Multicultural Resources Parenting The Art of Interracial Marriage

Punjabi Woman and African-American Man. 30 Years Later-This Is One Of The Most Incredible Love Stories You Will Ever Read.

 

30 Years Later. One Of The Most Incredible Love Stories You Will Ever Read.

Interracial/Intercultural Marriage: Punjabi Woman and African-American Man

About

Meet Sukhdip (aka Sukhy or Sweety) Sihota Broome and Clifford (aka Cliff) Errol Broome.  Sukhdip is Punjabi, and Clifford is African-American.  Together they have two handsome sons.   Their eldest son is 19, and his name is Evan (Ev) Sihota Broome, and their youngest son is 14, and his name is Nathan (Nate) Sihota Broome.

Where Were They Both Born And Raised

Sukhdip was born in Coventry, England and Cliff was born in Richmond, California.  Their sons were both born in Benicia, California.

How They Met

Cliff and Sukhdip met at CVS Drug Store when it used to be called Longs Drugs.  Sukhdip was working there, right out of high school.  She knew Cliff had just transferred there, but he did not know she worked there.  Sukhdip walked in to buy something with her dad.  When Cliff saw her, he stood up. Then when he saw her dad in a turban, he sat back down (LOL).

How Long Have They Been Together

They have been together since September 1989, so this September will be 32 years.

How Was Meeting Cliff’s Parents For The First Time

Meeting Cliff’s parents did not pose a problem.  It was fine.  They might have thought that Sukhdip was too young for him, as they are 9 1⁄2 years apart (with him being older than her).

How Was Meeting Sukdip’s Parents For The First Time

The Arranged Marriage & 7 Years Of Secret Dating

Meeting Sukhdip’s parents was a problem, as she was supposed to have an arranged marriage.  Sukhdip’s parents wanted her to marry Punjabi.  Hence their relationship was a secret for seven years.  Sukhdip lived at home the entire time because girls were not allowed to move out or go away to college back then.  Consequently, Sukhdip lived at home through college and graduate school.

Sneaking Phone Calls & Writing Super Long Love Letters

The inception of their romance was before cell phones and the internet’s existence.  As a result, their ability to communicate with each other was limited.   All they could do was sneak a phone call from a landline once in a while.   Sukhdip typically phoned Cliff when she was at school but she had to know where he would be.  It would have been so much easier now with Facetime, texting, etc.  For the most part, Sukhdip and Cliff wrote super long love letters to one another, which had to be hidden or disposed of on Sukhdip’s part.
“My mother had me take her to see Cliff and begged him not to marry me.”

Marrying Cliff Without Her Parents Approval

Sukhdip told her parents approximately one month before finishing graduate school that she was going to marry Cliff.  It was not well received, as her parents were quite traditional.  They worried about what the East Indian community would think, and did not want the family to “be shamed.”  Sukhdip’s mother had her take her to see Cliff and begged him not to marry her.  Nonetheless, Sukhdip always felt that God or the universe brought Cliff to her, and so it was not wrong to be with him.

Their Wedding Day And Advice For Others

Cliff and Sukhdip had a really small wedding at her girlfriend’s home.  They were broke back then and did not have help from family.  For example, their cake was from the grocery store; the wedding march was played on a tape cassette, there was no makeup artist, no band, no engagement photos, no videographer, etc. As much as Sukhdip is a super girly and wanted the whole big magical wedding, she knew she had to be frugal as they would not get help from anyone.
In retrospect, Sukhdip is especially glad that they were mindful of costs, as they have saved and invested, and live a good life.  They are able to pay for their kids’ colleges, a beautiful home, and their future retirements.  So, their advice to others in this situation would be to focus on the marriage, versus the wedding.  Don’t spend so much, so that you can use the money for your future together (i.e., saving for a home, a family, maternity and paternity leave, vacations, retirement, etc.).

Five Top Tips To An Interracial/Intercultural Marriage

Like any marriage, it is important for both persons to do the following for it to flourish.

1.) Be supportive of one another;

2.) Be generous and kind;

3.) Compromise;

4.) Act as a Team;

5.) Be best friends.

One bit of advice that Sukhdip tells all of the younger ladies, is to “Always be the girlfriend, not the wife,” in the marriage. Regarding the additional cultural obstacles, be patient and try not to get angry with extended family. Understand that this is all they know and that they are not yet ready to progress, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t.  With time, Cliff and Sukhdip believe most do progress.

What Do They Love About Being In An Interracial/Intercultural Marriage

Sukhdip loves that her husband is so different from her (i.e., more westernized).  Hence, he balances how she was raised. For example, Sukhdip recently posted a photo of herself in a bikini on a family trip to Barbados (shown below). She would never have done that culturally, as it is showing too much skin, but it was for her special and happy family memories. To let you know how out of character this is for her, Sukhdip once got in trouble by a priest when she took her mom to the temple, for having bare arms.
Cliff has also taught Sukhdip to be more balanced with their kids’ education. They don’t have to get straight A’s (like she did).  He always says that  he’s “winning in the game of  life.”  Meaning that, yes, Sukhdip got straight A’s and went to graduate school, but he makes more money than she does.  And he also has more time off than she does (even though he was a so-so student, reading hot rod car magazines in class, LOL).  Sukhdip believe there is a lot of academic push in Asian cultures.  In fact, that was how she  was able to avoid some of the arranged marriage set-ups, by telling her parents that she needed to focus on her studies, that the set-ups were a distraction, then they would back off a little while longer.

What Are They Still Learning 30 Years Later

Sukhdip would have married Cliff whether he was Black, White, man, woman, whatever. His soul is the one that she was always meant to be with and Cliff feels the same way.

How Are They Raising Their Handsome Sons To Know Both Of Their Cultures

Sukhdip’s family disowned her for six years after she married Cliff.  Therefore their children primarily received influence from the African-American side of their family.  After Sukhdip’s family members began to soften, and they began to reconnect, then their boys started to receiving more Punjabi influence.  When Sukhdip’s mother had Alzheimer’s, for approximately six years, she took her and the boys to the temple every other Saturday, as it was her favorite thing to do.  Because of this, they eat East Indian food and have been exposed to the temple.  Additionally, they began attending more East Indian weddings and events as Sukhdip’s family reconnected with her.
Ultimately, Sukhdip thinks that when her siblings realized that by reconnecting with her, all of their children would have more first cousins, they all came around as they all want the best for their children. Reconnecting with Sukhdip’s extended family has been spectacular for all of them.

Anything Else They Want To Add To Help Others Reading This

For the ones that are not the Indian partner, be patient with their families and with their ways of doing things.  Indian/South Asians are raised from infancy a certain way.  The families will progress.  Be kind and loving and don’t give the family any real reason to dislike you. Cliff was always mature and confident in himself, only wanting Sukhdip’s happiness.  Therefore, he did not make it harder for her by fighting with her family.  Over time, when you live lovingly with your Indian partner, your actions will show that you are happy and “good” together.  Their hearts will soften.  Grandbabies and old age have a way of having people reevaluate their life and their beliefs.
What did you think of Sukhdip and Cliff’s uninhibited, impassioned, and enduring love story? Aren’t they such an alluring family?  Thank you, once again Sukhdip and Cliff for sharing your journey.  And for showing us all what 30 years “strong” looks like and means!
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6 Comments

  1. D. Carl says:

    Wow… Such an amazing #LoveStory and proof that Love is the strongest force in the universe. Real love is captured throughout the story, but I love when she expresses that she would have loved Cliff no matter what he was or looked like… That’s good stuff… When you know you know. I think I’ll read it again..!

    1. Growing Up Gupta says:

      It is such a beautiful love story that we could read over and over again. Thanks for reading!

  2. I just discovered your website. This is the second brilliant article I have read. Thank you for sharing such inspiring stories of the love, and the challenges faced by interracial couples.

    1. Growing Up Gupta says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

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