When you are dating a Sri Lankan, spending Xmas with your boyfriend’s family could be challenging.
Once you manage to get over the culture shock, and the fear that his relatives won't like you, you realize that his family members are actually funny.
Being a mixed couple makes things interesting. You are exposed first hand at certain situations that you would have not experienced otherwise.
We tend to forget that other cultures have different habits than us, and we erroneously assume that everyone would guide themselves by what we would call a norm, or common sense.
When everybody is cracking jokes and you are the only person in the room who is not laughing, it must be due to the language barrier.
If they are so used to talk in their own language whenever they reunite, you are going to get bored and eventually annoyed by it. It’s a hard habit to break. You might feel uncomfortable asking them to switch it to English each five minutes. Especially if you are supposed to hang out with them for a few days.
Thus, you have to choose each side of the glass you what to focus on. You could decide either it’s a half full or half empty glass.
If you wish to focus on the emptiness then, you gotta keep in mind that you might not be able to fight against the current forever.
At that point, your salvation could come only from your boyfriend. If he is considerate enough to act as a translator, then things could be fine. It might be time consuming, and some things would be lost in translation, but at least you would have a clue of what of they were talking about. You wouldn't have to worry that they would be conspiring against your, or make any jokes on your account.
But what could you do when your boyfriend’s translation skills are not that great, and he is not able to convey the message? Or when any of his family members can't help, despite the fact they do speak English?
This language barrier could become a hassle. It could make you think they gossip about you, when they could be chatting about paving Edmonton or any other topic.
When this happens, you should insist on asking them to continue in English, whenever they would go back to speaking in their language. Talk loud like them, and put it as a joke. Tell them you are going to pinch them if they tell you one more story in “singalish”, meaning a mix of Sinhalese and English.
Express your interest in their stories and then you will see they will try to be more considerate.