janigian, an Armenian American novelist and his Korean American spouse, dished on communication, romance, in-laws and, importantly, food.

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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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When parents don't approve of your interracial relationship

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Not long after actress and writer Diane Farr exchanged her first "I love you" with her now-husband, Seung Yong Chung, he gave her some crushing news: Their relationship would not go over well with his Korean parents. “I’m supposed to marry a Korean girl,” he told her.

Upset as she was, Farr remembered the rules imposed by her own Irish-Italian parents, who had once forbidden her from dating anyone who was black or Puerto Rican. And many of her friends' parents, she later learned, had also imposed similar rules on their children.

She was determined to fight for her beau, and he for his parents to accept her. The couple's story, which has a happy ending, is the basis for Farr's new memoir, titled “Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After,” published by Seal Press. She provided a taste of their story in a recent “Modern Love” column for the New York Times.

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