Doreen Namugenyi Bhagwani, a Muganda from Buleemezi, met her husband Nitin Bhagwani, an Indian native on Facebook in 2010.
“We used to chat a lot as friends but one day we planned our first meeting. Little did I know that I was about to meet the love of my life,” recounts Doreen.
Then, Nitin worked in Bukoto, Kampala, where he owned a bar and restaurant while Doreen was a student at Kampala International University.
“Growing up, I never imagined marrying someone from a totally different culture until 2007 when I came to Uganda,” Nitin says, adding that even when he agreed to meet Doreen, he was just trying to learn more about the dating dynamics in Uganda.
So what changed his mind?
“Doreen had a pure heart. She was outgoing, respectful, jolly and loved family. These qualities overrode the fact that she was not Indian and I wanted her for keeps,” he reveals.
Doreen, on the other hand, had always told her mother that she would marry a white man. When she met Nitin, she realised that he was the ideal spouse she had been searching for.
“My husband is a straight-forward person, humble, handsome and a good listener,” she says.
After nearly a year of dating, the love birds decided to break the news to their respective families. After this and away from the lavish engagement parties held nowadays, Nitin just talked about marriage with his then fiancé and they started the preparations.
Since Doreen was still studying, telling her parents that she was getting married was hard. “I was in my last semester at University and was afraid to tell my parents, so I asked God for courage. When I finally told them, my mother was very excited but my father remained skeptical,” she says.
However, Nitin’s visit to her home changed their perspective of him. He was respectful and humble and her father was totally impressed.
Nitin also planned a visit with his soon-to-be wife to his family in India. Namugenyi was nervous, mostly because she did not know what to expect, given the cultural differences.
“Luckily, I met warm and loving people who made sure that I fit in by communicating with me in English. So, there was no language barrier, which usually breaks an intercultural partnership even before it starts,” she shares.
“I recall one of my cousins congratulating me on making a good choice for a partner largely because she was so free with them and easily integrated into the family,” Bhagwani recalls.
On October 11, 2011 Doreen introduced Nitin in Ggaba, a Kampala suburb, just a week before her graduation. The cultural differences and expectations amazed Bhagwani. Click to read more…