Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cultural Differences: The Effect of External Influences on Your African Man

I selected an African man for specific reasons: Genes, Tradition, Community,Ambition among others just to name a few. However, I was unaware of the large influence that he would be subjected too living in the states. Some foreigners hold fast to their foreign way of life, but you will find many others are more open to experiencing American life since their migration. For me.... this became somewhat of an issue. My husband went from enjoying the occasional soccer game to watching every NBA & NFL game. He went from listening to Makossa (Cameroonian french music) to repeating the lyrics of 2chainz and Lil Wayne. He went from tailored suits to a more casual look to blend in with his peers except I didn't want all those things.... those were actually the very attributes I wanted to avoid, and I found myself extremely frustrated by his ability to be influenced in what I regarded as an negative direction. It caused us much strife in the beginning because I was very estranged from who my husband was becoming.. and he didn't understand why I was upset. I felt duped and lied too because of course I wanted an "African" man. American influence is very strong, and I now can understand that being away from home is such a big transition. Eventually my husband learned exactly why certain things were not favorable, and reverted back to the groundwork that he had learned, but he did also tell me that I had to learn patience with him. He also desired to have the same sense of belonging that any other human wishes to have. If you are dating a man that has recently come to the states, this can present a huge hurdle for you, as all of the experiences you have come to have after a lifetime of learning, your mate is just beginning that journey as an adult. My advice would be communicate with your mate. I often explained lyrics to songs and broke down the connotations of slang. My husband shared how hilarious it was to learn some of the meanings of movies and music that he had learned whilst abroad. To him, they were simply words, and African Americans that had made it and become successful were simply icons. Alot of the media that foreigners are shown abroad about the American life is misleading and alluring all at the same time. As is it our home we know the fact from fiction, but a foreigner would never be able to make that discernment until they had the opportunity to experience it for themselves.

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