Episode 3 of the I Am Multicultural podcast is the love and family story of Lily Yange and Kent, an interracial Sudanese German couple Lily Yange + Kent Schneider.
I talk to the effervescent Lily Yange about growing up as a child and her family in Sudan including seeing a white person for the first time in a refugee camp in Sudan to then dating a white German guy Kent. We discuss Kent’s childhood in Germany, to how they met and redefined what family meant to the both of them when their son Felix was born and how becoming Felix’s parents has made them closer as a couple and family. Together they’re redefining and discovering the true meaning of what family mean to them as individuals, as a couple and as parents.
We talk about:
- Growing up in two families with different cultural backgrounds
- Meeting and dating someone outside of your race
- Overcoming cultural shock while trying to assimilate into a culture completely different than yours
- Discovering similarities and dealing with cultural differences as an interracial Sudanese German family
- Discussing racism, racial discrimination, and racially motivated incidents as an interracial couple
- Living as an interracial Sudanese German family and redefining what family means to you
- Facing and overcoming challenges that come with being an interracial Sudanese German family
Lily Yange shares:
- 16:29 – It’s funny how everything happens for a reason, even though it’s unfortunate, but that’s just part of life.
- 17:24 – I think that’s the one thing that I’ve learned. You never know. You just never know, and you just have to be grateful for what you have.
- 24:05 – He always tries to let me know that I shouldn’t allow other people’s ignorance affect my life and affect our lives.
- 29:27 – Our son has definitely made a huge impact in our lives, and I love the fact that it’s like these two completely different cultures clashed and come together.
- 31:45 – I want him. I want to have everything to do with my son’s life is. How he is as a person and how he is as a human because I feel like if my mom were here, I probably wouldn’t be a bit different. I’m sure there are choices that I have not made, so I just want him to have that option. So that’s why I dive deep, and I dive in.
- 42:16 – You never know. You know, if you’re looking at somebody from the outside, you may not know they’re the right one if you don’t go for it.
- 43:09 – Just because I’m not dating somebody that’s exactly like me does not make me any less of who I am because my roots are deep and I hold very strong in my heritage, and that’s something that we’re willing to pass on to our kids.
- 48:18 – I really hope that other interracial couples and other multicultural couples just understand that not everybody’s going to be OK with your relationship, but just hold on. Hold on tight to the one that you love because your life’s too short.
Kent Yange shares:
- 09:26 – In Toronto, it’s very common for people to mix, and all the races to live together, and date and have friends. If you were to go and see my social circle, it looks like the color of the rainbow because there are people from everywhere where we come from. This is a very common thing because Toronto and areas are kind of a safe haven. It’s a place where people love to come together.
- 10:43 – If my family had to choose me or her, who they’re going to keep it, they’d probably get rid of me first. My family absolutely loves her. They’ve adopted her, they’ve taken her, and they love her like a daughter.
- 13:21 – I take my time with everything, and I like to get all the facts and piece, everything together, before making decisions and stuff.
- 25:12 – If the person is ignorant, and they don’t like you for what you are as opposed to who they are, their opinions shouldn’t matter anyways because they’re not worth your time and your energy.
- 41:04 – Lots of patience is the key. It’s just taking time to understand each other. Sometimes it can be hard. We have to step back. I’m trying to think of what the other person’s trying to say and piece it together because communication is the most vital thing. Otherwise, if you can’t understand each other, there’s a huge communication breakdown, especially when it comes to people trying to discriminate against you because you’re a different couple. I personally say, put the blinders on, ignore it, people say what they say, worry about your own happiness in your own life. If somebody else is concerned about your life and how you live it, I say they’re not worth worrying about and don’t even waste your time on that person because there are too ignorant for their opinion even to matter. Do what makes you happy and don’t worry about it.
Get to know Lily & Kent:
Lily + Kent’s Favorites:
- FOOD: Chicken Wings
- MOVIE: The Lost Boys
- MOVIE: Ghostbusters 1984
- MOVIE: Ghostbusters 2016
- MOVIE: Titanic
- MUSIC: Hall and Oates
- MUSIC: Michael Jackson