The United Kingdom is fast experiencing a surge in the number of marriages and relationships across ethnic divides – according to latest official figures.
Mixed race is an ethnic category that has been used by the United Kingdom’s office for National statistics since 1991 census which colloquially refers to British citizens or residents who are married to people of different ethnic background or people whose parents are of different race.
New analysis of the census figures shows that the number of people in England and Wales living with or married to someone from another ethnic group has jumped to 2.3 million with an increase of about 35 percent in the last 10 years.
According to a report in The Independent newspaper, one in 10 relationships in UK now cross racial boundaries thereby making the country one of the fastest growing mixed race societies in the world.
The expansion of the EU in 2004 has also contributed to this development. Reports say that the common inter-ethnic relationships today is between people who are white British and a country like Poland. These make up 16 percent of the entire mixed race population.
The prejudice are fading gradually even in major cities like London, Manchester and Birmingham, recording the highest population of mixed race couples. It is common place in such cities that inter-racial couples will no longer catch your eyes as different.
Perceptions and prejudice continues to fizzle even in some parts of Africa. Under the apartheid regime in South Africa, inter- racial marriages and relationships were banned but today it has become a normal practice in the society.
Celebrities such as Jessica Ennis the Olympic star, Lewis Hamilton and Leona Lewis, the British got talent Alesha Dixon are all changing the perceptions on mixed race marriages and relationships in UK.
However, there are things to worry about when getting involved in inter-ethnic marriages or relationships.
In an interview with Benjamin Eamo, a Doctoral student in Sociology, he pointed out “that mixed race relationship is something one has to really think about before going into because of the cultural divide”.
Mr Eamo said: “It demands more effort because people involved will be struggling to adjust or live up to the culture and orientation of his spouse which sometimes creates a kind of cultural friction leading to issues in such marriages and relationships”.
However, Raymond Oliver, who has been married to his wife from Africa for up to 15 years, has a different view.
He said: “There is no difference if you marry from any part of the world that the most important thing is compatibility of the couple”.
A marriage councillor Dr Ken Duru notes that the success or failure of relationships is not determined by ethnic, social or other factors, rather it is determined by the individuals in the relationship.
Their ability to tolerate each others excesses because owing to the fact that no one is perfect is what that will determine the Fate of their relationship.