Blended Culture

Sara + Andrew

My husband Drew and I share a blended family but we also share a blended culture.

I’m a first-generation American and my husband is a rural farm boy. He’s of British and Scottish descent and I can trace back my roots to the Persian Empire.

I grew up practicing the Sufi religion and my husband is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Our pairing can be viewed as unconventional. We get asked all sorts of questions.

Question: Are one or both of you converting?

Answer: While I grew up Sufi, it’s not a religion I’ve actively participated in since college. Prior to the pandemic, my daughter and I had been attending a local LDS church with my husband and stepkids. My daughter loved it. She’s always been very spiritually inclined. Going to church isn’t a new concept for me. I went to Catholic School for 11 years where I attended Mass once a week. During that time, I also attended Sufi church once a week. Returning to a church has honestly felt like a return to home. Converting is something that I continue to explore but for now, the church is bringing me a great deal of peace and familiarity.

Question: Do you drink?

Answer: I do occasionally but my husband doesn’t.

Question: Do you eat pork?

Answer: Yes, we both eat pork.

Question: Is it hard coming from such different backgrounds?

Answer: It honestly hasn’t been difficult for us. We are both openminded and were excited to learn more about each other’s backgrounds and beliefs. While I take great pride in my Persian heritage and try to pass on as much of the cultural traditions, food and language to my daughter, stepkids and husband, I am also very much American. When I was a kid we celebrated Easter and Christmas right along with the Persian New Year. We spoke Farsi inside the home and English outside the home. Having a blended culture is all I’ve ever known.

Question: How did your families react when you told them?

Answer: They asked all of the same questions above 😉.

We don’t mind the questions and in fact we welcome them. We understand that our situation can bring about some curiosity. At its core, we are all so much more similar than we are different. My husband and I have both always been respectful of the other’s beliefs and backgrounds. Our experiences are what make us uniquely Drew and Sara.

When you genuinely love someone for who they are, and not the idea of who you want them to be, things like does he drink and does she eat pork really don’t matter that much. Every holiday, tradition and meal is just another opportunity for us to blend our family and our cultures.

Pictured: Sara Lords + Drew + Skye + Kavan

Photo Cred: D. Selbak Photography

Location: Archer Vineyard, Newberg OR