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Japanese-Arab marriages encourage open minds and hearts

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29 Jun 2022 09:06:19 GMT9
29 Jun 2022 09:06:19 GMT9

Nader Sammouri 

OSAKA: If Aladdin and a Samurai queen were to experience life together as a married couple, how would that go?  Far from general stereotypes, multicultural marriages can give birth to a sum of unexpected issues, but may simultaneously yield astounding benefits.

People may hope for a partner from diverse and far lands that may carry qualities that seem both alluring and ideal. The contrast between cultures, aside from its clashes, may seem fascinating.

“My Japanese wife had spent a year in Egypt in a student program. That is where I met her. It was easier for us to live a life together in Japan because she had a sense of my culture and wasn’t blind to it. Mutual understanding and comprehension was a crucial factor in the success of our relationship,” Essam Mohamed from Egypt said. He married his Japanese wife several decades ago and has been residing in Japan ever since.

Today, Mohamed owns an English school and a guest house in Kyoto city, which he operates with the help of his wife, Ikuyo.

“Japan has had an agricultural -gatherer- past, like us in Egypt, which I believe is connected to the way they respect tradition. Though, I find the Japanese much more practical than the Egyptians, who commonly tend to be very emotional. This influences familial relationships because, unlike in many MENA countries, where children are seen as a future investment for their parents, Japanese individuals become more independent as they grow up, leaving their aged parents to care centers. My own kids had disconnected from us during the period of their high school and university education. Though, as their professional careers began, they got to appreciate us more deeply, and express their emotions in their own elusive way,” he told Arab News Japan.

Misu is another Japanese individual who got married to a man from Egypt. She currently resides in Japan with her husband. Because she was born in Brazil, she could not help but triangulate her opinions between these three diverse countries. According to Misu, she had to adjust to certain aspects of her relationship.

“The culture in Brazil is a lady-first culture, though in Egypt, it is the man who is prioritized. My husband expects me to let him enter the house first and serve his meals. Those were novel outlooks to me and I was expected to meet them,” Misu said.

She went on to say: “Although our marriage came with many difficulties, both my husband and I enjoyed the process of being introduced to a new exotic culture on the other side of the world. The affection that my husband gives to my daughters is quite amazing, I have to say.”

Similar expressions may carry different meanings in every culture, which creates a sort of dissonance in multicultural relationships. That requires a deeper understanding of how the other culture operates, so that empathy is born rather than disagreement.

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