My Experiences of Interracial Marriage in Promoting Unity

In the context of human unity, the Baha’i teachings convey a simple yet profound truth:

“Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.”


This guiding principle not only shaped my understanding of oneness, but it also found resonance in my upbringing. As a child of interracial marriage, I was lucky to grow up in a place where most of my friends were also mixed-race, and this contributed to a sense of normalcy around diverse family structures. Growing up on Saipan, an island in the South Pacific, interracial marriage was so normalised that the idea of my parents being the first generation in their respective lineages to marry outside their race only struck me much later in life, a realisation that amusingly echoed when, years into my relationship with my now-husband, I remarked, “Did you know we’re an interracial couple?”

At school, cultural exchange was actively encouraged, with parents frequently visiting to share traditions and practices. International Day, an annual celebration, allowed both students and parents to showcase their cultural heritage through traditional clothing, performances, and shared food. In my own household, the fusion of my parents’ backgrounds created a rich tapestry of traditions, whether it was my father reciting Persian rhymes during games or the aroma of both apple pies and Persian stews filling our home. Interestingly, it was my Caucasian American mother who often took charge of preparing Persian dishes, exemplifying how embracing and celebrating different cultures can become a seamless and natural part of our lives.

While reflecting on the value of interracial marriage, I came across this quote from ‘Abdu’l-Baha to the American Baha’is:

“Thou must endeavor that they intermarry. There is no greater means to bring about affection between the white and the black than the influence of the Word of God. Likewise marriage between these two races will wholly destroy and eradicate the root of enmity.”


These words echoed in my experiences growing up on Saipan, where interracial unions were not only prevalent but celebrated. I witnessed how the blending of different races and cultures both within my own family and within the families around me demonstrated that intermarriage is indeed a powerful force in fostering unity and dismantling the roots of prejudice. Ethnicities and cultures that might have remained distant strangers were woven together into threads of kinship and family. Intimate relationships between families not only shattered societal stereotypes and preconceived notions about various groups but also provided a unique opportunity to embrace the unfamiliar. Beyond mere acquaintance, these relationships became a catalyst for dismantling personal prejudices ingrained in individuals. Witnessing my friends’ parents learning new languages to connect with their in-laws or ardently championing cultures beyond their own demonstrated a commitment to forging stronger bonds of unity within the family. As a child, none of these things stood out to me as being rare; it was simply my reality. It’s only now, reflecting on my upbringing, that I recognize the profound significance of growing up in such an environment. From my earliest consciousness, it shaped my worldview, allowing me to perceive the human world as one interconnected family.

While I didn’t actively seek an interracial marriage, the journey has significantly broadened my perspective. Marrying someone outside my culture and race has introduced me to an abundance of traditions and practices that I would not have encountered otherwise. Immersing myself in my husband’s Pakistani culture has been a great source of joy, from wearing a shalwar kameez at celebrations to learning to cook biryani and naan. I’ve noticed that more often than not, the experience has revealed a multitude of similarities between our respective cultures, emphasising that our diverse backgrounds serve to unite rather than divide us.

Our mixed-race marriage has also been a catalyst for deepening our connections to our respective cultures. This has translated into taking language classes, a shared commitment that strengthens our ability to speak our native languages. In this journey of cultural exploration, our marriage serves as a motivating force, propelling us to embrace our heritage more profoundly and share it authentically with each other and those around us.

With its inherent capacity to foster fellowship and understanding, I’ve found that interracial marriage serves as a powerful embodiment of the Baha’i principle of the unity of mankind, how it strengthens the recognition of the human race as one global family, and ripples outward in my interactions with others to influence greater circles of understanding, harmony, and love.

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Nava Khorram Ahmad

Nava Khorram Ahmad is a daughter of the South Pacific now residing in Latvia with her husband. Nava works in the field of climate adaptation and resilience, and her aim is to contribute to safeguarding and empowering the Pacific Islands, enabling them to endure the impacts of climate change. During her downtime, catch Nava sipping on a warm cup of tea, embracing stress-cleaning as a form of therapy, and making music with her husband.

Nava Khorram Ahmad

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