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B.L.I.R.B.C Family

February 25, 2010

Principe, Queenie, Little N and I make up a BLIFBC Family: a Bi-Lingual, Inter-Religious, Bi-Cultural Family. That isn’t anything official, it’s just what I came up with in my head to call us. It explains us well, no? We speak both Spanish and English (perhaps French one day?), we are practising Protestants and Catholics and us parents come from two different countries. I draw the line at inter-racial because Principe argues that he and I are both technically from the non-romantic “white” race as he is not hispanic. I say maybe not, but you aren’t very white either. At least  not the kind of white that came in my crayon box, because that’s the kind of white I am; the see-through kind. When we hold hands, especially in the summer when Principe’s skin turns from olive to a brown in-between that of someone from Iran and India, he smiles and says, “Jungle Fever.” But the fact that he tans well still doesn’t convince him of us being from two different races. So I settle for inter-cultural, which actually explains it much better because having an inter-racial marriage and being from the same culture is one thing, having an inter-cultural marriage is something completely different. You thought you had a hard time adjusting to your inlaws? I’m still messing up linguistically, not to mention manners and traditions wise.

Being an inter-religious family as well and wanting to raise our children with exposure to both of our religions always makes going to church a bit of a touchy subject. Principe claims that “While in Europe, do as the Europeans once did and go to Catholic church.” I say once because most Europeans don’t go to church any more. In fact, in Holland the churches are being converted into office buildings because the Catholic Church can’t keep them up without a congregation. People still go in Spain, but the attendance on part of the younger generation is dwindling. Significantly.

My thought, though, is: why does he get all of Europe? I found a Protestant church here outside of Toulouse and having been nagging him to go. It pains him though because it means actually getting up at a decent hour on Sunday, getting into the car and getting to church on time. He doesn’t like that. He isn’t used to that because in Spain there is Catholic Mass at almost any hour on a Sunday and you have about five churches within a half-mile radius that you can choose from. If you miss one because SOMEONE just HAD to read the news and couldn’t get into the shower until 11am, then there is another Mass service at 12, 1, 2, 7, and 8pm. Don’t worry about it. But the very thought of giving church a little more importance by making him have to get showered at a decent time and not bum around the house all Sunday morning long sounds painful to Principe. He just doesn’t want to do it.

I told him that I want to go at least once to see what the church is like. Perhaps I won’t like it and we won’t have to go, I say, but we have to go once in order to find out. He grumbled something about not liking the fact that you don’t even know what you are going to get when going to a so-called Protestant church. His grumbles became unintelligible by the end of his complaint so I’m not sure what else he said and for the sake of not arguing too much I didn’t bother to have him repeat it, but instead launched into the fact that it is the same with Catholic Church, except that we judge the priest on whether he actually reads and teaches the Bible or just tells some feel good story for ten minutes and then goes on to the rituals. Principe didn’t have much to go on after that. So he said we could share: two weekends a month for each. Fine. Okay, he says, but this weekend is mine. Fine. But it must be in either Spanish or English, I say. Fine.

And that is how we ended up in a Roman Orthodox Mass spoken in both Romanian and French this past Sunday. I tell you one thing, the internet is great, especially when you believe it at face value when it tells you that there is a Spanish spoken Catholic Mass at 11am across the street.

And because the gaffe can be blamed on the internet Principe claimed this weekend as well because last weekend didn’t count. Little sneak. We’ll see where we end up this weekend. Perhaps some underground medieval cult is still active just down the road….

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2010 7:42 pm

    Would you accept our family to the BLIRBC club? We are bilingual French / English (although I’m also fluent in Spanish but I’m at a loss as to when to introduce it to the kids). Mr Foodie is Roman Catholic (as is 99% of the population in the Republic) and I am of no religion. And of course the two different cultures and they are quite different! Unfortunately, I can’t help on the church front. I’d say it was quite interesting to attend a Romanian / French Orthodox office though.

    • wideopenworld permalink*
      February 25, 2010 8:31 pm

      All are welcomed! I would like to write more about the bi-cultural thing some day. Many people sort of roll their eyes at me and some go so far as to say, “It can’t be that different!” But it really is. Just every country has it squirks, you know? Oh, and I would introduce Spanish as soon as you feel ready. From a linguist’s point of view the sooner the better. The younger they are the easier it will be. I would like Queenie to learn French but at the moment we are continuing with her two home languages. If we stay here for a while she will learn it at school I’m sure and then the problem will be keeping it up when we move to another country!

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