RE: “Personality over ethnicity” (The New Times, April 17).
If Patricia is old enough to be married and, being fully of sound mind, has made a choice not solely driven by passion or infatuation but one that is properly considered regarding the man she would like to spend the rest of her life with, she should just go ahead and tie the knot with him regardless of her father's objections.
Her father's prejudices should not be the determinant factor about the most important decision she will ever have to make about her “own” life.
Have you considered that maybe Patricia's father is not motivated by racism or prejudice?
To illustrate my point, let me tell you a true story.
There was this guy of Pakistani descent; let us call him Mohammed. He was sent for further studies to Germany.
There he met and fell in love with a German girl and got two children.
After a while Mohamed felt like he should go back home. So he traveled back to Rawlpindi, Pakistan with his wife and children. The first two weeks were blissful. Mohamed's parents were happy to see him and his family. The parents did not speak German and his wife and children spoke no Urdu. So Mohamed had no other choice than becoming family fixer. Soon problems arose.
Mohamed’s extended family started making snide comments about the foreigners. The children and wife felt Mohamed's parents were cold and not very welcoming. Mohamed’s parents felt the children were ill bred and rude. Mohamed decided that settling in Pakistan would not work and so he packed his backs and returned to Germany with his family.
Coming back to Patricia, you say that she is in love with a person from a different tribe; I assume he does not speak Kinyarwanda. Should Patricia's parents learn a foreign language to talk to their own grand-children?
What will happen when there are family functions? Will everybody speak English or French to accommodate Patricia's husband. What culture will the children have? Is there no risk that the children will be aliens in both Patricia’s family and the one of her fiancé?
I prefer to think that Patricia's father has her best interest at heart and is not just being racist or tribalistic or what have you.