Category Archives: Love in the Tropics

Bi cultural relationship on Bali, by Ibu Lina Rose.

The Future for Bi-Cultural Relationships

It has been an interesting journey to share my thoughts and feelings with all of you about being in a bi-cultural relationship. I’ve talked about the ups and downs, mis-communications, spiritual diversity and the yearnings that we all share for a clearer understanding about how those of us who are in bi-cultural partnerships can succeed and continue to have long lasting and fulfilling relationships. While many of us have felt that we’ve chosen a path not often traveled by the majority, in the not too distant future, bi-cultural couples may be few and far between as more and more cultures ... [ Read More ]

Detoxifying Your Relationship

I just finished a three day juice detox which was much harder than I had anticipated it would be. On the first day I drank four different juices which consisted of a variety of vegetables or fruits that stimulate the release of one’s toxins. By the second juice I found myself feeling quite ill; my hands began shaking, my stomach became very queasy and I started having hot flashes and sweating profusely. I have never experienced anything like this; it reminded me of what a drug user must go through when s/he detoxes, trying to break free of their addiction. ... [ Read More ]

Tools for Understanding Each Other

Our Astro vision crashed last week and when I called to ask them to repair it, I realized that I was no longer interested in watching repeats, mediocre movies or hearing the screeching sounds of cartoon characters on the Cartoon Network. It was time to make a change, so I said with conviction, “Never mind about sending someone out to fix our box, can you please just disconnect our service.” It was done with those few words, and for the first time I felt a sense of relief that the TV would no longer be a dominating factor in our ... [ Read More ]

Creating a Strong Foundation

Today I was contemplating what I would write for my column for this issue and nothing came to me until I did offerings and prayers, otherwise known as Sembahyang in Bahasa Indonesian. I had a difficult day that I wasn’t able to really share with my husband, yet when we did our prayers together, it felt like this was the bridge to all of our cultural or interpersonal challenges. All the heavy heartedness I felt seemed to burn away like the dupa (incense) that I placed on the beautiful offerings. Spirituality is a personal choice, unlike religion which is something ... [ Read More ]

Celebrating Holidays with Spirit

When we look at our traditions from western cultures like Australia, Canada and the USA, we realize that there are few which have existed as long as some of the ancient traditions which continue to thrive in Asian cultures like Bali or Java. In the USA, people celebrate Thanks Giving – a day of remembrance of the time when the first settlers sat down together to share a meal with Indians to celebrate their first successful harvest. No one really talks about the fact that shortly thereafter, the settlers turned against their friends in a brutal genocide in order to ... [ Read More ]

One Couple’s Journey

Caroline and Ronnie have been happily married for more than ten years and have two boys, ages eight and six. Caroline is a lover of dancing and is very creative, while Ronnie is more of a low key guy who is good with budgeting and managing the staff that work for them. Caroline sat down with me to share her story about how she met Ronnie and the obstacles that they had to overcome in order for them to be together. IL: When did you meet Ronnie? C: I met him in 1990 when I was teaching English as a ... [ Read More ]

Taking the Road less Traveled: the Positive Side of Bi-cultural Relationships

Many of my friends who are also in bi-cultural relationships would agree that being married to someone from another culture certainly has its challenges. Most of us came into our relationships with different religions or spiritual practices than our respective partners. In addition, the Indonesian law requires both people to be the same religion before they can legally marry, so many of us have had to convert to our husband’s religion. For some women this is a big sacrifice to make, but fortunately for me my spiritual beliefs were already in line with Dewa’s. He is a Hindu and I ... [ Read More ]

Keeping Those Fires Burning

Everyone comes to the dreaded juncture – the point at which one’s long term relationship has gone from feeling ecstatic to static. Where has all the rapture gone and how can we get back even a few remnants of those passionate moments that we once shared with our partners? Most of us have bought into the idea of the make-believe romance which is portrayed in films. Many women expect flowers and candy on Valentine’s Day or candlelit dinners on their birthdays with a bubble baths followed by a sensuous massage. Those romantic interludes seem to slip away over time as ... [ Read More ]

I Say Potato You Say Kentang

The other day I asked Dewa why he had decided to make the fountain at our home with the symbol close to the water instead of more centered on the wall? For me this was a simple question only asked to get a clearer understanding of his rationale for the design, but to Dewa this was a clear criticism. His interpretation which he shared with me later was that in his culture people asked ‘why’ questions only to insinuate that they weren’t satisfied with something he or she did. Alas, it has taken us five and a half years to ... [ Read More ]

The Religion Factor for Bi-cultural Children

My ten year old son is a beautiful blend of American, Puerto Rican, Spanish and Indonesian. When I asked him about what he thinks the best thing is about being a product of mixed parents he replied, “I like all the experiences that I’ve had in both cultures. I get to do and see so many great things that my friends don’t get to do.” Djaya is a clever boy who speaks both Indonesian and English fluently. He has an amazing capacity to adapt to whatever environment he lives in. Six months a year he resides in the U.S.A. with ... [ Read More ]