Are interracial marriages possible in Ukraine?
What is the attitude to black person in Ukraine? If I am Afro-American, do I have chances to marry Ukrainian woman? Those are vivid questions men in USA and other countries often ask us. We made up a research and give you opinions on the above issues.
Youth is one of the zones of intense inter-ethnic contacts. Young people from different regions of Ukraine are getting to big cities to study and work. In the cities they meet representatives of different ethnic groups and contact various systems worldview and outlook. Because of these relationships rules of interethnic perceptions and behaviors, they will carry through later life, are fixed among youth. Overall youth age is a crucial period of identity formation, and hence the development of ethnic identity. Especially active in this age group are students coming from adolescence to adulthood, gaining a new perception of the world.
In this context it is important to track how tolerant are attitudes to different ethnic groups. It is going about possible degree of intimacy – from family member to the inhabitants of the locality and the state as a whole. The study method was based on interviews with the largest ethnic groups in different regions of Ukraine. Of course, ethnic culture and ethnic identity is showed not only in ethnicity as a whole, but also at the level of individuals, families, groups established at the time that compose it.
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Where the system of internal ethnic structure begins to break down expression of ethnic traditions and ethnic identification support becomes complicated. With the growth of interregional migration, urbanization processes acceleration and some other reasons interpersonal relationships within the ethnic group may weaken. To most of the interviewed young Ukrainians nationality has no particular importance in the selection of the future spouse, declaring the importance of personal qualities. According to the majority of Ukrainians, the one not necessarily should marry only representatives of the same nationality, although there are those who think that it is necessary to preserve the purity of the nation. Sometimes members of certain ethnic groups are concerned about preserving their ethnic group and therefore advocate mono-ethnic family.
If national characteristics in the majority do not cause warning, interracial marriages in Ukraine might be with some reservations. Young people call different reasons that hold them from such a marriage. I do not have any racial complexes; just I do not like these women (Ukrainian man, ’18, Kyiv). I do not know whether Ukraine is ready to big amount of Afro-Ukrainians be born. Perhaps these children would have difficulties in our society (Ukrainian girl, ’16, Lviv). I can imagine a African or Chinese as my friend, but not as the family member (Hungarian man, ’19, Uzhgorod). Such responses to some extent reflect the situation in Ukraine, where the overall sufficiently tolerant attitude toward other races is quite noticeable restrained desire to enter into interracial marriage, which is caused prejudice to another, unknown, inexplicable.
For international marriages significant problem is the ethnic identity of children who fall into the multicultural space just after the birth. Our studies have shown that young Ukrainian people are not too idealized with ethnic family relationships, and mostly are quite wary of choosing the interracial partner for marriage. In multi-ethnic marriages when Ukrainian marries a Russian or Arab, he brings something different and not always Ukrainian can get used to it.
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National intermarriage play an important role in changing the ethnic and demographic situation of the country as children, choosing the nationality of one of the parents themselves break off the ethnic line.
Most often children choose the nationality of the parent who has a higher social, cultural or ethnic status in society. Statistics show that in Ukrainian society while determining the nationality of children in mixed families Ukrainian nationality preferred. When dad is Ukrainian and mom is Moldavian, the child will argue that he is Ukrainian – it is more prestigious (Gagauz girl, ‘19, Odessa region).
Interethnic marriages reflect trends in the internationalization of the ethnic-cultural environment. Despite the fact, that inter-ethnic marriages are conducted for long enough, there is also the opposite process of accentuation on mono-national marriages.
In the process of interaction through family ties between peoples culture gets developed and enriched, strengthening interethnic contacts. It is in mixed families where ethnic integration is more complete and harmonious.