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Jonathan & Hima

We never thought we would end up spending the rest of our lives together when we met in 2017. Hima (@veeramangochutny) is Indian American & I, Jonathan (@jlinspiresatl 0 am Jamaican American. Hima was a medical resident, & I was working as an engineer in Atlanta while doing personal training on the side. At that point in our lives, we were open to meeting new people & were ready to commit if the right person came along.

We started as friends & got to know each other very well, discussing our life goals, our families, & our cultures; everything just felt authentic, like we had known each other forever. We are both first-generation & noted very early on that we were cut from the same cloth & had many values in common. The friendship veered towards a relationship shortly after she spent Christmas with my family, which rarely occurred with people I've dated. Not knowing that she would mesh with my family & how much we enjoyed each other's company, she fit right in immediately.

But, with all the highs, there are even more lows. Like most others on this platform, Hima's family's biggest obstacle was acceptance of our relationship. We both value family more than anything & wanted both families to be on board with our relationship before moving forward. Initially, her immediate family didn't know I existed, & I felt entirely left in the dark. Hima tried to tell her parents about us, but they were not even remotely interested in meeting me or willing to hear her out on why she felt so strongly about our partnership. She faced so much backlash from her parents with constant phone calls & messages, meanwhile being a full-time resident physician, & there was not a day that went by without her having tears pouring down her face. We decided to halt further discussions about our relationship to preserve the peace. She even gave me permission to leave, as she felt I didn't deserve their hurtful words & unfair treatment, but I knew what we had was special & I was not willing to give up that easily. After a few years of patience, strong will, & therapy, she reintroduced the topic. This time, she told her parents that she had found her life partner & that she would not give in to societal pressures or lose her happiness. She highlighted the fact that her parents were so supportive of Kamala Harris, who is Jamaican & Indian, but they could not support their own daughter's relationship. Finally, they reluctantly agreed to meet me & give me a chance.

On our first meeting via Zoom, we talked for over two hours, and it ended with me asking Hima's father for permission to marry her. He answered with, "whatever you guys want; we want our daughter to be happy." Then, her mom asked why I didn't ask her. I was taken aback but explained that in my culture, it's the tradition to ask the father, but I'll create a new tradition & proceeded to ask her the same question. To which she responded, "same as my husband," lol. The rest is history (not to say there weren't further trials and tribulations, but we were determined to start our lives together)!

Last weekend, after a 5-year rollercoaster ride, we got married in Jamaica with a 2-day Indian-Jamaican fusion wedding in the presence of both of our families and closest friends. There were many happy tears, dancing feet, delicious food, and hearty laughter. Everybody was so happy! So, our message to everybody going through what we have gone through is to be persistent & patient! Love is not to win or lose, it's a beautiful journey. Fall in love with the journey & everything else will fall in place! #OneLeachOneLoVe #JamaicanMiCurry #ChooseLove

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