Immigrant couples face many challenges as they try to make a life in the United States, with many often forgetting to just take the time to enjoy their married life. Now couples who still manage to make it work in spite of the odds have been honored by the Still Standing Gala held in Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.
Immigrant couples who leave behind their home country are faced with challenges in attempting to adjust to both new cultural expectations and often new gender roles as well, with many such individuals being forced to take two or even three jobs just in order to pay the bills, according to an article in the Philadelphia Daily News by Valerie Russ.
“We have a tendency in our community to work hard, to make money, to send some to our home country and we don’t take care of ourselves,” admits Eric Nzeribe, the publisher of Fun Times magazine, who was born in Nigeria. “We have to make ends meet. The last thing that comes to our minds is to take my spouse out and give them flowers while they can still smell them.”
Moving to the United States in particular can be very stressful to many couples thanks to an immigration process that often results in long periods spent apart as well as hundreds of dollars in expenses. Men typically enter the US on a green card, become permanent residents and finally obtain US citizenship before bringing the rest of the family. The Still Standing Gala is a celebration of the dedication and struggles of married couples from Africa and the Caribbean.