No doubt that being around people from a culture like yours is relaxing and welcoming. It gives you the feeling that you are part of a community and that you are filled with individuals who remind you of where you come from. That being said, if your desire to be around those that are similar to you outweighs the willingness to bridge ethnic differences and connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds, then that might call for concern. Sadly, for certain people, race inhibits their ability to communicate with others and build friendships. Most individuals pursue relations with people of the same race. Sure, there isn’t anything bad with that – the problem, though, arises when people concentrate on making buddies of the same race that they become too oblivious or even resistant to the prospects of becoming friends with someone from another race. We live in a multicultural world with many people of various racial backgrounds. While it could be simpler or easier for you to relate to people who have the same practices, habits and norms as you, it is unhealthy to restrict yourself to such kind of mentality. It is important that we learn about diverse cultures and beliefs and consider the world we live in from various viewpoints. We only rob ourselves of the possible amazing experiences we can have if we only interact with persons that think and behave like us.
It still baffles me that in this day and age, there still exists people that still refuse to recognize the many forms in which we are all similar, regardless of colour. People are turned off by their cultural distinctions, so they refuse to see how alike and connected they may be with others. The truth is that our encounters and beliefs should not be constrained by where we come from, and neither should our friendships.
It seems that as adults we appear to be socially divided in our friendships, much as we are in our communities. Although interracial associations are reasonably normal when we are kids. I still remember a couple of days ago seeing a white boy playing football with a black boy in my estate and that just gladdened my heart. A lot of research done have found that children entering puberty are less likely to sustain interracial friendships as they get older.
When individuals pursue friendships with people of similar race only to discover that they lack compatibility, some may fail to acknowledge that it’s just a personality discrepancy. Rather, they conclude that the other individual does not act like or display enough of their race. But there are no fixed standards for determining whether or not anyone adequately represents their race.
Attempting to eliminate the presence of race in building friendships is neither practical nor helpful. I agree that making buddies of the same race has many advantages. It will genuinely assist people in recognizing their identity and feeling as if they fit to a group. With that being said, we should still recognize the value of making mates from different races. We should bring the same commitment into friendships with individuals that are different from us since it is an important aspect of being an inclusive and unbiased individual and, ideally, creating a more accommodating and prejudice-free community.
But what do people actually think about interracial friendships? Well, this is what twitter is saying:
Being a biracial girl myself, this topic is particularly interesting. I love the fact that we are able to learn different cultures, beliefs and ways of life. For me, building interracial friendships seems like a fun and adventurous experience that everyone should encounter at some point in their lives. Below is a documentary I did on two classmates of mine-Martin, who is from France and Reky, a Nigerian. They share their story on how they keep their friendship going. Enjoy!!!