Cultural differences strengthen bonds of love


IPOH: When L. Manimaran and Ooi Mei Kim got married in 2005, they never thought that their mixed marriage would have strengthened their bonds of love over time.

Manimaran, 57, and Ooi, 50, came from different religions and cultures which were initially awkward for them to embrace, but with the passing of time, they said it was truly “practise makes perfect”.

“Every time Chinese New Year comes around, I gather with my wife’s family to celebrate it. Similarly, when it is Deepavali, my wife celebrates it, too,” said Manimaran.

The father of four said this to Bernama when met at a restaurant for the reunion dinner yesterday.

Manimaran, who works as a part-time photographer with a local media here, said due to their mixed marriage, all their children have mastered five languages, namely Malay, English, Tamil, Cantonese and Hokkien.

Meanwhile, Ooi said their intermarriage allowed her and her husband to learn and understand each other’s traditions.

“At the beginning of our marriage, I admit that I was a bit awkward when it came to my husband’s religion and customs and would ask him if I had done anything wrong,” said Ooi, the third of four siblings.

“It was the same for my husband. He would refer to me if he didn’t know something or wanted to know about something.

“This actually helped us to be more open and positive in addition to being able to accept each other’s cultures,” she said.

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L. Manimaran , Ooi Mei Kim ,

   

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