Tuesday, 13 October 2009

British Asian men opting for 'home grown' marriages

Details of an interesting radio programme broadcast tomorrow (or 'listen again' within 7 days):

Home Grown

Wednesday 14 October
11.00-11.30am BBC RADIO 4

Yasmeen Khan investigates the growing trend among British Asian men to marry women from their native countries. Forget arranged or forced marriages, this is something completely different.

Despite being raised in the UK, many second-generation British Asian men are choosing to marry women from "back home" – from India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. These are young professionals, working alongside British Asian women in places such as investment banks, law companies and accounting practices.

This cultural phenomenon is unique to the second generation of British Asians. While it could be expected that those born in Britain would seek partners from a similar background or even marry out of the culture to a white partner, few would have predicted that a generation would end up struggling with a culture and identity that left them choosing a partner from their parents' country of origin.

Yasmeen, who has written on Asian dating from both a personal and a journalistic perspective, uncovers why many young British Asians want a "home-grown" girl, many of whom are just as educated and professional as their British Asian peers. She travels around the UK and asks young British Asian men and women what their expectations of a partner are, whether they find it hard to juggle their own desires with that of their parents and community, and – talking to the men who have brought a wife over from "back home" – whether the match has lived up to their expectations.

I hope she'll look at why it's more prevalent amongst men rather than British Asian women. I once knew a top city British Asian accountant who opted to marry a woman from India - she turned out to be less than docile and obedient, much to the chagrin of his family. So I offered her a job!

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