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Intercultural relationships: Over the past decades, attitudes and behaviors toward intercultural relationships have been changing. Inter cultural relationships used to be frowned upon particularly intercultural marriages. But as more tolerance and appreciation of cultural difference are developing, so is more acceptances of intercultural relationships than in the past. For example, one study examined that dating behavior of 468 university student from various ethnic groups in the United states using a 24-item confidential survey (Teiter, Krause, & Stirlen,2005) sixty-six percent of the participants who were in relationship reported being involved in an intercultural romantic relationships. An intercultural relationship was defined as dating someone from different race (27.5%), national culture (45.0%), or religious background (27.5%) (James, W.N., 2009). Despite some growing acceptance of intercultural relationships, communication challenges still exist. Some argue that intercultural relationships are more difficult, because of the societal constraints and because prejudice and discrimination still exist in certain people (from all cultural group). Cultural differences among the relation partners also provide potential difficulties in establishing strong relationships. A key to having successful intercultural relationship is establishing an effective relational culture. A relational culture refers to “process , structures and practices that create, express, and sustain personal relationships and identities of partners” (Wood,1995 ) Many people have a variety of intercultural relationships that may feature differences in age, physical ability, gender, ethnicity, class, religion, race, or nationality. The potential rewards and opportunities in these relationships are tremendous. The key to these relationships often involves maintaining a balance between differences and similarities (Judith, N.M. and Thomas, K.N, 2010). In this case paper am conducting an interview with my friend Hiba Mohamed Sudanese nationality but lived in Ethiopia for 10 years asking her about forming relationship with this culture, understanding them, her perceptive about the people what she learned, what she thought about them before meeting them and similarities and differences between her own culture and this culture.

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where the religion of Christianity first began. She defines it as different. “I thought I would never be loved” she stated. Hiba mentions that when her and her family knew they had to leave home. Ethiopia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. For example Ethiopians have flat bread that is eaten with sauce. It was very different from what she was expecting. very poor and only poverty. Those factors include the 2 . These people shared a lot of their culture with her. Therefore. she wasn’t happy at all. this essay will talk about an interview that was held with a young lady Hiba Mohamed whom explains more about her experience living there. the hair styles. Sudan. and she mentions that Sudanese and Ethiopians do look alike. Lalibella. Egypt. One thing Hiba states about her stay in Ethiopia is “I never expected the people to be like this”. This country is well known for its exotic culture and history. and so on and that is how she learned more. Somali. Even though Hiba did her own research on finding out more about the country she still had a culture shock because reading it is not the same as experiencing it. and Eritrea. and the country itself. Waliso where there is a crater. their holidays. Hiba met a lot of new people whom were very friendly and welcoming. The main reason as to why she moved to Ethiopia is because her father worked for the African Union which we call that migrants the people who movie to new permanent culture context that is different from the one in which they were raised. She started trying new things such as the food. Djibouti. religion. Hiba started asking more questions to people about their likes and dislikes. music. These include things such as the food. however it is slightly different. the language. According to Hiba Mohamed. it lies on the horn of Africa and is bordered by Kenya. She also states that there are some similarities between her own culture and theirs. the dressing. To form a relationship with this culture there are variety of factors. 1986) . The music beats are almost the same. She knew nothing about the country except that is was a third world country. but that was when she got curious and decided it was time for a change. the food. and in Sudan as well. She didn’t know what she was going to face and she was very afraid.2 Ethiopia is a country located in Eastern Africa. lived in Ethiopia for 10 years and she further explains her experience there as unforgettable. She did her research and when they moved there she was in shock and surprised which is refer to culture shock is the psychological and emotional reaction people experience when the encounter a culture that is very different from their own (Furnham & Bochner. Hiba Mohamed from Sudan. she started visiting tourist attractions such as Axum.

One of the biggest surprises that Hiba encountered during her stay in Ethiopia is that she fell in love with an Ethiopian young man. First we have to have the opportunity to meet and have frequent contact with people from different culture. Second much like friendships within culture similarity in personal characteristics and age are important for intercultural friendship formation (Ying. we are faced with contradictions. One key aspect of this challenge is that relationships are filled with contradictions or dialects. inconsistencies. 2002).3 opportunity to interact with culturally different people. In fact. By addressing one end of the continuum. He was a Christian and she was a Muslim. we exclude that the other end. we may be attracted to persons who are somewhat different from ourselves. W. In intercultural relationships.O. moral. Dialectics are inherent contradictions in all relationships. They are very welcoming and friendly and they are also curious to know about my own culture. we cannot avoid them. in contrast. He was very into his culture.At the end Hiba mentioned that this was actually one of the best relationships she has ever been in. 2009). Any romantic relationship is challenging and requires a great deal of emotional and communication energy. 2009). They like to enjoy life and at the same time are very simple people that don’t expect much from life. The way he thought was different. As we develop our relationships. similarity in characteristics.N.. 1997). 3 . The differences that form the basis of attraction may involve personality traits and may contribute to complementarily or balance in the relationship. as they are just part of life (John. he was very open minded. Intercultural relationships also have some unique challenges that a couple must face (James. the personality of individuals. his first language was Amharic which is known as the Ethiopian language where as hers was Arabic.. we may explicitly seek partners who hold the same beliefs and values because of deep spiritual. or religious conviction. and conflicts. I asked her what the differences were between her culture and his and she stated that the religion played a big role. G. that is. positive attitudes towered other cultures and appropriate communication skills. Dialectic is the contradiction of two opposing forces along the same continuum that appears mutually exclusive (Baxter & Montogomery. All relationships are fraught with difficult challenges. People there are highly educated which is one thing she never expected.

Ethiopia is in fact a beautiful place that should be visited.4 One piece of advice Hiba gives to people around the world is that they should never judge anything without knowing about it. In the final analysis communication plays a key role in intercultural relationships. These intercultural relationships can change who you are and how you see the world. (Word count: 1292) References: 4 . People should be more open minded to new things because you never know what you could encounter.

K. United States of America:PEARSON. Intercultural Communication in contexts. 5 .2009. John . New York: McGraw-Hill. and Thomas.M.5 James.N.O.America . 2009.4th ed.N. 2010. N.. W. Intercultural Communication: a layered approach. 5th ed. Intercultural Communication: contextual Approach.. Judith. G. United States of America:SAGA.

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