That’s one reason inter-marriage is a key hope of tolerant, open-minded North Americans.Supporters of inter-marriage maintain it’s time to transcend old ethnic, cultural and religious barriers.Interfaith marriage is also distinct from the concepts of religious assimilation, cultural assimilation, religious disaffiliation, and apostasy.Despite the distinction, these issues are associated with aspects of interfaith marriage.They’re lured together by eros, the fascination of the unknown and the ideal of a colour-blind world.In this intoxicating realm of cultural fusion, there are two basic kinds of mixed unions: One consists of inter-ethnic couples, the other is made up of interfaith couples. Some signs suggest both inter-ethnic and inter-faith couples are the multicultural future.In others, religious tradition opposes interfaith marriage but may allow it in limited circumstances.Several major religions are mute on the issue, and still others allow it with requirements for ceremony and custom.
Indeed, mixed unions are on a roll in North America.Many of Sikhism's practices are aimed at bringing equality to all types of people. In every Gurdwara's langar hall, where visitors are served food, everyone must sit on the floor as equals, regardless of their background, wealth or status.Every Sikh is given the surname Singh, for men, and Kaur, for women, in an attempt to reduce the long-standing practice of caste discrimination.Pollster Reg Bibby has found 92 per cent of Canadians now support the concept of mixed unions.The implication is only narrow-minded bigots oppose them.No one would speak to us, we couldn’t find anywhere to live because no one would rent to a black man, and we had no money.Now it’s very hard to comprehend the prejudice we encountered, but you have to remember that there were hardly any black people in Britain in the Forties.We didn’t even know they spoke English, but Jake and I got chatting. A few weeks later we went for a picnic, but were spotted by a lady cycling past — two English girls with a group of black men was very shocking — and she reported me to my father, who banned me from seeing him again.Pamela, 63, and Shafique, 75, a retired restaurant manager, live in Stepney, East London.Based on the Sikh code of conduct, the Sikh Rehat Maryada of 1932, the guidelines advise: "Persons professing faiths other than the Sikh faith cannot be joined in wedlock by the Anand Karaj ceremony." Yet many Sikhs feel that this form of Sikhism is a hard line version of the faith they hold dear.Sikh scholar Davinder Singh Panesar says, "Sikh teachings don't see faith as a differentiator, but as something that enables people to come to common ground, common humanity." Guru Nanak, who founded the faith, emphasised heavily on the 'oneness of humanity'.