I am a Tamil Woman in Love with a Sinhalese Man

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“They destroyed our nation. They are rapists. They are murderers. They stole our land. They killed our people.”

My mom would always repeat this to me. She would tell me stories about the war and how brutally everyone had suffered. I, too, believed all her stories. She had brainwashed me into believing that all Sinhalese people were monsters.

My mom was a strong LTTE supporter just like many diaspora Tamils. I, too, supported the Tamil Tigers and attended all the rallies and protests they organized.

As I grew older, I was exposed to more issues. I harboured a deadly hatred as each part of my body and soul hated the Sinhalese.

I went to a mostly South Asian high school. I had a classmate who was a Muslim who spoke Sinhala. No one spoke to him or included him in any cultural events because he was seen as Sinhalese. I never felt that we were doing something wrong because I was always told that Sinhalese were bad. All of them.

When it was time to choose a university, I decided that I’d had enough with Tamils and their ignorance. I chose the “whitest” university possible. After attending university for a couple of months, my perspective on the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict slowly changed. I started seeing them as humans.

That’s when my friend insisted that I download the app “Hot or Not”. As I casually rated the men and women, I came across a handsome male that took my heart at first sight. A couple of days later, I received a message from Mr. Handsome:

“Hi beautiful, how are you?”

My heart pounded. I was flying. For a second I thought that I was dreaming. After coming back to reality, I replied and started a conversation. We talked and shared a lot of thoughts for a couple of months before finally meeting in person.

One night while we were having dinner at a fancy restaurant, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I refused. I told him that there is no way I will ever be allowed to bring home a Sinhalese boy and say that I wanted to marry him.

From then on, I received a text message every day: “When will you accept my love?” as my good morning message. I was surprised at how he took everything so seriously. I could see it in his eyes.

Seeing him so dedicated to his words, I asked him to wait a year and ask me just to test if he really meant his “I love you”. Yes, I was such a jerk for doing that.

He introduced me to his mother. We hung out together all the time. I even neglected my friends for him. I was in love.

A year passed. On the same day at the same time and at the same place, he asked me once again to be his girlfriend. I was deeply in love with this man, and I couldn’t help but look into his eyes and say yes. Despite my parents refusal to accept my love for him, I continued loving him.

A couple of months passed by. My mom found out about our relationship. She made a huge scene and threatened that she would jump off of Niagara Falls if I continued to see him. She also said that the Tamil community would speak poorly of me if they found out I had married a Sinhalese.

The Tamil community has been and continues to be close minded about interracial marriages. Both Sinhalese and Tamils are from the same island, claiming their homeland as Sri Lanka. So why should there be a difference in how we treat them? Why should we be prejudiced towards a whole ethnic group because of the actions of the government?

I have spoken to many of my cousins back home where culture and race are not an issue at all. There are many mixed marriages in Sri Lanka every year. So why do we diaspora Tamils have to be so stubborn about our decisions and harsh with our words?

Four years have gone by. I love him more and more each day. I would not change anything in our relationship. We have grown together, learning each other’s cultures and respecting them.

We are now engaged. I want to prove to the Tamil community that being with who you love is more important than being with someone for the sake of parents’ wishes. Mixed marriages can be successful.

Looking to create your love story? Join the other couples who have dated and married through www.myTamilDate.com!

Related articles:
I am a French Woman in Love with a Tamil Man
Clash of Love & Caste
Dear Straight Up! My Parents Don’t Approve of My Interracial Relationship

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Swetha

Swetha

a passionate sociologist; challenging the society's norms. She enjoys helping animals in need and always looking positively towards the future.

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37 thoughts on “I am a Tamil Woman in Love with a Sinhalese Man

  1. Considering how diaspora Tamils marry out like no ones business, I don’t see any wrong. Ltte Nadesan wife was Sinhalese. Cv vigneswaran son in law are Sinhalese. Screw this. Just marry who you like.

  2. Tamils were never against Sinhalese people. It’s the successive government and some Buddhist leaders that has the racist mindset against the Tamils.

  3. My Appa is a Sinhalese too and he lived in jaffna in 1980 to 2015 till he moved here , He never runaway from jaffna or us even shinhalese got killed.
    even my grandma and some of my relatives from my mom side told me , how much my Appa struggled to stay in Jaffna…
    Thats call pure Love…
    I lived in both sides in war times, Mom side never treat me like my dad is Sinhalese and my dad side never treat me like my mom is Tamil…
    I feel I am blessed to have them as my parents and my realatives….
    Politicians made these wars and hatred in between both communities bcoz of their cheap politics..
    2006 when I leave from Lanka I visited aachi n Seeya (grandparents) to say bye to them.. still I remember what they said to me
    “We pray Buddha take our life ,give more life and more blessings for their grandkid (me) in here… they worried so much bcoz I have no one here…. after 2 year they passed away even I couldn’t go there…
    so many sweet memories from both side.

  4. Omg!!! this reminds me of another couple I know so well…. lol John Man.. Yes. Tamil people overseas could loosen up a bit with the whole “holding on to culture” thing. Cultural values and traditions can be passed on regardless of who you marry!

  5. It’s all about love and we are human first it’s doesn’t matter which race or religion but never gave up your tradition. Personally I have many sinhalese gud and best friends and bad in all race thy never represent the whole community.

  6. Love is stronger than anything else.
    Respect each other and the different culture. Show with your relationship that peace is possible and will grow.
    Wishing you best of luck and energy in reuniting two families.

  7. What a beautyful Message this. Love and understanding is the Key forward. Hatred make only war, so I say one U0001f496

  8. My family is pro LTTE and pro Tamil Nationalism. I grew up listening to stories of the genocide back home. I also grew up listening to the stories of how heroic the Sinhalese people were, when sheltering Tamils during Black July and then events following it. Some my extended family members are Sinhalese. It’s just politics and religion that divide us.

  9. My parents went through the exact same issue (worse actually) back in the days. Today their marriage is one of the happiest I have ever known, so trust me – it gets better. Your mom will come around eventually 🙂

  10. While I respect that we are free to share our individual stories, I truly believe this narrative does not acknowledge the deeply entrenched power relations that exist within Sri Lankan communities. I think it is problematic to generalize Tamil communities as closed minded or against interracial marriages because we are not part of a homogenous group. Tamil people grew up in all parts of Sri Lanka and harbour very diverse values and beliefs. Singhalese and Tamil inter-marriages have been happening and have been supported for at least 100 years. The messaging this writer has experienced is the direct impact of experiences with trauma and war- violence, loss of home, loss of family, loss of identity. While I agree that it is problematic to assume that all Singhalese people are monsters, I can also acknowledge why some Tamil communities feel this way. They experienced immense trauma at the hands of the state, that vastly identified as Singhalese. While we always hope these trauma reflected narratives shift over time and that healing occurs, we also know through literature and experiences that state violence and loss are difficult experiences to overcome and often become a shadow in survivors’ lives. I am all for peace and love between communities and of course in our personal relationships, but to minimize these issues to stereotypes, generalizations and ignorance, I believe, is dangerous.

  11. What a disgusting woman! Another self-hating Tamil with no self-respect. For her it’s all about her feelings and how her heart pounded! Listen to your parents.
    If a Sinhala rapist solider said to you, “Hi beautiful, how are you?” I’m sure you’d sleep with him too. Disgusting!
    //Both Sinhalese and Tamils are from the same island, claiming their homeland as Sri Lanka. So why should there be a difference in how we treat them?//
    They are 2 different races. Sinhalese originate from the Bengal region of India and Tamils from southern India. Sinhala nationalists have always maintained they were superior Aryans, looking down on Dravidian Tamils. No Sinhala nationalist would want to be associated with Tamils and they say Sri Lanka is their homeland only and Tamils are simply invaders and minorities who should go back to Tamil Nadu if they don’t like it in Lanka.
    //Why should we be prejudiced towards a whole ethnic group because of the actions of the government?//
    You truly are naive, aren’t you! The government did what they did with the full support of majority of the Sinhalese! The government was often forced to be ethnic chauvinist because of the Sinhalese populace who’ve been opposing any sort of political compromise with the Tamils since the country’s independence. Sinhala leaders are political opportunists simply fulfilling the wishes of majority of the Sinhalese to stay in power.
    It’s not prejudice if it’s backed by facts.
    There are some good Sinhalese out there who care about the rights of Tamils but vast majority of them rationalize war crimes against Tamil civilians and oppose any independent investigation and accountability.
    Sinhalese protesting in their tens of thousands in Colombo against an international war crimes inquiry advocated for by Tamil survivors and backed by the UNHRC. https://twitter.com/TamilGuardian/status/760772609835405316
    ‘90% Tamils say there should be a credible mechanism on accountability. Only 30% Sinhalese agree (CPA Survey)
    https://twitter.com/rkguruparan/status/724919896308604928
    Thousands of Sinhalese supporting their solider convicted for massacring Tamil civilians: “Facebook page to ‘save’ soldier convicted of Tamil killings garners thousands of likesA Facebook page started to “save war hero Sunil Rathnayaka”, the Sinhala soldier sentenced to death over the massacre of 8 Tamil civilians, has garnered over 13,000 likes, within a day of being set up.” http://tamilguardian.com/content/facebook-page-%E2%80%98save%E2%80%99-soldier-convicted-tamil-killings-garners-thousands-likes
    “Again the story I wanted to highlight about this verdict is not the massacres. It is about “OUR WAR HERO” Sunil Ratnayake. Already there are several pages created in facebook to ‘ Save Sunil Ratnayake’. To be called as a War Hero, this former Staff Sergeant of Gajaba Regiment has not done any heroic act to save his country or the people for whom he fought for. He has barbarically murdered eight civilians, citizens of this country including a five year old child. Yet this society calls him a war hero, not a murderer. Nowhere in this world, except Sri Lanka such a savage psychopath would be called a ‘hero’, thus it is no wonder why this country is called Wonder of Asia. In fact, no one would be surprised even this country is called ‘The Wonder of the Universe’.” https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/our-war-heroes-of-mirusuvil-the-tamil-terrorists/
    “Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka have formed a new organisation to protect ‘war heroes’, after some military personnel were arrested over abductions and other crimes.” http://tamilguardian.com/content/monks-form-organisation-protect-war-heroes

  12. What a disgusting woman! Another self-hating Tamil with no self-respect. For her it’s all about her feelings and how her heart pounded! Listen to your parents.
    If a Sinhala rapist solider said to you, “Hi beautiful, how are you?” I’m sure you’d sleep with him too. Disgusting!

    //Both Sinhalese and Tamils are from the same island, claiming their homeland as Sri Lanka. So why should there be a difference in how we treat them?//

    They are 2 different races. Sinhalese originate from the Bengal region of India and Tamils from southern India. Sinhala nationalists have always maintained they were superior Aryans, looking down on Dravidian Tamils. No Sinhala nationalist would want to be associated with Tamils and they say Sri Lanka is their homeland only and Tamils are simply invaders and minorities who should go back to Tamil Nadu if they don’t like it in Lanka. 

    //Why should we be prejudiced towards a whole ethnic group because of the actions of the government?//

    You truly are naive, aren’t you! The government did what they did with the full support of majority of the Sinhalese! The government was often forced to be ethnic chauvinist because of the Sinhalese populace who’ve been opposing any sort of political compromise with the Tamils since the country’s independence. Sinhala leaders are political opportunists simply fulfilling the wishes of majority of the Sinhalese to stay in power.

    It’s not prejudice if it’s backed by facts.
    There are some good Sinhalese out there who care about the rights of Tamils but vast majority of them rationalize war crimes against Tamil civilians and oppose any independent investigation and accountability.
    Sinhalese protesting in their tens of thousands in Colombo against an international war crimes inquiry advocated for by Tamil survivors and backed by the UNHRC. https://twitter.com/TamilGuardian/status/760772609835405316

    ‘90% Tamils say there should be a credible mechanism on accountability. Only 30% Sinhalese agree (CPA Survey)
     https://twitter.com/rkguruparan/status/724919896308604928

    Thousands of Sinhalese supporting their solider convicted for massacring Tamil civilians: “Facebook page to ‘save’ soldier convicted of Tamil killings garners thousands of likesA Facebook page started to “save war hero Sunil Rathnayaka”, the Sinhala soldier sentenced to death over the massacre of 8 Tamil civilians, has garnered over 13,000 likes, within a day of being set up.” http://tamilguardian.com/content/facebook-page-%E2%80%98save%E2%80%99-soldier-convicted-tamil-killings-garners-thousands-likes

    “Again the story I wanted to highlight about this verdict is not the massacres. It is about “OUR WAR HERO” Sunil Ratnayake. Already there are several pages created in facebook to ‘ Save Sunil Ratnayake’. To be called as a War Hero, this former Staff Sergeant of Gajaba Regiment has not done any heroic act to save his country or the people for whom he fought for. He has barbarically murdered eight civilians, citizens of this country including a five year old child. Yet this society calls him a war hero, not a murderer. Nowhere in this world, except Sri Lanka such a savage psychopath would be called a ‘hero’, thus it is no wonder why this country is called Wonder of Asia. In fact, no one would be surprised even this country is called ‘The Wonder of the Universe’.” https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/our-war-heroes-of-mirusuvil-the-tamil-terrorists/

    “Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka have formed a new organisation to protect ‘war heroes’, after some military personnel were arrested over abductions and other crimes.” http://tamilguardian.com/content/monks-form-organisation-protect-war-heroes

  13. SivaEesan 

    I am part Sinhalese part Tamil myself and what you said
    about the origin of the Sinhalese is not entirely correct.  Most Sinhalese today are neither Aryan nor do
    they originate from Bengal.  There are a
    number of reasons for this.
    Firstly even though Vijaya arrived from Bengal, Vijaya only
    arrived with 700 men.  As a result they
    would have had to assimilate with the natives that have already existed such as
    the Yakshas and Nagas.  Secondly given
    the close proximity to Southern India many people migrated from places such as
    Kerala and Tamilnadu.  As a result the
    present day culture of the Sinhalese is more similar to the culture of Kerala
    and Tamilnadu rather than Bengal. 
    Therefore the average Sinhalese today is more likely to have originated
    from Tamilnadu/Kerala rather than Bengal.
    Thirdly even if it was said that most Sinhalese did
    originate from Bengal it still does not prove that they are Aryans.  As according to early classifications most
    Bengalis are categorized as Mongoloid Dravidian.  It is only the upper castes amongst Bengalis
    who are Aryans.  The only reason why
    Bengalis speak an Aryan language is because it was imposed on them for many
    years by the Aryan invaders.
    However I agree with you on the point that many war crimes
    were committed against  Tamil civilians
    and that they are in a horrible state.

  14. SivaEesan rapist soldier* 

    Also, vast majority of Sinhalese supported  a military solution to the ethnic conflict with utter disregard for the lives of Tamil civilians and it took Muslims and Tamils to vote the war criminal dictator Rajapakse out as he was still popular among most Sinhalese.  ”On the war front, Rajapakse and his ministers seek to enforce a “southern strategy” against the LTTE and their suspected sympathizers that uses indiscriminate force in utter disregard of Tamils’ human rights. Such a strategy has defined President Rajapakse’s short tenure in office, which has seen over 5,000 killed and over 215,000 displaced persons in just the past year. Yet Rajapakse has remained popular in the south, and according to a February 2007 poll, nearly 60 percent of Sinhalese support a military solution to the ethnic conflict (Center for Policy Alternatives 2007).” – Neil DeVotta, ‘Sinhalese Buddhist Nationalist Ideology’, p.51

  15. You are putting down your entire race and your own parents as “ignorant” because of your selfish horny feelings for a pervy desperate Sinhala stranger who wooed you on some trashy dating app!?!?! Have your considered the possibility that Tamil apprehension about forming any sort of intimate relationship with the Sinhalese may have something to do with traumas inflicted on them by the collective Sinhala nation on their loved ones which happened within our living memories and whose wounds are still fresh. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that vast majority of Sinhalese still continue to deny justice and accountability for Tamil victims of war and state terrorism?? No no, you’d rather slander your own community as “prejudiced” because they refuse to be selfish and let their personal lovey-dovey experiences shape their perception about what’s happening in reality.  Like I said, it’s all about your feelings not facts hence your positive generalization of the Sinhala populace as a whole based on your one single experience with some horny perv you met online who probably pretended to be nice to get inside your pants. Ask him if he supports Tamil desire for political autonomy and their demand for international war crime inquiry and accountability?? I’m sure he’d say no because for them the entire country belongs to them and the war criminals are their war heroes. If you sleep with a man who is complicit in the oppression of your people, you can only be considered a shameless self-hating traitor which you’ve already proved to be one when you write that you chose the Whitest university possible to avoid Tamils.

  16. You are putting down your entire race and your own parents as “ignorant” because of your selfish horny feelings for a pervy desperate Sinhala stranger who wooed you on some trashy dating app!?!?! Have your considered the possibility that Tamil apprehension about forming any sort of intimate relationship with the Sinhalese may have something to do with traumas inflicted on them by the collective Sinhala nation on their loved ones which happened within our living memories and whose wounds are still fresh. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that vast majority of Sinhalese still continue to deny justice and accountability for Tamil victims of war and state terrorism?? No no, you’d rather slander your own community as “prejudiced” because they refuse to be selfish and let their personal lovey-dovey experiences shape their perception about what’s happening in reality. Like I said, it’s all about your feelings not facts hence your positive generalization of the Sinhala populace as a whole based on your one single experience with some horny perv you met online who probably pretended to be nice to get inside your pants. Ask him if he supports Tamil desire for political autonomy and their demand for international war crime inquiry and accountability?? I’m sure he’d say no because for them the entire country belongs to them and the war criminals are their war heroes. If you sleep with a man who is complicit in the oppression of your people, you can only be considered a shameless self-hating traitor which you’ve already proved to be one when you write that you chose the Whitest university possible to avoid Tamils.

  17. Hemantha Yes you are right but certain Sinhala nationalists love to concoct relationship between Aryans/Whites and their own race to feel superior about themselves when most of them look just like south indians. And I didn’t mean to hurt the feeling of mixed race people such as yourself but i was incensed by the tone of this article which appears from a selfish point of view and puts down Tamils.

  18. SivaEesan SivaEasan I think you are being extremely rude and personal. It is her choice who she chooses but lecturing us on our “close mindess” etc  its too much and also her article is a like bad tamil movie. Why would people want to write such garbage? Interracial marriages have been there between Sinhalese and Tamils for centuries, I think this lady’s family background suggests she has never met Sinhalese or lived in Sinhala areas before coming to Canada.

  19. As an adult she should have the right to choose the partner as she desires whether it is a Tamil, Sinhalese or an alien from Mars, it is her choice. But the article sounds more like a 14 year old’s confession and justification to her parents with the guilty conscious that she is dating someone that her parents do not approve of. The conflict in Sri-Lanka is much more complicated than ‘let us love each other we are all human rhetoric ‘. It is not about Tamils hating Sinhalese or Sinhalese hating Tamils. It is the Sinhale polity that is the problem. As a person who have lost family members in Sri-Lanka I never hate a Sinahalese person. But that does not mean I would stop fighting for the right of the Tamils in that country. I assume the author is real and wish her the best.

  20. Sinhala government’s piont of view essay. Brown, white, black, red, green all colours marrying each other, it is about love, not Tamil and Sinhale ethnic crisis

  21. LOL and then we forget it’s 2016 and we live in Canada. Can we please start inserting a paragraph in the immigration pamphlets for new migrants with children that reads : You are now part of a multi cultural society. Your children may marry outside of your “ethnicity” & you can’t beat, kill or shame them if they do.
    Those with education & kindness likely realize it was never a Tamil vs. Sinhala issue in S.L, only as very surface issue. Unfortunately still lots of lingering hate from those that don’t know better.

  22. Unfortunately the article was removed but judging by the comments on this post there’s still hope for a halfie like me U0001f64f

  23. Tamis are being systematically removed from india and srilanka through whatever means possible which will be achieved in a couple of years,the dark skinned tamils are a threat to them from becoming a superpower like usa and china even though having contributed extraordinary things,it is now only up to the diaspora to carry on the tamil heritage and always keep in mind india is the biggest threat and should be prepared to contain india.

  24. I am very familiar with India and Sri Lanka (and I KNOW Pakistan is even worse) and 98% of South Asian peoples are blind, hypocritcal, self-pitying chauvinists to whom Willaim Ralph Inge’s quip on a nation being “a society united by a delusion about its ancestry and by a common hatred of its neighbours” is sadly all too applicable. The salvation of this planet will come from people seeing themselves as human beings not races, but I am not hopeful. I also married outside my designated ‘ethnic’ check box, but fortunately for me my family could not care less. Good luck to this lady and her boyfriend. Perhaps they could show their respective families that DNA testing has proven that so called ‘Sinhala’ people are three quarters descended from Tamils, and that Sri Lanka Tamils (Indian Tamils are another story) are two thirds Sinhala. Neither group are even indigenous to Sri Lanka either, that honour belonging to the Australoid Veddhas who are now effectively extinct. Sadly, I know for a fact that most ethnic people prefer to cling on to their comforting but pathetci fairy stories rather than facts or logic, and I fully expect to continue to be buried alive for saying this.

  25. The Sinhalese are bad and I mean almost all of them. 
    But you are in love with this guy, so what can you do.
    Just marry him and be happy.

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