What is the secret of their happy married life? Pune interfaith couples share the secret
RELIGION NO BARRIER Celebrating many festivals all through the year is fun. Interfaith couples get to experience the best of both religions. Anjali Shetty talks to three such couples.pune Updated: Aug 16, 2018 15:11 IST
Love is all about respecting each other’s opinions and choices. This is one mantra that interfaith couples stand by to make their married life happy and successful.
Having married people from varied beliefs and faith, these couples do not impose or force their better half to follow or practice a particular faith. They give equal importance to both their faith and respect each other’s culture and religion. The couples vouch for the exposure to different traditions, practices, festivals and languages that such marriages give. They are happy to celebrate the differences in their upbringing , beliefs, culture and traditions. Religion is no barrier for interfaith couples.
‘We celebrate each other’s faith’ - Sahil Leslie Mandody and Shivangi Sahil Mandody
We have so many people with different cultures residing in the country. One of the most beautiful aspect of India is ‘unity in diversity’ and we need to remember that. If we start accepting each person with respect and not enforce our thoughts on the other, that is enough for the country to stay united and this in turn will maintain our rich cultural heritage. My husband and I come from extremely diverse cultural backgrounds. While I am a Marwadi, my mother-in-law is from Maharashtra and my father-in-law is a Parsi Keralite Christian. Each one of us in the family respect each other’s faith and so, we have a very healthy and happy relationship.
Indians are blessed to experience different cultures as we have people from different cultures residing in the same place. Right from a very young age, we are exposed to various communities, cultures and religions. Thus, making us aware and teaching us to respect each and every Indian. As a couple, we are following the same principle.
We are so happy to have people from different faith in the family since we get to celebrate each other’s faith. Not to forget the delicacies that come with the festive spirit. (We are all foodies).
We hope someday when I start my family, our children will grow up to be perfect citizens who respect unity in diversity and the spirit of India, apart from learning to respect every religion for its own good. Today ,we spread positive messages among friends and family. - Shivangi Sahil Mandody
‘We want to practice the best from both cultures’ - Chiraag Khemani and Tanvi Deshpande
Being in love is one of the most exciting and interesting phases in one’s lives. So, when you are in love, it really doesn’t matter which religion or community your better half belongs to. Similarly, the faith and belief is an individual’s choice and one shouldn’t influence others based on their likes and beliefs.
Having said that, one’s religion should never be a deciding factor for cementing a relationship.
Chiraag and I met about two and a half years ago. While he is a Sindhi, I am a Maharashtrian. It was never an issue for both of us.
When we decided to get married and told our parents, they were equally supportive. They were so excited about the wedding that we incorporated both Maharashtrian and Sindhi traditions in our wedding celebrations.
Intercultural marriages definitely give you an exposure to different traditions, practices, festivals and language. We want to practice the best from both cultures.
People coming from different faiths will definitely have differences in food habits and parenting style. There are also differences in the way we celebrate festivals, the customs and rituals we follow.
However, what is important is to respect everyone’s opinions, likes and dislikes and communicate with each other regarding the same.
In an interfaith marriage, parents should not impose their faith or belief on their kids. The child should be brought up with the liberty to choose his/her religion.
As a young couple, we too look forward to celebrating and enjoying each other’s festival and ritual. The idea is to understand each other’s faiths better. At the end it is all about respect and love. - Tanvi Deshpande
‘We do not judge people based on their religion’ - Vanessa Mattu and Zubair Poonawalla
Firstly, we must respect everyone’s culture and religion. I feel that religion should be left behind in the house and should not be exhibited and imposed on others. If we do this, I am sure all of us will be a happier lot. Religion is a personal choice. My own family is a weave of national and international fabric. We are aware of the diverse culture around us, however we don’t judge anyone based on their background.
My wife is a Kashmiri Pandit Irish Catholic, married to a Bohra Muslim. Our son Mikhail Poonawalla has been taught to respect all religions. He respects all human beings and animals alike. We celebrate Christmas, Diwali and Eid and we encourage him to do so.
Our parents are broad minded and they celebrate Diwali, Holi and all festivals with a lot of fervour. My son is more excited during Holi than during Eid. He has all the colours and water guns ready a week in advance. We must bring up our children in such an environment.
They should enjoy each and every tradition that come their way. As Indians, we truly believe in celebrating diversity and ensure that we incorporate this in our daily lives. We have friends belonging to varied communities or religions and not once do we make them feel different. To summarise, we focus on treating every individual and animal alike and with utmost respect. - Zubair Poonawalla
First Published: Aug 16, 2018 15:11 IST