Great thread topic James, thank you for starting it.
My multicultural background. Dad was born in Indonesia (father - Dutch and mother Chinese plus (Malaysian or Indonesian??). Unfortunately due to his cultural upbringing he was unable to share his full background. Very sad :(
My mother was white Australian(?). Coming from Scottish, English, Spanish, German backgrounds - the list is endless. However, there is a suggestion that in the early 1800s one of our ancestors may be an indigenous Australian.
So how has this impacted on my life - culturally, personally?
Interestingly not much for me because as Quirky says I find it more about lack of information and lack of life experience that impacts more on me.
Living in Australia and in a living in a family that was multicultural and dysfunctional gave me the opportunity to learn other ways of living, socialising, believing, thinking. I learnt more about people, life, love, friendship, society, humanity after leaving home than I ever did living at home. I learnt more from others than from family.
Relationships are about listening to one another, understanding the differences and similarities. Focussing on the good aspects, rather than the bad aspects. It's been pointed out in negotiation courses that most people have more in common than they do differences but it is the differences most people focus on. It's learning to change that focus.
Ultimately, my partner and I share basic values of life - humanity, love, environment, buddhism way of life. His background is Australian from Scottish descent. There are aspects of his personality that I can see come from this cultural background and other nurturing factors. As a child in lived on Nauru, in Papua New Guinea and later went to a boarding school. All these things helped shape him as a person.
We have our differences, we have learnt to compromise. We share the compromising - one not being always the winner.
We've both had traumatic experiences, both have anxiety, depression and trust issues. I think we were lucky to find one another.
James, I think this is different to what you are trying to say in some ways. My thoughts we can choose to allow other influences in our lives to help build and to shape our relationships. It takes both parties to do this though. Sometimes, this will never happen - like my parents. They should have split rather than stay together.