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My other-colored Valentine!
February 16, 2014, 9:52 am
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Times introduces 3 inter-cultural couples in Kuwait

Okay. This Valentine’s Day, Cupid’s arrow goes high-tech. in the US, a Valentine app (NoWait) can tell you which restaurant is booked, which seat is available and the time you can hang around the restaurant with your partner. Another app (ProFlowers) you can order, if you are in the US, flowers for your heart to your heart’s content.
In Kuwait, restaurants have arranged special candle-lit banquets under the shadow of specially arranged bouquets. Lookalike couples either matching by same design or by contrast can be spotted this weekend across Kuwait. Are these couples all lookalike? Times has spotted three couples who married their partners who belong to other religion, state or country or in one case other continent. They are all in Kuwait contributing to the beautiful diversity of this country.

Punjabi wife, Keralite husband

Henna Shalbin, a Hindu girl from Punjab met her partner in Kochi where she was living with her family because of her father’s job. Language
was not a barrier as she had spent a couple of years in the south Indian state and Shalbin, her Kochi-based husband speaks Hindi very well. Now in Kuwait for the last 10 years, their only child Simran has picked up her 4th mother tongue after Hindi, Malayalam and English.
“We live happily as we don’t get to meet our frustrated relatives on a regular basis”, Shalbin and Henna told Times at their Riggae flat. Except the immediate family members of both Henna and Shalbin, some of their hardcore conservative relatives still have not digested their marriage. Henna had converted to Christianity in order to marry Shalbin at the church. “Even if we go back”, said an optimistic Henna, “We’ll live a similar life in Kochi in a flat we recently bought.”

Christian wife, Brahmin husband


Kolhapur-born Dr Dhiraj Shedabale met his future wife in the form of a nurse at a hospital where he was practicing as a doctor. By that time Jaya, the nurse had picked up some Marathi and spoke Hindi fluently. Other than their religious differences, there were culinary divergences too. Jaya ate and cooked chicken dishes and her vegetarian
husband did not raise any red flag. When they came to Kuwait after their marriage Jaya brought her Bible with her. “What’s more, Dhiraj has no problem going to the churches in Kuwait”, said a thoroughly jovial Jaya.
Jaya Dhiraj, popular to Kuwait’s expat association’s cultural programs as a vibrant anchor and versatile singer is happy with what life has offered her - an understanding husband and an adorable daughter.

‘Continental’ love

Augie Aziz Tchantcho married   Sarah Charlesworth, now Sarah Tchantcho, in Kuwait last month.  Australian Sarah, in Kuwait only for the last six months, met her man of dreams in Kuwait at a musical. African-westerner Augie had been in Kuwait for some time. He studied at Dasman Model School and joined a private company in Kuwait after
his studies at Liverpool. A drama and theatre enthusiast, he fell in love with Sarah, a talented singer at first sight.  Race, religion, color and continent did not matter in their union. It still does not matter as the honeymooning couple is counting down for their most colorful Valentine.
 

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