Thursday, November 3, 2011
Marriage and Beliefs
Marriage has been about self discovery. Namgay and I have some similar and some different beliefs, but because we're married going on 12 years, and because we plan to stay married, happily if we can manage, we've sort of meshed what we believe. Each of us knows what's important to the other. When we take big trips-- like to the US from Bhutan-- we go to Dechencholing, as do most people living in the Thimphu Valley, and get a blessing. Namgay consults a tsip, or astrologer, who tells him things like the most auspicious direction and time to begin the journey. Sometimes we have to back out of the house in the middle of the night so that we start out a long trip facing the right direction. There might be something to all this. Belief is not as important as doing it because he believes it's important.
It makes me a little sad that stories of women going to foreign places and finding love are cliche. It's been done to death. I don't really have an opinion about other books and other people's lives, but for me marrying into another culture made me better. It automatically made me a citizen of the world, and made me take the focus off myself. Sometimes I feel like I glaze over the difficult parts of our intercultural marriage; it takes an enormous amount of work and a superhuman capacity to love and forgive. And not just your spouse. And then you have to love more. And laugh. I think about all these things and wonder if my friend Aldra, whose husband is Scottish, has her own culture clash and citizen of the world dynamic. I wonder if she eats haggis.