Interracial marriage is a form of marriage outside a specific social group (exogamy) involving spouses who belong to different socially-defined races or racialized ethnicities. In the past, it was outlawed in the United States of America and in South Africa as miscegenation. It became legal in the entire United States in 1967 when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the case Loving v. Virginia that race-based restrictions on marriages violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.
- 1 Legality
- 2 Americas
- 3 Africa and Middle East
- 4 Australia
- 5 Asia
- 6 Europe
- 7 Complications
- 8 Benefits
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Many jurisdictions have had regulations banning or restricting not just interracial marriage but also interracial sexual relations, including Germany during the Nazi period, South Africa under apartheid, and many states in the United States prior to a 1967 Supreme Court decision.
Interracial marriage in the United States has been fully legal in all U.S. states since the 1967 Supreme Court decision that deemed anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, with many states choosing to legalize interracial marriage at much earlier dates. Anti-miscegenation laws have played a large role in defining racial identity and enforcing the racial hierarchy. The United States has many ethnic and racial groups, and interracial marriage is fairly common among most of them. Interracial marriages increased from 2% of married couples in 1970 to 7% in 2005 and 8.4% in 2010.
According to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data conducted in 2013, 12% of newlyweds married someone of a different race. (This share does not take into account the "interethnic" marriages between Hispanics and non-Hispanics). And, most Americans say they approve of racial or ethnic intermarriage – not just in the abstract, but in their own families. About six-in-ten say it would be fine with them if a family member told them they were going to marry someone from any major race/ethnic groups other than their own.
Some racial groups are more likely to intermarry than others. Of the 3.6 million adults who got married in 2013, 58% of Native Americans, 28% of Asians, 19% of blacks and 7% of whites have a spouse whose race was different from their own. The overall numbers mask significant gender gaps within some racial groups. Among blacks, men are much more likely than women to marry someone of a different race. Fully a quarter of black men who got married in 2013 married someone who was not black. Only 12% of black women married outside of their race. For Asians, the gender pattern goes in the opposite direction: Asian women are much more likely than Asian men to marry someone of a different race. Among newlyweds in 2013, 37% of Asian women married someone who was not Asian, while 16% of Asian men married outside of their race. However, Asian women are more likely to marry Asian men than any other men of different ethnic background. Native Americans have the highest interracial marriage rate among all single-race groups. Women are slightly more likely to "marry out" than men in this group: 61% of Native American female newlyweds married outside their race, compared with 54% of Native American male newlyweds.
Although the anti-miscegenation laws have been revoked, the social stigma related to black interracial marriages still exists in today's society although to a much lesser degree. Research by Tucker and Mitchell-Kerman from 1990 has shown that Blacks intermarry far less than any other non-White group and in 2010, only 17.1% of Blacks married interracially, a rate far lower than the rates for Hispanics and Asians. Black interracial marriages in particular engender problems associated with racist attitudes and perceived relational inappropriateness. There is also a sharp gender imbalance to Black interracial marriages: In 2008, 22% of all black male newlyweds married interracially while only 9% of black female newlyweds married outside their race, making them one of the least likely of any race or gender to marry outside their race and the least likely to get married at all.
From the mid 19th to 20th centuries, many black people and ethnic Mexicans intermarried with each other in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in South Texas (mostly in Cameron County and Hidalga County). In Cameron County, 38% of black people were interracially married (7/18 families) while in Hidalgo County the number was 72% (18/25 families). These two counties had the highest rates of interracial marriages involving at least one black spouse in the United States. The vast majority of these marriages involved black men marrying ethnic Mexican women or first generation Tejanas (Texas-born women of Mexican descent). Since ethnic Mexicans were considered white by Texas officials and the U.S. government, such marriages were a violation of the state's anti-miscegenation laws. Yet, there is no evidence that anyone in South Texas was prosecuted for violating this law. The rates of this interracial marriage dynamic can be traced back to when black men moved into the Lower Rio Grande Valley after the Civil War ended. They married into ethnic Mexican families and joined other black people who found sanctuary on the U.S./Mexico border.
The Chinese that migrated were almost entirely of Cantonese origin. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese men in the U.S, mostly of Cantonese origin from Taishan migrated to the United States. Anti-miscegenation laws in many states prohibited Chinese men from marrying white women. After the Emancipation Proclamation, many intermarriages in some states were not recorded and historically, Chinese American men married African American women in high proportions to their total marriage numbers due to few Chinese American women being in the United States. After the Emancipation Proclamation, many Chinese Americans immigrated to the Southern states, particularly Arkansas, to work on plantations. For example, in 1880, the tenth US Census of Louisiana alone counted 57% of interracial marriages between these Chinese to be with black and 43% to be with white women. Between 20 and 30 percent of the Chinese who lived in Mississippi married black women before 1940. In a genetic study of 199 samples from African American males found one belong to haplogroup O2a ( or 0.5% ) It was discovered by historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr in the African American Lives documentary miniseries that NASA astronaut Mae Jemison has a significant (above 10%) genetic East Asian admixture. Gates speculated that the intermarriage/relations between migrant Chinese workers during the 19th century and black, or African-American slaves or ex-slaves may have contributed to her ethnic genetic make-up. In the mid 1850s, 70 to 150 Chinese were living in New York City and 11 of them married Irish women. In 1906 the New York Times (6 August) reported that 300 white women (Irish American) were married to Chinese men in New York, with many more cohabited. In 1900, based on Liang research, of the 120,000 men in more than 20 Chinese communities in the United States, he estimated that one out of every twenty Chinese men (Cantonese) was married to white women. In the 1960s census showed 3500 Chinese men married to white women and 2900 Chinese women married to white men. It also showed 300 Chinese men married to Black women and vice versa 100.
The majority of the Hawaiian Chinese were Cantonese migrants from Guangdong with minority of Hakka descent also from Guangdong. If all people with Chinese ancestry in Hawaii (including the Chinese-Hawaiians) are included, they form about 1/3 of Hawaii's entire population. Many thousands of them married women of Hawaiian, Hawaiian/European and European origin. A large percentage of the Chinese men married Hawaiian and Hawaiian/European women, while a minority married white women in Hawaii who were of Portuguese descent. The 12,592 Asiatic-Hawaiians enumerated in 1930 were the result of Chinese men intermarrying with Hawaiian and part Hawaiian/Europeans. Most Asiatic-Hawaiian men also married Hawaiians and European women (and vice versa). On the census, some Chinese with little "native blood" would be classified as Chinese – not as Asiatic-Hawaiians – due to "dilution of native blood". Intermarriage started to decline in the 1920s. Portuguese and other Caucasian women married Chinese men. The unions between Chinese men and Portuguese women resulted in children of mixed Chinese Portuguese parentage, called Chinese-Portuguese. For two years to 30 June 1933, 38 of these children who were born were classified as pure Chinese because their fathers were Chinese. A large amount of mingling took place between Chinese and Portuguese, Chinese men married Portuguese, Spanish, Hawaiian, Caucasian-Hawaiian, etc. Only one Chinese man was recorded marrying an American woman. Chinese men in Hawaii also married Puerto Rican, Portuguese, Japanese, Greek, and half-white women.
In Canada, 2011, 4.6% of all civil unions are interracial ones, an 18% increase from 2006 (3.9%), and a 77% increase from 1991 (2.6%). Vancouver reported the highest rate of interracial unions, at 9.6%, and Toronto in second place at 8.2%. Major census metropolitan areas had higher frequencies of mixed unions (6.0%) compared to areas that were not classified as such (1.0%). Younger people were more likely to be in a mixed union; the highest proportion of couples in mixed unions was among persons aged 25 to 34 (7.7%), 35 to 44 (6.8%), 15 to 24 (6.1%), 45 to 54 (4.1%), and 55 and over (2.7%).
The 2006 study had an interesting find, that people born in Canada were more likely to marry someone of another race as opposed to those who immigrated there; only 12% of first generation immigrant visible minorities were in a mixed union, this figure is higher for second generation immigrants (51%) and three or more generation immigrants (69%). There are a few examples of this:
- 63% of Canadian-born Blacks (who were in couples) were in mixed unions, while the numbers for Blacks born in the Caribbean and Bermuda (17%), and Africa (13%) were much lower percentages.
- For Chinese people born in Canada, 54% (who were in couples) were with someone non-Chinese (it's not noted if this figure refers to anyone who is not East Asian (race), or just not Chinese (nationality)), compared to only 3% of those born in China who immigrated to Canada.
- 33% of South Asian Canadians who were born in Canada, were in a mixed union, compared to only 3% of those who were born in South Asia.
One theory for this may include that those who immigrate as adults, may have already found a partner before immigrating to Canada.
Certain visible minority groups had higher rates of being in mixed unions;
- 78.7% of Japanese
- 64.9% of multiracial people
- 48.2% of Latin Americans
- 40.2% of Blacks
- 29.8% of Filipinos
- 25.4% of Arabs / West Asians
- 22.5% of Koreans
- 21.9% of Southeast Asians (other than Filipinos)
- 19.4% of Chinese
- 13.0% of South Asians
- 52.4% of other groups;
The 2006 study also stated that same-sex couples are about 2.5 times more likely to be in an interracial marriage as opposed to opposite-sex couples, 9.8% of same-sex marriages are interracial. There were some theories as to why; same-sex marriage in Canada become legal in 2005, whereas opposite sex marriage was always legal, and it also mentions that same-sex couples are more likely to be in common-law marriages, and common-law marriages had a higher frequency of mixed unions.
One study done by Reg Bibby found that 92% of Canadians are accepting of interracial marriages.
In Latin America, most of the population are descended from Amerindians, Europeans and Africans. They formed the Mestizo and Mulatto populations that populate the countries in Latin America. Intermarriage and inter-relations occurred on a larger scale than most places in the world. In some countries, Asian immigrants have also intermarried among the groups. About 300,000 Cantonese coolies and migrants (almost all males) were shipped 1849 to 1874 Latin America, many of them intermarried and cohabited with the Black, Mestizo, and European population of Cuba, Peru, Guyana, Trinidad. Around 20,000 Mostly Cantonese and some Hakka coolies migrated to Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad. Many of them also intermarried with Black women and East Indian women. Unlike in Trinidad Tobago and Guyana who were predominantly Cantonese men who intermarried with Black women and Indian women. In Jamaica, the Chinese who married Black women were mostly Hakka. According to the 1946 Census from Jamaica and Trinidad alone, 12,394 Chinese were located between Jamaica and Trinidad. 5,515 of those who lived in Jamaica were Chinese Jamaican and another 3,673 were Chinese-Trinidadians living in Trinidad. In Jamaica and other Caribbean nations as well many Chinese males over past generations took up African wives, gradually assimilating or absorbing many Chinese descendants into the African Caribbean community or the overall mixed-race community. In Guyana, the Chinese were mostly Cantonese men and who intermarried with the local women. Because almost all of the Chinese indentured immigrants were men, they tended to intermarry with both East Indians and Africans, and thus the Chinese of Guyana did not remain as physically distinct as other groups. Marriage among different Chinese language groups is rare; it is so rare that the any cases of it can be individually name. While intermarriage between Hakka Chinese and Indians hardly occur.
In Guyana, the prospect of sexual relations with Indian women was at first unappealing to the mostly male Chinese migrants like in Mauritius although there was a lack of Chinese women, but eventually their attitude changed and Indian women and Chinese men established sexual relationships with each other. Chinese men had to marry women of other ethnicities due to the lack of Chinese women migrating to British Guiana. Creole sexual relationships and marriages with Chinese and Indians was rare, however, more common was Indian women and Chinese men establishing sexual relations with each other and some Chinese men took their Indian wives back with them to China. Marriages between Indian women and Chinese men in 1892 numbered six as reported by Immigration Agent Gladwin. In Guyana, while marriages between Indian women and black African men is socially shameful to Indians, Chinese-Indian marriages are considered acceptable as reported by Joseph Nevadomsky in 1983. "Chiney-dougla" is the Indian Guyanese term for mixed Chinese-Indian children. Some Indian women in Guiana had multiple partners due to the greater number of men than woman, an account of the era told by women in British Guiana is of a single Chinese man who was allowed to temporarily borrow a Hindu Indian woman by her Indian husband who was his friend, so the Chinese man could sire a child with her, after a son was born to her the Chinese man kept the boy while she was returned to her Indian husband, the boy was named William Adrian Lee. An Indian woman named Mary See married a Chinese man surnamed Wu in Goedverwagting and founded their own family after he learned how to process sugar cane. In British Guiana the Chinese did not maintain their distinctive physical features due to the high rate of Chinese men marrying people other ethnicities like Indian women. The severe imbalance with Indian men outnumbering Indian women led some women to take advantage of the situation to squeeze favors from men and leave their partners for other men, one infamous example was a pretty, light skinned, Christian Indian woman named Mary Ilandun with ancestral origins from Madras, born in 1846, who had sex with Indian, black, and Chinese men as she married them in succession and ran off with their money to her next paramour, doing this from 1868 to 1884. Indian men used force to bring Indian women back in line from this kind of behavior. The most severe lack of women in all the peoples of British Guiana was with the Chinese and this led Europeans to believe that Chinese did not engage in wife murders while wife murders was something innate to Indian men, and unlike Indian coolie women, Chinese women were viewed as chaste. Chinese women were not indentured and since they did not need to work, they avoided prospective men seeking relationships, while the character of Indian women was disparaged as immoral and their alleged sexual looseness was blamed for their deaths in the "wife murders" by Indian men. The sex ratio of Indian men to Indian women was 100:63 while the sex ratio of Chinese men to Chinese women was 100:43 in British Guiana in 1891.
In East Coast Berbice in an Adelphi estate a Madrasi woman was cohabiting with a Chinese man in 1871.
Over time, although there were more Creole marriages with Chinese, there was a growth of Indian marriages with Chinese and it was reported that "It is not an uncommon thing to find a cooly woman living with a Chinaman as his wife, and in one or two instances the woman has accompanied her reputed husband to China." by Dr. Comins in 1891, with six Indian women marrying Chinese men in 1892 as reported by The Immigration Report for 1892.
In Trinidad some Chinese men had sexual relations Indian coolie women, siring children with them, and it was reported that "A few children are to be met with born of Madras and Creole parents and some also of Madras and Chinese parents – the Madrasee being the mother", by the missionary John Morton in 1876, Morton noted that it seemed strange since there were more Indian coolie men than Indian coolie women that Indian coolie women would marry Chinese men, but claimed it was most likely because the Chinese could provide amenities to the women since the Chinese owned shops and they were enticed by these. Indian women were married by indentured Chinese men in Trinidad. Few Chinese women migrated to Trinidad while the majority of Chinese migrants were men. The migration of Chinese to Trinidad resulted in intermarriage between them and others. Chinese in Trinidad became relatively open to having marital relations with other races and Indian women began having families with Chinese in the 1890s.
The situation in Trinidad and British Guiana with Indian women being fewer than Indian men led to Indian women using the situation to their advantage by leaving their partners for other men, leading to a high incidence of "wife murders" by Indian men on their wives, and Indian women and culture were branded as "immoral" by European observers, an Indian man named Mohammad Orfy petitioned as a representative of "destitute Indian men of Trinidad", to the colonial authorities, complaining of Indian women's behavior and claiming that it was "a perforating plague.....the high percentage of immoral lives led by the female section of our community......to satisfy the greed and lust of the male section of quite a different race to theirs........[Indian women] are enticed, seduced and frightened into becoming concubines, and paramours....... [Indian women] have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of the value of being in virginhood......most shameless and a perfect menace to the Indian gentry." with him naming specific peoples, claiming that Indian women were having sex with Chinese men, Americans, Africans, and Europeans, saying "Africans, Americans and Chinese in goodly numbers are enticing the females of India, who are more or less subtle to lustful traps augured through some fear of punishment being meted out if not readily submissive as requested."
The situation on Trinidad enabled unprecedented autonomy in the sexual activities of Indian women and freedom. The 1916 "Peition of Indentured Labourers in Trinidad" complained that: "Is it permissible for a male member of the Christian faith to keep a Hindoo or Muslim female as his paramour or concubine? Is this not an act of sacrilege and a disgraceful scandal according to the Christian faith to entice and encourage Indian females to lead immoral lives?"
Indian men used violence against Indian women in response to Indian women engaging in sexual relations with multiple men due to the shortage of them in Trinidad.
On plantations white European managers took advantage of and use indentured Indian woman for sex, in addition, English, Portuguese, and Chinese men were also in sexual relationships with Indian women as noted by Attorney General W.F. Haynes Smith, while Creole women were abhorred or ignored by Indian men. Approval of interracial marriage has slowly increased in Trinidad and Tobago and one Chinese man reported that his Indian wife did not encounter any rejection from his parents when asked in a survey. In Trinidad Europeans and Chinese are seen as acceptable marriage partners by Indians while marrying black men would lead to rejection of their daughters by Indian families.
In British Guiana and Trinidad, white overseers and managers would take advantage of Indian coolie women and use them in sexual relationships, the Indian women were then blamed for these incidents and viewed as allegedly "loose" and promiscuous by colonial officials, and Indian women were subjected to a high rate of "wife murders" by Indian men, the Indian women were also blamed for this due to their "inconstancy" due to alleged low "sexual morality".
The managers sexual relations with Indian women caused riots, at the most significant one, at the hands of the police, 59 Indians were wounded and 5 Indians were killed, in Non Pareil in 1896, due to an Indian woman cohabiting with Gerad Van Nooten, the acting manager.
The low ratio of Indian women compared to Indian men, along with the factor of Portuguese, white overseers and managers, and Chinese men having sexual relations with Indian women, aggravated the problem of rivalry for Indian women between Indian men, and drove up the value of Indian women.
The incidents of overseers and managers taking sexual advantage of the women laborers led to Indian laborers causing stoppages and protests. In British Guiana the overseers and managers sexual abuse of Indian women caused Indian workers to embark on a "struggle" from 1869–1872. Conflicts due to women led to attacks against drivers and overseers. The resentment of the workers was aggravated by the use of women on estates for sexual relations.
The deficit in Indian women compared to men was caused by the recruitment quota ratio of 100 men to 40 women, most of the women were young and single, and the shortage of Indian women for Indian men was aggravated when Indian women were taken by Africans and European overseers, leading to high amounts of wife murders against Indian women by Indian men and a decrease in morals. The appropriation of Indian women by Europeans and Africans added up to the resentment which contributed to violence against Indian women by Indian men. Indian women on plantations took part in the struggle against Africans and European authorities who were sexually using them.
Indian nationalists ashamed of the sexual reputation of Indian coolie women often attacked the coolie trade for that reason instead of other reasons such as bad working conditions. Overseers and planters on the plantations and sailors and doctors on board the ships transporting Indian coolie women would try to obtain sex from Indian women.
The Indian women had a sexual bargaining chip since they could frequently change lovers due to the fact that there were less Indian women than men, The Daily Chronicle described Indian coolie women as "pretty and youthful", laborers had to be moved around plantations by managers to prevent men from killing their adulterous wives, and the aura surrounding the sexuality and perils of Indian coolie women was enhanced by the widespread worship of the goddess Kali by them.
Riots and murders were blamed on the sexual liaisons between white overseers, managers and Indian coolie women in addition to their constant changing of sexual partners and the sexuality of coolie women were viewed shamefully as a deviation of the expected behavior of Indian women.
The Guyanese-Indian journalist Gaiutra Bahadur wrote about the experiences of Indian coolie women. Sex was utilized as a potent instrument by Indian coolie women such as when they obtained favors from overseers by having sex with them, and the women could either have been "imperiled" or "empowered" when forming sexual relations with overseers.
The Indian coolie women both had sexual advantages due to being less in number and suffered from sexual exploitation, in total, around 250,000 Indian women migrated as coolies.
Gaiutra Bahadur said in an interview that some Guyanese from her community were angered by her book and writing on the sexual experiences of the Indian coolie woman, with one saying "Who is that woman who’s been writing that all of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers were prostitutes?", and another saying "One must be careful." to her, viewing her book as an attack on the honor and morals of Indian women, Bahadur maintained that she was trying to bring back the "dignity" of the women and that Indian women's honor was attacked in the same way by colonial officials who blamed the women themselves for their sexual liaisons rather than flaws in the plantation and indenture systems.
In seeking potential mates the Indian coolie women has some amount of free choice due to their scarce numbers, some of them were able to end their indenture when married by white overseers.
There were cases of sexual abuse of Indian women on the ships and one man prostituted his 8-year-old daughter, and in another case a British surgeon married a young widow, the women obtained an advantage in sexual relations from being less numerous than men but this led to a large amount of killings called "wife murders" of the women by men they rejected.
Postcards were made of Indian coolie women and girls bedecked in jewelry made of gold and silver such as bangles and nose rings which seemed to be aiming to show them as wealthy and pretty.
In Port of Spain in Trinidad, Chinese coolies were described as going about almost naked while Indian coolie women wore "scanty drapery" and had "arms and ankles covered with bangles".
One Indian woman on the way to Guiana had to be given jewelry like bangles made of silver and nose rings made of gold to by her husband in order to make her not leave him.
About 100,000 Cantonese-Chinese coolies (almost all males) in 1849 to 1874 migrated to Peru and intermarried with Peruvian women of mestizo, European, Amerindian, European/mestizo, African and mulatto origin. Many Peruvian Chinese today are of mixed Chinese, Spanish, African, Amerindian. Estimates for Chinese-Peruvian is about 1.3 – 1.6 millions. Asian Peruvians are estimated to be 3% of the population, but one source places the number of citizens with some Chinese ancestry at 4.2 million, which equates to 15% of the country's total population. In Peru non-Chinese women married the mostly male Chinese coolies.
There were almost no women among the nearly entirely male Chinese coolie population that migrated to Peru and Cuba. Peruvian women were married to these Chinese male migrants. African women particularly had mostly no intercourse with Chinese men during their labor as coolies, while Chinese had contact with Peruvian women in cities, there they formed relationships and sired mixed babies, these women originated from Andean and coastal areas and did not originally come from the cities, in the haciendas on the coast in rural areas, native young women of indígenas (native) and serranas (mountain) origin from the Andes mountains would come down to work, these Andean native women were favored as marital partners by Chinese men over Africans, with matchmakers arranging for communal marriages of Chinese men to indígenas and serranas young women. There was a racist reaction by Peruvians to the marriages of Peruvian women and Chinese men. When native Peruvian women (cholas et natives, Indias, indígenas) and Chinese men had mixed children, the children were called injerto and once these injertos emerged, Chinese men then sought out girls of injertas origins as marriage partners, children born to black mothers were not called injertos. Low class Peurvians established sexual unions or marriages with the Chinese men and some black and Indian women "bred" with the Chinese according to Alfredo Sachettí, who claimed the mixing was causing the Chinese to suffer from "progressive degeneration", in Casa Grande highland Indian women and Chinese men participated in communal "mass marriages" with each other, arranged when highland women were brought by a Chinese matchmaker after receiving a down payment.
In Peru and Cuba some Indian (Native American), mulatto, black, and white women engaged in carnal relations or marriages with Chinese men, with marriages of mulatto, black, and white woman being reported by the Cuba Commission Report and in Peru it was reported by the New York Times that Peruvian black and Indian (Native) women married Chinese men to their own advantage and to the disadvantage of the men since they dominated and "subjugated" the Chinese men despite the fact that the labor contract was annulled by the marriage, reversing the roles in marriage with the Peruvian woman holding marital power, ruling the family and making the Chinese men slavish, docile, "servile", "submissive" and "feminine" and commanding them around, reporting that "Now and then...he [the Chinese man] becomes enamored of the charms of some sombre-hued chola (Native Indian and mestiza woman) or samba (mixed black woman), and is converted and joins the Church, so that may enter the bonds of wedlock with the dusky señorita." Chinese men were sought out as husbands and considered a "catch" by the "dusky damsels" (Peruvian women) because they were viewed as a "model husband, hard-working, affectionate, faithful and obedient" and "handy to have in the house", the Peruvian women became the "better half" instead of the "weaker vessel" and would command their Chinese husbands "around in fine style" instead of treating them equally, while the labor contract of the Chinese coolie would be nullified by the marriage, the Peruvian wife viewed the nullification merely as the previous "master" handing over authority over the Chinese man to her as she became his "mistress", keeping him in "servitude" to her, speedily ending any complaints and suppositions by the Chinese men that they would have any power in the marriage.
120,000 Cantonese coolies (all males) entered Cuba under contract for 80 years, most did not marry, but Hung Hui (1975) cites there was frequent sexual activity between black women and Cantonese coolies. According to Osberg (1965) the free Chinese conducted the practice of buying slave women and freeing them expressly for marriage. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Chinese men (Cantonese) engaged in sexual activity with white Cuban women and black Cuban women, and from such relations many children were born.
In the 1920s an additional 30,000 Cantonese and small groups of Japanese also arrived; both immigrations were exclusively male, and there was rapid intermarriage with white, black, and mulato populations.
In the study of Genetic origin, admixture, and asymmetry in maternal and paternal human lineages in Cuba. Thirty-five Y-chromosome SNPs were typed in the 132 male individuals of the Cuban sample. The study does not include any people with some Chinese ancestry. All the samples were White Cubans and Black Cubans. 2 out of 132 male sample belong to East Asian Haplogroup O2 which is found in significant frequencies among Cantonese people is found in 1.5% of Cuban population.
The Chinese who migrated to Mexico in the 19th to 20th centuries were almost entirely Chinese men. Males made up the majority of the original Chinese community in Mexico and they married Mexican women. They married Mexican women, which led to anti-Chinese prejudice; many were expelled, while those who were allowed to stay intermarried with the Mexican population. The Mexicali officials estimate was that slightly more than 2,000 are full-blooded Chinese and about 8,000 are mixed-blood Chinese-Mexicans. Other estimates claimed 50,000 residents more than thought who are of Chinese descent. 10,000 full-blooded Chinese, down from 35,000 in the 1920s. Marriage of these people to full-blooded Mexicans is diluting the community further. Chinese Mexicans in Mexicali consider themselves equally "cachanilla," a term used for locals, as any other resident of the city, even if they speak Cantonese in addition to Spanish. The sentiment against Chinese men was due to (and almost all Chinese immigrants in Mexico were men) stealing employment and Mexican women from Mexican men who had gone off to fight in the Revolution or in World War I.
The Chinese originated from the Cantonese male migrants. Pure Chinese make up only 1% of the Costa Rican population, but according to Jacqueline M. Newman, as close to 10% of the people in Costa Rica are Chinese, if we count the people who are Chinese, married to a Chinese person, or of mixed Chinese descent. Most Chinese immigrants since then have been Cantonese, but in the last decades of the 20th century, a number of immigrants have also come from Taiwan. Many men came alone to work and married Costa Rican women and speak Cantonese. However the majority of the descendants of the first Chinese immigrants no longer speak Cantonese and feel themselves to be Costa Ricans. They married Tican women (a blend of Europeans, Caztizos, Mestizos, Indian, and Black). A Tican is also a White person with a small portion of non-white blood like Caztizos. The census of 1989 shows about 98% of Costa Ricans were either white, Castizos or Mestizos, with 80% being white or Caztizos.
Marriages between European, Mestizo, Amerindians, and Africans was not uncommon in the past. Several thousand Chinese from Enping resided in the country. The Chinese were still largely viewed as a foreign population who married foreign brides but seldom integrated into Venezuelan society.
When black and Indian women had children with Chinese men the children were called chaina raial in Jamaican English. The Chinese community in Jamaica was able to consolidate because an openness to marrying Indian women was present in the Chinese since Chinese women were in short supply. Women sharing was less common among Indians in Jamaica according to Verene A. Shepherd. The small number of Indian women were fought over between Indian men and led to a rise in the amount of wife murders by Indian men. Indian women made up 11 percent of the annual amount of Indian indentured migrants from 1845–1847 in Jamaica. Thousands of Chinese men (mostly Hakka) and Indian men married local Jamaican women. The study "Y-chromosomal diversity in Haiti and Jamaica: Contrasting levels of sex-biased gene flow" shows the paternal Chinese haplogroup O-M175 at a frequency of 3.8% in local Jamaicans ( non-Chinese Jamaicans) including the Indian H-M69 (0.6%) and L-M20 (0.6%) in local Jamaicans. Among the country's most notable Afro-Asians are reggae singers Sean Paul, Tami Chynn and Diana King.
Africa and Middle East
Middle East and North Africa
Interracial marriage[not in citation given] between Arab men and their non-Arab harem slave girls was common in the Arab world during the Arab slave trade, which lasted throughout the Middle Ages and early modern period. Most of these slaves came from places such as Sub-Saharan Africa (mainly Zanj) the North Caucasus, Central Asia (mainly Tatars), and Western, Southern and Southeastern Europe (mainly Slavs from Serbia – Saqaliba, Spain, France, Italy). The Barbary pirates from North Africa captured and enslaved 1.25 million white slaves from Western Europe and North America between the 16th and 19th centuries. Outside the Arab world, it was also common for Arab conquerors, traders and explorers to intermarry with local females in the lands they conquered or traded with, in various different parts of Africa, Asia (see Asia section) and Europe (see Europe section).
From AD 839, Viking Varangian mercenaries who were in the service of the Byzantine Empire, notably Harald Sigurdsson, campaigned in North Africa, Jerusalem and other places in the Middle East during the Byzantine-Arab Wars. They interbred with the local population as spoils of warfare or through eventual settling with many Scandinavian Viking men taking Arab or Anatolian women as wives. There is archaeological evidence the Vikings had established contact with the city of Baghdad, at the time the center of the Islamic Empire, and connected with the populace there. Regularly plying the Volga with their trade goods (furs, tusks, seal fat, seal boats and notably female slaves; the one period in the history of the slave-trade when females were priced higher than males), the Vikings were active in the Arab slave trade at the time. These slaves, most often Europeans that were captured from the coasts of Europe or during war periods, and sold to Arabic traders in Al-Andalus and the Emirate of Sicily.
Intermarriage was accepted in Arab society, though only if the husband was Muslim. It was a fairly common theme in medieval Arabic literature and Persian literature. For example, the Persian poet Nizami, who married his Central Asian Kipchak slave girl, wrote The Seven Beauties (1196). Its frame story involves a Persian prince marrying seven foreign princesses, who are Byzantine, Chinese, Indian, Khwarezmian, Maghrebian, Slavic and Tartar. Hadith Bayad wa Riyad, a 12th-century Arabic tale from Al-Andalus, was a love story involving an Iberian girl and a Damascene man. The Arabian Nights tale of "The Ebony Horse" involves the Prince of Persia, Qamar al-Aqmar, rescuing his lover, the Princess of Sana'a, from the Byzantine Emperor who also wishes to marry her.
At times, some marriages would have a major impact on the politics of the region. The most notable example was the marriage of As-Salih Ayyub, the Sultan of the Kurdish Ayyubid dynasty, to Shajar al-Durr, a slave of Turkic origin from Central Asia. Following her husband's death, she became the Sultana of Egypt and the first Mamluk ruler. Her reign marked the end of the Ayyubid dynasty and the beginning of the Mameluk era, when a series of former Mamluk slaves would rule over Egypt and occasionally other neighbouring regions.
Elsewhere in Africa
Africa has a long history of interracial mixing with Arabs and later Europeans having sexual relations with black Africans. Arabs played a big role in the African slave trade and unlike the trans-Atlantic trade most of the black African slaves in the Arab slave trade were women. Most of them were used as sexual slaves by the Arab men and some were taken as wives.
In the former Lusophone Africa (now known as Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde) racial mixing between white Portuguese and black Africans was fairly common, especially in Cape Verde, where the majority of the population is of mixed descent.
There have been several cases of Chinese merchants and laborers marrying black African women as many Chinese workers were employed to build railways and other infrastructural projects in Africa. These labour groups were made up completely of men with very few Chinese women coming to Africa. In Réunion and Madagascar, intermarriage between Chinese men of Cantonese origin and African women is not uncommon.
There is a significant mixed race population, the result of mostly European and African unions, in South Africa, called Coloureds. The term Coloured is also used to describe persons of mixed race in the neighbouring nation of Namibia, to refer to those of part Khoisan, part black and part white descent. The Basters constitute a separate ethnic group that are sometimes considered a sub-group of the Coloured population of the country.
Some of the Xhosa people claim descent from white people. The royal family of the ImiDushane, for example, is descended from Queen Gquma of the Mpondo, a white orphan that was adopted by a Xhosa chief after a shipwreck killed her parents. She later married an Mpondo prince, became his great wife, and served as queen during his reign as king of the Tshomane Mpondo.
Interracial marriage was banned under apartheid. Due to this, there was considerable opposition to the marriage between Sir Seretse Khama, Paramount Chief of the Bamangwato Tswanas, and his eventual wife Ruth Williams Khama, Lady Khama, even though Chief Khama was Motswana and not South African.
Today there are a number of high-profile interracial couples in Southern Africa, such as the unions of Mmusi Maimane (a black opposition politician who serves as the Leader of the Opposition of South Africa) and his white wife Natalie Maimane, Matthew Booth (a white soccer player) and his wife Sonia Bonneventia (a black former Miss South Africa first princess and international model) and Bryan Habana (a coloured South African rugby union player) and his white wife Janine Viljoen.
In the late 19th to early 20th century, Chinese men in Mauritius married Indian women due to both a lack of Chinese women and the higher numbers of Indian women on the island. At first the prospect of relations with Indian women was unappealing to the original all male Chinese migrants yet they eventually had to establish sexual unions with Indian women since there were no Chinese women coming. The 1921 census in Mauritius counted that Indian women there had a total of 148 children sired by Chinese men. These Chinese were mostly traders. Colonialist stereotypes in the sugar colonies of Indians emerged such as "the degraded coolie woman" and the "coolie wife beater", due to Indian women being murdered by their husbands after they ran away to other richer men since the ratio of Indian women to men was low.
In West Africa, a series of interracial marriages and relationships created a number of mixed race families in the various countries of the region.
In Sierra Leone, marriages between representatives of British trading firms and princesses of the Sherbro people created a number of aristocratic families such as the Sherbro Tuckers and the Sherbro Caulkers. Due to matrilineality, they have maintained their claims to their ancestral thrones.
In Benin, meanwhile, the descendants of the Brazilian slave trader Francisco Felix de Sousa and his harem of black consorts have contributed a number of prominent citizens. Figures such as a president (Paul-Emile de Souza) and a first lady (Chantal de Souza Boni Yayi, President de Souza's niece) are arguably the most notable of them.
In Ghana, a number of founding fathers had relationships with foreigners of other races: Kwame Nkrumah married the Egyptian Copt Fathia Nkrumah and raised a family with her. Their children would go on to become politicians like their father. President Nkrumah's contemporary and sometime friend, Joe Appiah, was himself married to the British debutante Peggy Cripps Appiah. At the start of the 21st century, their descendants were being led by their only son, Kwame Anthony Appiah. In addition to this, Dr. J. B. Danquah had a son with a British woman during his time in Britain. He would go on to become noted actor Paul Danquah.
In Gabon, a woman by the name of Germaine Anina - daughter of a Gabonese tribal chief - married a Chinese trader and politician named Cheng Zhiping. Their son, Jean Ping, went on to serve as a minister in his mother's native country.
The Australian Government does not release information on the ethnicities of marriage partners, but provide information on their countries of birth.
- In 2009 there were 120,118 marriages recorded in Australia. About 42% involved at least one partner who was not Australian-born.
- 15% of Australian-born women, and 17.4% of Australian-born men, married somebody who was not Australian-born.
- American (68%), Greek (62%) and Irish-born (62%) women were the most likely to marry an Australian-born man than a man born elsewhere.
- Indian (12%), Chinese (16%) and 'other South and East Asia'-born (16%) women were the least likely to marry an Australian-born man than a man born elsewhere.
- American (63%), Lebanese (62%) and Irish-born (62%) men were the most likely to marry an Australian-born woman than a woman born elsewhere.
- Chinese (2%), 'other North Asia' (7%) and Vietnamese-born (8%) men were the least likely to marry an Australian-born woman than a woman born elsewhere.
- Chinese-born men were the most likely to marry a woman from the same country (91%).
Indigenous Australians have a high interracial marriage rate. According to the 2000 Census in 1996, 64% of all married or de facto married couples involving an Indigenous person were mixed (i.e., only one partner was indigenous). In 55% of such couples, the Indigenous partner was female.
Most of the early Chinese-Australia population was formed by Cantonese migrants from Guangzhou and Taishan, including some from Fujian, who came during the goldrush period of the 1850s. Marriage records show that between the 1850s and around the start of the 20th century, there were about 2000 legal marriages between white women and migrant Chinese men in Australia's eastern colonies, probably with similar numbers involved in de facto relationships of various kinds (ex: cohabitation, sexual intimacy). The number of intermarriages declined, as stories of viciousness and the seduction of white women grew, mixed with opposition to intermarriage. Rallies against Chinese men taking white women became widespread, as many Australian men saw the Chinese men intermarrying and cohabiting with white women as a threat to the white race. In late 1878 there were 181 marriages between European women and Chinese men, and 171 couples cohabiting without matrimony, resulting in 586 Eurasian children. Such numbers of intermarriage would continue until the 1880s and the 1930s.
Today Central Asians are a mixture of various peoples, such as Mongols, Turks, and Iranians. The Mongol invasion of Central Asia in the 13th century resulted in the massacre of the mostly Iranic population and other Indo-European people with intermarriage and assimilation. Modern genetic studies show that Central Asian Turkic people and Hazara are a mixture of Northeast Asians and Indo-European people. Caucasian ancestry is prevalent in almost all central Asian Turkic people. Kazakhs, Hazara, Karakalpaks, and Crimean Tatars have more European maternal Mtdna than European paternal Y-dna while Kyrgyz have more European Y-dna with substantial European Mtdna. Other Turkic people like Uyghurs, Uzbeks, have mostly European Y-dna but also high percentages of European Mtdna. Turkmen have predominantly European Y-dna and Mtdna.
Interracial marriage between Turkic, European, Central Asians in Kazakhstan are rare but increasing. The most common marriages are between Kazakh and Volga Tatars. Intermarriage usually involves Kazakh men, due to Muslim tradition favouring male over female. For example, 1% were between Russians, Tatars, and Kazakhs (792 between Russians and Tatars, 561 between Kazakhs and Tatars, and 212 between Kazakhs and Russians). 701 Kazakh men married Russians or Tatars, against only 72 Kazakh women. Among Kirgiz men living in Uzbekistan and married to non-Kirgiz women, 9.6% had married Russians, 25.6% Uzbeks, and 34.3% Tatars. Among Kazakh men in Uzbekistan, the structure of mixed marriages appeared as follows: 4.4% married Russians.
Genetic analysis of the Hazara people indicates partial Mongolian ancestry. Invading Mongols and Turco-Mongols mixed with the local Iranian population, forming a distinct group. Mongols settled in what is now Afghanistan and mixed with native populations who spoke Persian. A second wave of mostly Chagatai Mongols came from Central Asia and were followed by other Mongolic groups, associated with the Ilkhanate and the Timurids, all of whom settled in Hazarajat and mixed with the local, mostly Persian-speaking population, forming a distinct group.
The analysis also detected Sub-Saharan African lineages in both the paternal and maternal ancestry of Hazara. Among the Hazaras there are 7.5% of African mtDNA haplogroup L with 5.1% of African Y-DNA B. The origin and date of when these admixture occurred are unknown but was believed to have been during the slave trades in Afghanistan.
There have been various periods in the history of China where a number of Arabs, Persians and Turks from the Western Regions (Central Asia and West Asia) migrated to China. Persians intermarried around the time of Manichaeism's spread to China before the Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution. Moreover, Persians brought Buddhism to China and there is evidence of close relationship during its pre-Islamic times (see An Shigao).
Moreover, the arrival of Islam during the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century brought an influx of immigrants. Due to the majority of these immigrants being male, many intermarried with Chinese females. Intermarriage was initially discouraged by the Tang Dynasty. In 836 Lu Chun was appointed as governor of Canton, and was disgusted to find the Chinese living with foreigners and intermarrying. Lu enforced separation, banned interracial marriages, and made it illegal for foreigners to own property. Lu Chun believed his principles were just and upright. The 836 law specifically banned Chinese from forming relationships with "dark peoples" or "people of colour", which was used to describe foreigners, such as "Iranians, Sogdians, Arabs, Indians, Malays, Sumatrans", among others. The Song Dynasty allowed third-generation immigrants with official titles to intermarry with Chinese imperial princesses.
In 779, the Tang dynasty issued an edict which forced Uighurs to wear their ethnic dress, stopped them from marrying Chinese females, and banned them from pretending to be Chinese. The magistrate who issued the orders may have wanted to protect "purity" in Chinese custom. Han men also married Turkic Uyghur women in Xinjiang from 1880 to 1949. Sometimes poverty influenced Uyghur women to marry Han men. These marriages were not recognized by local mullahs since Muslim women were not allowed to marry non-Muslim men under Islamic law. This did not stop the women because they enjoyed advantages: they were not subject to Islamic law and not subjected to certain taxes. Uyghur women married to Han men also did not have to wear a veil, and they received their husband's property upon his death. These women were forbidden from having burial in Muslim graves. The children of Han men and Uyghur women were considered to be Uyghur. Some Han soldiers had Uyghur women as temporary wives, and after their service was up, the wife was left behind or sold. If it was possible, sons were taken, and daughters were sold.
Iranian, Arab and Turkic women also occasionally migrated to China and mixed with Chinese. Iranian women dancers were in demand in China during this period. During the Sui dynasty, ten young dancers were sent from Persia to China. During the Tang dynasty, bars were often attended by Iranian or Sogdian waitresses who performed dances for clients. During the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (Wudai) (907–960), there are examples of Persian women marrying Chinese emperors. Some Chinese officials from the Song Dynasty era also married women from Dashi (Arabia). From the tenth to twelfth century, Persian women were to be found in Guangzhou (Canton), some of them in the tenth century like Mei Zhu in the harem of the Emperor Liu Chang, and in the twelfth century large numbers of Persian women lived there, noted for wearing multiple earrings and "quarrelsome dispositions". Some scholars did not differentiate between Persian and Arab, and some say that the Chinese called all women coming from the Persian Gulf "Persian women". Genetic evidence shows Persian women intermarried with the Cantonese men of Guangzhou. Yao Yonggang et al. reported that Kivisild detected one W mtDNA out of 69 Guangzhou Cantonese population, a common Middle Eastern and Iranian marker. Of the Han Chinese Li family in Quanzhou, Li Nu, the son of Li Lu, visited Hormuz in Persia in 1376, married a Persian or an Arab woman, and brought her back to Quanzhou. He then converted to Islam. Li Nu was the ancestor of the Ming Dynasty reformer Li Chih.
By the 14th century, the total population of Muslims in China had grown to 4 million. After Mongol rule had been overthrown by the Ming Dynasty in 1368, this led to a violent Chinese backlash against West and Central Asians. In order to contain the violence, the Ming administration instituted a policy where all West and Central Asian males were required to intermarry with native Chinese females, hence assimilating them into the local population. Their descendants are today known as the Hui people. In the 19th century, the Hui rebelled against the Chinese government trying to create an independent state.
In recent years, thousands of Indians have migrated to China. While the majority of these Indians are students, some are employees of multinational companies. Most of these marriages are between Indian men and Chinese women. Some of these couples prefer to live in first, and depending on the circumstances marriages take place.
Many Tanka women bore children with foreign men. Ernest John Eitel mentioned in 1889 how an important change had taken place among Eurasian girls, the offspring of illicit connections: instead of becoming concubines, they were commonly brought up respectably and married to Hong Kong Chinese husbands. Some believed many Hong Kong-born Eurasians were assimilated into the Hong Kong society by intermarriage with the Cantonese population. The world's most influential martial artist icon, Bruce Lee, was also born to parents of Hong Kong heritage to a Cantonese father and a Eurasian mother. Some European women also married with Cantonese such as Hollywood sex symbol Nancy Kwan born to a Cantonese architect, and Marquita Scott, a Caucasian model of English and Scottish ancestry.[note 1]
Ernest John Eitel controversially claimed that most "half-caste" people in Hong Kong were descended exclusively from Europeans having relationships with Tanka women. The theory that most of the Eurasian mixed-race Hong Kong people are descended only from Tanka women and European men, and not ordinary Cantonese women, has been backed up by other researchers who pointed out that Tanka women freely consorted with foreigners because they were not bound by the same Confucian traditions as the Cantonese, and having relationships with European men was advantageous for Tanka women, but Lethbridge criticized it as "a 'myth' propagated by xenophobic Cantonese to account for the establishment of the Hong Kong Eurasian community". Carl Smith's study in the late 1960s on the protected women seems, to some degree, to support Eitel's theory. Smith says that the Tankas experienced certain restrictions within the traditional Chinese social structure. Being a group marginal to the traditional Chinese society of the Puntis (Cantonese), they did not have the same social pressure in dealing with Europeans. The ordinary Cantonese women did not sleep with European men; the Eurasian population was formed mostly from Tanka and European admixture.
They invaded Hongkong the moment the settlement was started, living at first on boats in the harbon with their numerons families, and gradually settling on shore. They have maintained ever since almost a monopoly of the supply of pilots and ships' crews, of the fish trade and the cattle trade, but unfortunately also of the trade in girls and women. Strange to say, when the settlement was first started, it was estimated that some 2,000 of these Tan-ka lieople had flocked to Hongkong, but at the present time they are abont the same number, a tendency having set in among them to settle on shore rather than on the water and to disavow their Tan-ka extraction in order to mix on equal terms with the mass of the Chinese community. The half-caste population in Hongkong were, from the earliest days of the settlement of the Colony and down to the present day, almost exclusively the off-spring of these Tan-ka people. But, like the Tan-ka people themselves, they are happily under the influence of a process of continuons re-absorption in the mass of the Chinese residents of the Colony.
Elizabeth Wheeler Andrew (1845–1917) and Katharine Caroline Bushnell (5 February 1856 26 January 1946), who wrote extensively on the position of women in the British Empire, wrote about the Tanka inhabitants of Hong Kong and their position in the prostitution industry, catering to foreign sailors. The Tanka did not marry with the Chinese; being descendants of the natives, they were restricted to the waterways. They supplied their women as prostitutes to British sailors and assisted the British in their military actions around Hong Kong. The Tanka in Hong Kong were considered "outcasts", and categorized as low class. Tanka women were ostracized from the Cantonese community, and were nicknamed "salt water girls" (ham shui mui) for their services as prostitutes to foreigners in Hong Kong.
South Asians have been living in Hong Kong throughout the colonial period, before the partition of India into the nations of India and Pakistan. They migrated to Hong Kong and worked as police officers as well as army officers during colonial rule. 25,000 of the Muslims in Hong Kong trace their roots back to Faisalabad in what is now Pakistan; around half of them belong to 'local boy' families, who descended from early Indian-Pakistani immigrants who took local Chinese wives mostly of Tanka origin.
Due to a few Chinese living in Macau, the early Macanese ethnic group was formed from Portuguese men with Malay, Japanese, Indian women. The Portuguese encouraged Chinese migration to Macau, and most Macanese in Macau were formed from intermarriages between Portuguese and Chinese.
Rarely did Chinese women marry Portuguese; initially, mostly Goans, Ceylonese (from today's Sri Lanka), Indochinese, Malay, and Japanese women were the wives of the Portuguese men in Macau. Japanese girls would be purchased in Japan by Portuguese men. Many Chinese became Macanese simply by converting to Catholicism, and had no ancestry from Portuguese, having assimilated into the Macanese people. The majority of the early intermarriages of people from China with Portuguese were between Portuguese men and women of Tanka origin, who were considered the lowest class of people in China and had relations with Portuguese settlers and sailors, or low-class Chinese women. Western men were refused by high-class Chinese women, who did not marry foreigners, while a minority were Cantonese men and Portuguese women. Macanese men and women also married with the Portuguese and Chinese, and as a result some Macanese became indistinguishable from the Chinese or Portuguese population. Because the majority of the population who migrated to Macau were Cantonese, Macau became a culturally Cantonese speaking society; other ethnic groups became fluent in Cantonese. Most Macanese had paternal Portuguese heritage until 1974. It was in the 1980s that Macanese and Portuguese women began to marry men who defined themselves ethnically as Chinese.
After the handover of Macau to China in 1999 many Macanese migrated to other countries. Many of the Portuguese and Macanese women who stayed in Macau married local Cantonese men, and many Macanese also now have Cantonese paternal heritage. There are between 25,000 – 46,000 Macanese, only 5000 – 8000 of whom live in Macau, while most live in America, Latin America, and Portugal. Unlike the Macanese of Macau who are strictly of Chinese and Portuguese heritage, many Macanese living abroad are not entirely of Portuguese and Chinese ancestry. Many Macanese men and women intermarried with the local population of America and Latin America, etc., and have only partial Macanese heritage.
During the Siege of Fort Zeelandia in which Chinese Ming loyalist forces commanded by Koxinga besieged and defeated the Dutch East India Company and conquered Taiwan, the Chinese took Dutch women and children prisoner. Koxinga took Hambroek's teenage daughter as a concubine, and Dutch women were sold to Chinese soldiers to become their wives. In 1684 some of these Dutch wives were still captives of the Chinese.
Some Dutch physical features like auburn and red hair among people in regions of south Taiwan are a result of this episode of Dutch women becoming concubines to the Chinese commanders.
Inter-ethnic marriage in Japan dates back to the 7th century, when Chinese and Korean immigrants began intermarrying with the local population. By the early 9th century, over one-third of all noble families in Japan had ancestors of foreign origin. In the 1590s, over 50,000 Koreans were forcibly brought to Japan, where they intermarried with the local population. In the 16th and 17th centuries, around 58,000 Japanese travelled abroad, many of whom intermarried with the local women in Southeast Asia.
During the anti-Christian persecutions in 1596, many Japanese Christians fled to Macau and other Portuguese colonies such as Goa, where there was a community of Japanese slaves and traders by the early 17th century. The Japanese slaves were brought or captured by Portuguese traders from Japan. Intermarriage with the local populations in these Portuguese colonies also took place. Marriage and sexual relations between European merchants and Japanese women was usual during this period.
A large-scale slave trade developed in which Portuguese purchased Japanese as slaves in Japan and sold them to various locations overseas, including Portugal itself, throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Many documents mention the large slave trade along with protests against the enslavement of Japanese. Japanese slaves are believed to be the first of their nation to end up in Europe, and the Portuguese purchased many Japanese slave girls to bring to Portugal for sexual purposes, as noted by the Church in 1555. King Sebastian feared that it was having a negative effect on Catholic proselytization since the slave trade in Japanese was growing to massive proportions, so he commanded that it be banned in 1571.
Japanese slave women were even sold as concubines to Indian and African crewmembers, along with their European counterparts serving on Portuguese ships trading in Japan, mentioned by Luis Cerqueira, a Portuguese Jesuit, in a 1598 document. Japanese slaves were brought by the Portuguese to Macau, where some of them not only ended up being enslaved to the Portuguese, but as slaves to other slaves, with the Portuguese owning Malay and African slaves, who in turn owned Japanese slaves of their own.
Historian S. Kuznetsov, dean of the Department of History of the Irkutsk State University, one of the first researchers of the topic, interviewed thousands of former internees and came to the following conclusion: What is more, romantic relations between Japanese internees and Russian women were not uncommon. For example, in the city of Kansk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, about 50 Japanese married locals and stayed. Today many Russian women married Japanese men, often for the benefit of long-term residence and work rights. Some of their mixed offspring stay in Japan while other's to Russia.
In 2003, there were 740,191 marriages in Japan, of which 28,831 involved a non-Japanese bride and 7,208 involved a non-Japanese groom. Non-Japanese women who married a Japanese man were predominantly of Chinese (10,242), Filipino (7,794), Korean (5,318), Thai (1,445) and Brazilian (296) nationality. Non-Japanese men who married a Japanese woman were predominantly of Korean (2,235), United States (1,529), Chinese (890), British (334) and Brazilian (265) nationality.
In 2006 there were 735,132 marriages in Japan, of which 40,154 involved a non-Japanese bride and 8,708 involved a non-Japanese groom. Non-Japanese women who married a Japanese-born man were predominantly of Filipino (12,150), Chinese (12,131), Korean (6,041), Thai (1,676) and Brazilian (285). Non-Japanese men who married a Japanese woman were predominantly of Korean (2,335), United States (1,474), Chinese (1,084), British (386) and Filipino (195) nationality.
There were 43,121 international marriages between Koreans and non-Koreans in 2005, up 21.6% from a year earlier, according to Korea National Statistics Office data published in the Korea Times newspaper on 30 March 2006. 11% of couples who married in 2007 were international couples. The majority of them involve South Korean males married to foreign females, from China, Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, United States, Mongolia, Thailand, and Russia. However, majority of these brides are ethnic Koreans from China and Han Chinese. The most common explanation for this phenomenon is that there is a lack of South Korean women who are willing to marry men living in rural areas. Since the 1960s, young women had an incentive to move from countryside to the city due to the desire of chasing a better life. Hence, there are only young men remaining in their hometown to look after their farm and keep the agriculture industry going.
In recent times, about one third of South Korean men in rural areas married women from abroad, according to Korea National Statistics Office data published in 2006. Marriages between South Korean men and foreign women are often arranged by marriage brokers or international religious groups. There is mounting evidence to suggest that there is a statistically higher level of poverty, violence and divorce in the Korean men married to foreign women cohort. Most Korean men who marry Southeast Asian women end up with divorces due differences in beliefs Currently divorces between Koreans and foreign spouses make up 10% of the total Korean divorce rate.
Interracial marriage in Korea dates back to at least the Three Kingdoms period. Records about the period, in particular the section in the Samguk Yusa about the Gaya kingdom (it was absorbed by the kingdom of Silla later), indicate that in 48 AD, King Kim Suro of Gaya (the progenitor of the Gimhae Kim clan) took a princess (Heo Hwang-ok) from the "Ayuta nation" (which is the Korean name for the city of Ayodhya in North India) as his bride and queen. Two major Korean clans today claim descent from this union.
Somewhat later, during the arrival of Muslims in Korea in the Middle Ages, a number of Arab, Persian and Turkic navigators and traders settled in Korea. They took local Korean wives and established several Muslim villages. Some assimilation into Buddhism and Shamanism eventually took place, owing to Korea's geographical isolation from the Muslim world. At least two or three major Korean clans today claim descent from Muslim families.
Interracial marriage in Southeast Asia dates back to the spread of Indian culture, including Hinduism and Buddhism, to the region. From the 1st century onwards, mostly male traders and merchants from the Indian subcontinent frequently intermarried with the local female populations in Cambodia, Burma, Champa, central Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Many Indianized kingdoms rose in Southeast Asia during the Middle Ages.
From the 9th century onwards, some male Arab traders from the Middle East settled in Maritime Southeast Asia and married local Malay, Indonesian and Filipina female populations, which contributed to the spread of Islam in Southeast Asia. From the 14th to the 17th centuries, many Chinese, Indian and Arab traders settled within the kingdoms of Maritime Southeast Asia and married within local female populations. This tradition continued among Spain and Portuguese traders who also married within local populations. In the 16th and 17th centuries, thousands of Japanese people travelled to Southeast Asia and married with local women there.
In the late 20th century in European males in Southeast Asia engaged in foreign mail order bribes for marriage. Tens of thousands of single women throng the beaches of Bali in Indonesia every year. For decades, young Balinese men have taken advantage of the louche and laid-back atmosphere to find love and lucre from female tourists—Japanese, European and Australian for the most part—who by all accounts seem perfectly happy with the arrangement.
Much of the business conducted with foreign men in southeast Asia was done by the local women, who served engaged in both sexual and mercantile intercourse with foreign male traders. A Portuguese- and Malay-speaking Vietnamese woman who lived in Macao for an extensive period of time was the person who interpreted for the first diplomatic meeting between Cochin-China and a Dutch delegation. She served as an interpreter for three decades in the Cochin-China court with an old woman who had been married to three husbands, one Vietnamese and two Portuguese. The cosmopolitan exchange was facilitated by the marriage of Vietnamese women to Portuguese merchants. Those Vietnamese woman were married to Portuguese men and lived in Macao which was how they became fluent in Malay and Portuguese.
Foreigners noted that in southeast Asian countries, foreigners would be offered already married local women for sex. William Dampier wrote, "The offering of Women is a Custom used by several nations in the East-Indies, as at Pegu, Siam, Cochinchina, and Cambodia... It is accounted a piece of Policy to do it; for the chief Factors and Captains of Ships have the great men's Daughters offered them, the Mandarins or Noblemen at Tunquin..." Dampier's full account said, "They are so free of their women, that they would bring them aboard and offer them to us; and many of our men hired them for a small matter. This is a custom used by several nations in the East Indies, as at Pegu, Siam, Cochin-China, and Cambodia, as I have been told. It is used at Tunquin also to my knowledge; for I did afterwards make a voyage thither, and most of our men had women on board all the time of our abode there. In Africa, also, on the coast of Guinea, our merchants, factors, and seamen that reside there, have their black misses. It is accounted a piece of policy to do it; for the chief factors and captains of ships have the great men's daughters offered them, the mandarins' or noblemen's at Tunquin, and even the King's wives in Guinea; and by this sort of alliance the country people are engaged to a greater friendship; and if there should arise any difference about trade, or any thing else, which might provoke the native to seek some treacherous revenge, to which all these heathen nations are very prone, then these Dalilahs would certainly declare it to their white friends, and so hinder their countrymen's design."
Alexander Hamilton said, "The Tonquiners used to be very desirous of having a brood of Europeans in their country, for which reason the greatest nobles thought it no shame or disgrace to marry their daughters to English and Dutch seamen, for the time they were to stay in Tonquin, and often presented their sons-in-law pretty handsomely at their departure, especially if they left their wives with child; but adultery was dangerous to the husband, for they are well versed in the art of poisoning."
Burmese Muslims are the descendants of Indian Muslims, Arabs, Persians, Turks, Pathans, Chinese Muslims and Malays who settled and intermarried with the local Burmese population and other Burmese ethnic groups such as the Shan, Karen, and Mon.
During British Indian rule, millions of Indians, mostly Muslim, migrated there. The small population of mixed descendants of Indian men and local Burmese women are called "Zerbadees", often in a pejorative sense implying mixed race. The Rohingya claim to have descended from Bengalis who intermarried with the local women, but this remains a hotly contested issue. The political situation surrounding the actual history of the Rohingya, the lack of evidence, and the counter-claims, mean that proper ancestry cannot be established. The Panthays, a group of Chinese Muslims descended from West Asians and Central Asians, migrated from China and also intermarried with local Burmese females.
Burma has an estimated 52,000 Anglo-Burmese people, descended from British and Burmese people. Anglo-Burmese people frequently intermarried with Anglo-Indian immigrants, who assimilated into the Anglo-Burmese community.
Malaysia and Singapore
In Malaysia and Singapore, the majority of inter-ethnic marriages are between Chinese and Indians. The offspring of such marriages are informally known as "Chindian". The Malaysian and Singaporean governments, however, only classify them by their father's ethnicity. As the majority of these marriages involve an Indian groom and Chinese bride, the majority of Chindians in Malaysia are usually classified as "Indian" by the Malaysian government. As for the Malays, who are predominantly Muslim, legal restrictions in Malaysia make it less common for them to intermarry with either the Indians, who are predominantly Hindu, or the Chinese, who are predominantly Buddhist and Taoist.
It is common for Arabs in Singapore and Malaysia to take local Malay wives, due to a common Islamic faith. The Chitty people, in Singapore and the Malacca state of Malaysia, are a Tamil people with considerable Malay descent, which was due to thousands of the first Tamil settlers taking local wives, since they did not bring along any of their own women with them. According to government statistics, the population of Singapore as of September 2007 was 4.68 million, of whom multiracial people, including Chindians and Eurasians, formed 2.4%. In 2007, 16.4% of all marriages in Singapore were inter-ethnic. The Peranakans are descendants of Chinese merchants who settled down in Malaysia and Singapore during the colonial era and married Malay women. There is also a significant minority population of Eurasians who are descended from Europeans – Singapore and Malaysia being former British colonies – and local women.
Centuries of migration, diaspora, assimilation, and cultural diversity have made most Filipinos open-minded in embracing interracial marriage and multiculturalism. Following independence, the Philippines has seen both small and large-scale immigration into the country, mostly involving Chinese, Americans, Europeans, Japanese, and South Asians. More recent migrations into the country by Koreans, Persians, Brazilians and other Southeast Asians have contributed to the enrichment of the country's ethnic landscape.
Thousands of interracial marriages between Americans and Filipinos have taken place since the United States took possession of the Philippines after the Philippine–American War. Due to the strategic location of the Philippines, as many as 21 bases and 100,000 military personnel were stationed there since the U.S. first colonized the islands in 1898. These bases were decommissioned in 1992 after the end of the Cold War, but left behind thousands of Amerasian children. The Pearl S. Buck International foundation estimates there are 52,000 Amerasians scattered throughout the Philippines.
In the United States intermarriage among Filipinos with other races is common. They have the largest number of interracial marriages among Asian immigrant groups, as documented in California. It is also noted that 21.8% of Filipino Americans are of mixed blood, second among Asian Americans, and is the fastest growing.
Interracial marriages particularly among Southeast Asians are continually increasing. At present, there is an increasing number of Southeast Asian intermarriages, particularly between Filipinos and Malaysians (Dumanig, 2009). Such marriages have created an impact on language, religion and culture. Dumanig argues that Filipino-Malaysian couples no longer prefer their own ethnic languages as the medium of communication at home. The use of English with some switching in Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese, and Filipino is commonly used.
Philippine nationality law is currently based upon the principles of jus sanguinis and therefore descent from a parent who is a citizen/national of the Republic of the Philippines is the primary method of acquiring Philippine citizenship. Birth in the Philippines to foreign parents does not in itself confer Philippine citizenship, although RA9139, the Administrative Naturalization Law of 2000, does provide a path for administrative naturalization of certain aliens born on Philippine soil (Jus soli). Together, some of these recent immigrants have intermarried with the indigenous Filipinos, as well as with the previous immigrant groups, giving rise to Filipinos of mixed racial and/or ethnic origins also known as mestizos.
The Indian subcontinent has a long history of inter-ethnic marriage dating back to ancient India. Various groups of people have been intermarrying for millennia in the Indian subcontinent, including speakers of Dravidian, Indo-Aryan (Indic), Iranian, Austroasiatic, and Tibeto-Burman languages. This was particularly common in the northwestern and northeastern parts of the subcontinent where invaders of Central Asian origin often invaded throughout history.
Many Indian traders, merchants, and missionaries travelled to Southeast Asia (where Indianized kingdoms were established) and often took local wives from the region. The Romani people ("Gypsies") who have origins in the Indian subcontinent travelled westwards and also took local wives in Central Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Genetic studies show that the majority of Romani males carry large frequencies of particular Y chromosomes (inherited paternally) that otherwise exist only in populations from South Asia, in addition to nearly a third of Romani females carrying particular mitochondrial DNA (inherited maternally) that is rare outside South Asia. Around 800, a ship carrying Persian Jews crashed in India. They settled in different parts of India and befriended and traded with the local Indian population. Intermarriage occurred, and to this day the Indian Jews physically resemble their surrounding Indian populations due to intermarriage.
There are also cases of Indian princesses marrying kings abroad. For example, the Korean text Samguk Yusa about the Gaya kingdom (it was absorbed by the kingdom of Silla later), indicate that in 48 AD, King Kim Suro of Gaya (the progenitor of the Gimhae Kim clan) took Princess Heo from "Ayuta" (the Korean name for the city of Ayodhya in North India) as his bride and queen. According to the Samguk Yusa, the princess' parents had a dream sent by a god who told them about a king from a faraway land. That was King Kim Suro of the Gaya kingdom, in what is now the southeastern tip of South Korea.
In Goa during the late 16th and 17th centuries, there was a community of Japanese slaves and traders, who were either Japanese Christians fleeing anti-Christian sentiments in Japan, or Japanese slaves brought or captured by Portuguese traders and their South Asian lascar crewmembers from Japan. In both cases, they often intermarried with the local population in Goa. One offspring of such an intermarriage was Maria Guyomar de Pinha, born in Thailand to a Portuguese-speaking Japanese-Bengali father from Goa and a Japanese mother. In turn, she married the Greek adventurer Constantine Phaulkon.
Inter-ethnic marriages between European men and Indian women were very common during colonial times. According to the historian William Dalrymple, about one in three European men (mostly British, as well as Portuguese, French, Dutch, and to a lesser extent Swedes and Danes) had Indian wives in colonial India. One of the most famous intermarriages was between the Anglo-Indian resident James Achilles Kirkpatrick and the Hyderabadi noblewoman and descendant of prophet Mohammed, Khair-un-Nissa. During the British East India Company's rule in India in the late 18th century and early 19th century, it was initially fairly common for British officers and soldiers to take local Indian wives. The 600,000 strong Anglo-Indian community has descended from such unions. There is also a story of an attractive Gujjar princess falling in love with a handsome English nobleman and the nobleman converted to Islam so as to marry her. The 65,000 strong Burgher community of Sri Lanka was formed by the intermarriages of Dutch and Portuguese men with local Sinhalese and Tamil women. Intermarriage also took place in Britain during the 17th to 19th centuries, when the British East India Company brought over many thousands of Indian scholars, lascars and workers. (mostly Bengali) Most of whom worked on British ships in transient around the world. A small number of which settled down in Britain and took local British wives, as well as a limited number going with their husbands. In the mid-19th century, there were around 40,000 British soldiers but less than 2,000 British officials present in India. The novel "Two Leaves and a Bud" by Ananda depicts Indian laborer women in India being preyed upon and seduced by the British Manager Reggie Hunt after he gives them bangles and nose rings.
In Assam, local Indian women married several waves of Chinese migrants during British colonial times, to the point where it became hard to physically differentiate Chinese in Assam from locals during the time of their internment during the 1962 war, and the majority of these Chinese in Assam were married to Indian women, and some of these Indian women were deported to China with their husbands.
In the 19th century, when the British Straits Settlement shipped Chinese convicts to be jailed in India, the Chinese men then settled in the Nilgiri mountains near Naduvattam after their release and married Tamil Paraiyan women, having mixed Chinese-Tamil children with them. They were documented by Edgar Thurston. Paraiyan is also anglicized as "pariah".
Edgar Thurston described the colony of the Chinese men with their Tamil pariah wives and children: "Halting in the course of a recent anthropological expedition on the western side of the Nilgiri plateau, in the midst of the Government Cinchona plantations, I came across a small settlement of Chinese, who have squatted for some years on the slopes of the hills between Naduvatam and Gudalur, and developed, as the result of ' marriage ' with Tamil pariah women, into a colony, earning an honest livelihood by growing vegetables, cultivating coffee on a small scale, and adding to their income from these sources by the economic products of the cow. An ambassador was sent to this miniature Chinese Court with a suggestion that the men should, in return for monies, present themselves before me with a view to their measurements being recorded. The reply which came back was in its way racially characteristic as between Hindus and Chinese. In the case of the former, permission to make use of their bodies for the purposes of research depends essentially on a pecuniary transaction, on a scale varying from two to eight annas. The Chinese, on the other hand, though poor, sent a courteous message to the effect that they did not require payment in money, but would be perfectly happy if I would give them, as a memento, copies of their photographs." Thurston further describe a specific family: "The father was a typical Chinaman, whose only grievance was that, in the process of conversion to Christianity, he had been obliged to 'cut him tail off.' The mother was a typical Tamil Pariah of dusky hue. The colour of the children was more closely allied to the yellowish tint of the father than to the dark tint of the mother; and the semimongol parentage was betrayed in the slant eyes, flat nose, and (in one case) conspicuously prominent cheek-bones." Thurston's description of the Chinese-Tamil families were cited by others, one mentioned "an instance mating between a Chinese male with a Tamil Pariah female" A 1959 book described attempts made to find out what happened to the colony of mixed Chinese and Tamils.
Vikings explored and eventually settled in territories in Slavic-dominated areas of Europe. By 950 AD, these settlements were largely Slavicized through intermarriage with the local population. Europe, especially the Balkans, was an important source of captives for the Arab slave trade then, and Saqaliba (Slavic) slaves taken to the Arab World often intermarried or had unions with their Arab owners.
The French Normans were descended from Danish Vikings who were given feudal overlordship of areas in northern France—the Duchy of Normandy—in the 8th century. In that respect, descendants of the Vikings in France and Britain continued to have an influence in northern Europe as well. Likewise, King Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England who was killed during the Norman invasion in 1066, had Danish ancestors. Many of the medieval kings of Norway and Denmark married into English and Scottish royalty and occasionally got involved in dynastic disputes.
During World War I, there were 135,000 soldiers from British India, a large number of soldiers from French North Africa, and 20,000 labourers from South Africa, who served in France. Much of the French male population had gone to war, leaving behind a surplus of French females, many of whom formed interracial relationships with non-white soldiers, mainly Indian and North African. British and French authorities allowed foreign Muslim soldiers to intermarry with local French females on the basis of Islamic law, which allows marriage between Muslim men and Christian women. On the other hand, Hindu soldiers in France were restricted from intermarriage on the basis of the Indian caste system.
According to France's 1999 Census, 38% and 34% of male and female married immigrants, respectively, are intermarried. The highest intermarriage rate was for European immigrants, mainly Spanish and Italian, nearly 50% of whom have had intermarriages. 30% of North African immigrants and 20% of Portuguese immigrants have also had intermarriages. The lowest intermarriage rate was for Turkish immigrants, with 14% for married males and 4% for married females.
The administrations of the German colonies in Africa and the South Seas enacted bans on marriages with non-European natives in the early 20th century. When the issue was debated in the Reichstag in 1912, this ban was rejected by a majority and an inclusive marriage law was demanded (see German interracial marriage debate (1912)). However, it never came to pass because of the beginning of World War I a few years later.
Nazi Germany introduced the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, among which was the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour that banned marital as well as extramarital relations between Germans (incl. people deemed to be racially similar, colloquially Aryans) and Jews. Although Slavs could be in theory included as Aryans, Nazi Germany's legal practice consisted in strict segregation of Germans and most subjugated Slavs and harsh punishment for miscegenation, as exemplified by the Polish decrees of 1940.
According to the 2006 figures from Germany's Federal Statistics Office, Turkish men accounted for 14% of foreigners married to German women, followed by Italians and US Americans. Conversely, German men marrying non-German women primarily choose Polish, Russian, Italian, Turkish or Thai women following in roughly equal numbers.
Comparative sociologist Amparo Gonzalez-Ferrer argues that one of the main reasons why Turkish men marry Germans more than Turkish women do is due to Islam permitting men but not women to marry non-Muslims. Dirk Halm, political scientist for the Center for Turkish Studies in Essen, remarked that considering Turkish citizens make up 25% of all foreign residents in Germany—not counting an additional one-third ethnic Turks who are German citizens—intermarriage rates in Germany are "in reality very low".
In ancient history, the Iberian Peninsula was frequently invaded by foreigners who intermarried with the native population. One of the earliest foreign groups to arrive to the region were the Indo-European Celts who intermarried with the pre-Indo-European Iberians in prehistoric Iberia. They were later followed by the Phoenician Carthaginians and Indo-European Romans who intermarried with the pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula during Classical Antiquity. They were in turn followed by the Germanic Visigoths, Suebi and Vandals and the Sarmatian Alans who also intermarried with the local population in Hispania during late Antiquity. In the 6th century, the region was reconquered by the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire) before it was lost again to the Visigothic Kingdom less than a century later.
After the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the early 8th century, the Islamic state of Al-Andalus was established in Iberia. Due to Islamic marital law allowing a Muslim male to marry Christian and Jewish females, it became common for Arab and Berber males from North Africa to intermarry with the local Germanic, Roman and Iberian females of Hispania. The offspring of such marriages were known as Muladi or Muwallad, an Arabic term still used in the modern Arab world to refer to people with Arab fathers and non-Arab mothers. This term was also the origin for the Spanish word Mulatto. In addition, many Muladi were also descended from Saqaliba (Slavic) slaves taken from Europe via the Arab slave trade. By the 11th or 12th century, the Muslim population of Al-Andalus had merged into a homogeneous group of people known as the "Moors". After the Reconquista, which was completed in 1492, most of the Moors were forced to either flee to Morocco or convert to Christianity. The ones who converted to Christianity were known as Moriscoes, and they were often persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition on the basis of the Limpieza de sangre ("Cleanliness of blood") or "blue blood" doctrine.
According to Gilberto Freyre, a Brazilian sociologist, miscegenation was commonplace in the Portuguese colonies, and was even supported by the court as a way to boost low populations and guarantee a successful and cohesive settlement. Thus, settlers often released African slaves to become their wives. The children were guaranteed full Portuguese citizenship, provided the parents were married. Some former Portuguese colonies have large mixed-race populations, for instance, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Timor Leste, Macau and São Tomé and Príncipe. In the case of Brazil, the influential "Indianist" novels of José de Alencar (O Guarany, Iracema, and Ubirajara) perhaps went farther than in the other colonies, advocating miscegenation in order to create a truly Brazilian race. Mixed marriages between Portuguese and locals in former colonies were very common in all Portuguese colonies. Miscegenation was still common in Africa until the independence of the former Portuguese colonies in the mid-1970s.
Most Icelanders are descendants of Norwegian settlers and Celts from Ireland and Scotland, brought over as slaves during the age of settlement. Recent DNA analysis suggests that around 66% of the male settler-era population was of Norse ancestry, whereas the female population was 60% Celtic.
As was the case in other areas occupied by Muslims, it was acceptable in Islamic marital law for a Muslim male to marry Christian and Jewish females in southern Italy when under Islamic rule – namely, the Emirate of Sicily, and, of least importance, the short-lived Emirate of Bari between the 8th and 11th centuries. In this case, most intermarriages were between Arab and Berber males from North Africa and the local Greek, Roman and Italian females. Such intermarriages were particularly common in the Emirate of Sicily, where one writer visiting the place in the 970s expressed shock at how common it was in rural areas. After the Norman conquest of southern Italy, all Muslim citizens (whether foreign, native or mixed) of the Kingdom of Sicily were known as "Moors". After a brief period when the Arab-Norman culture had flourished under the reign of Roger II of Sicily, later the mainlander Italians migrated to Sicily persecuted the Muslims of Sicily and they killed many of them; later the remnants were expelled in 1239 with the persecution of Frederick II, who deported the Muslim survivors in Lucera.
In Malta, Arabs and Italians from neighbouring Sicily and Calabria intermarried with the local inhabitants, who were descended from Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Vandals. The Maltese people are descended from such unions, and the Maltese language is descended from Siculo-Arabic.
At times, the Italian city-states also played an active role in the Arab slave trade, where Moorish and Italian traders occasionally exchanged slaves. For example, two researchers suggest that Leonardo da Vinci's mother Caterina may have been a slave from the Middle East.
In the 11th century, the Byzantine territory of Anatolia was conquered by the Seljuq Turks, who came from Turkestan in Central Asia. Their Ottoman Turkish descendants went on to annex the Balkans and southern parts of Central Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. Due to Islamic marital law allowing a Muslim male to marry Christian and Jewish females, it was common in the Ottoman Empire for Turkish males to intermarry with European females. For example, various sultans of the Ottoman Dynasty often had Greek (Rûm), Slavic (Saqaliba), Venetian, and Northcaucasian wives. Some of these European wives exerted great influence upon the empire as Valide Sultan ("Sultan's Parent"); a notable example is Roxelana, a Slavic harem slave who later became Suleiman the Magnificent's favorite wife. Due to the common occurrence of such intermarriages in the Ottoman Empire, they had a significant impact on the ethnic makeup of the modern Turkish population in Turkey, which now differs from that of the Turkic population in Central Asia.
The concubines of the Ottoman Sultan consisted chiefly of purchased slaves. Because Islamic law forbade Muslims to enslave fellow Muslims, the Sultan's concubines were generally of Christian origin. The mother of a Sultan, though technically a slave, received the extremely powerful title of Valide Sultan, and at times became effective ruler of the Empire (see Sultanate of women). One notable example was Kösem Sultan, daughter of a Greek Christian priest, who dominated the Ottoman Empire during the early decades of the 17th century.
Britain has a long history of interethnic marriage among the various European populations that inhabited the island, including the Celtic, Roman, Viking, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman peoples. In the late 15th century, the Romani people arrived. The arriving Romani nomads took local British wives, forming a distinct community known as the Romnichal. Due to intermarriage, Romnichal today are often indistinguishable from the general white British population.
Inter-ethnic marriage began occurring more often in Britain since the 17th century, when the British East India Company began bringing over many Indian scholars, lascars, servants and workers. Though mixed marriages were not always accepted in British society, there were no legal restrictions against intermarriage at the time. By the mid-19th century, there were more than 40,000 Indian seamen, diplomats, scholars, soldiers, officials, tourists, businessmen and students arriving(normally temporarily) to Britain. By the late 19th century and early 20th century, there were around 70,000 South Asians working on British ships, 51,616 of whom were lascar seamen working on British merchant ships for the Royal Navy when World War 1 began. Families with South Asian lascar fathers and white mothers established small interracial families in Britain's dock areas . This led to a number of "mixed race" children being born in the country. The small number of ethnic minority women in Britain were often outnumbered by "half-caste Indian" daughters born from white mothers and Indian fathers although mixed race families were still very unusual in Britain at this time. In addition, a number of British officers who had Indian wives and Anglo-Indian children in British India often brought them over to Britain in the 19th century.
Following World War I, there were significantly more females than males in Britain, and there were increasing numbers of seamen from the Indian subcontinent, Arab World, Far East and Caribbean. A number of the seamen intermarried and cohabited with local British women, which raised increasing concerns from a minority over miscegenation and led to a handful of race riots in at the time. By World War II, any form of intimate relationship between a white woman and non-white man was considered offensive by a few. In 1932, the Indian National Congress survey of 'all Indians outside India' estimated that there were 7,128 Indians living in the United Kingdom, which included students, professionals such as doctors and Lascars.
A few concerns were voiced regarding white adolescent girls forming relationships with men of colour, including South Asian seamen in the 1920s, Muslim immigrants in the 1920s to 1940s, African American GIs during World War II, Maltese and Cypriot cafe owners in the 1940s to 1950s, Caribbean immigrants in the 1950s to 1960s, and South Asian immigrants in the 1960s although the continuing record of mixed marriages and the later acceptance of successful mixed-race offspring in public and cultural life suggests tolerance at the time was the norm. But a recent ethnographic study argues that there are a number negative impacts despite the veneer of tolerance.
The first Chinese settlers were mainly Cantonese from south China, with some also from Shanghai. The figures of Chinese for 1921 are 2,157 men and 262 women. Many Chinese men married British women while others remained single, possibly supporting a wife and family back home in China. During the second world war (1939–45) another wave of Chinese seamen from Shanghai and of Cantonese origin married British women. Records show that about some 300 of these men had married British women and supported families.
According to the UK 2001 census, black British males were around 50% more likely than black females to marry outside their race. British Chinese women (30%) were twice as likely as their male counterparts (15%) to marry someone from a different ethnic group. In 2001, 2% of all marriages in the United Kingdom were inter-ethnic. In 2011 the Census showed that almost one in 10 people in Britain were either married or living with someone from a different ethnic group, with proportions ranging from 85% of mixed-race people to 4% of white people.
In 1948, an international incident was created when the British government took exception to the "difficult problem" of the marriage of Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, whom he had met while studying law in London. The interracial marriage sparked a furore among both the tribal elders of the Bamangwato and the apartheid government of South Africa. The latter objected to the idea of an interracial couple ruling just across their northern border, and exerted pressure to have Khama removed from his chieftainship. Britain's Labour government, then heavily in debt from World War II, could not afford to lose cheap South African gold and uranium supplies. They also feared South Africa might take direct action against Bechuanaland, Khama's homeland, through economic sanctions or a military incursion. The British government began a parliamentary enquiry into Khama's fitness for the chieftainship. Though the investigation reported that he was eminently fit for the rule of Bechuanaland, "but for his unfortunate marriage", the government ordered the report suppressed. (It would remain so for thirty years.) It exiled Khama and his wife from Bechuanaland in 1951. It was many years before the couple was allowed to live in Africa, and several more years before Khama became president of what is now Botswana. Their son Ian Khama served as the president of that country decades later.
According to the 2011 census, people who were cohabiting were more likely to be in an inter-ethnic relationship, than people who were married or in a civil partnership (12% vs 8%). This was the case for all ethnic groups except Other White, where the proportions were the same (39%). The pattern for inter-ethnic relationships for those married or in a civil partnership and those who were cohabiting was similar to the overall picture of inter-ethnic relationships across the ethnic groups – with the Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups as the most likely and White British the least likely. The largest differences between people who were married and cohabiting were in the Asian ethnic groups. Bangladeshis who were cohabiting were nearly seven times more likely to be in an inter-ethnic relationship than Bangladeshis who were married or in a civil partnership (39% compared with 6%). Indians (56% compared with 10%) and Pakistanis (41% compared with 8%) were around five times more likely. Two thirds (65%) of Other Asians cohabiting were in an inter-ethnic relationship compared with 28% who were married (or in civil partnership). In the Other ethnic groups, nearly three quarters of Arabs (72%) and Any Other ethnic groups (74%) cohabiting were in inter ethnic relationships, compared with almost a third (31%) of Arabs and over a third (37%) of Any Other ethnic group who were married (or in a civil partnership). The proportion of people in inter-ethnic relationships was lower in 2001, compared to 2011. Some 6% of people who were married in 2001 were in an inter-ethnic relationship compared to 10% who were cohabiting.
Oftentimes, couples in intercultural marriages face barriers that most married couples of the same culture are not exposed to. Intercultural marriages are often influenced by external factors that can create dissonance and disagreement in relationships. Different cultures endure vastly diverse moral, ethical and value foundations that influence their perceptions of individual, family and societal lifestyle. When these foundations are operating alongside the foundation of different cultural roots, as in intercultural marriages, problems and disagreement oftentimes occur. Interracial relationships can also be affected by immigrations problems, passport and citizen issues if they are residing abroad with their partner However, interracial marriages are not always intercultural marriages, as in some countries, such as the United States, people of different races can share the same cultural background and society.
According to studies by Jenifer L. Bratter and Rosalind B. King made publicly available on the Education Resources Information Center, unions between White males and non-White females (and between Hispanics and non-Hispanic persons) have similar or lower risks of divorce than White-White marriages, unions between white male-black female last longer than white-white pairings or white-Asian pairings. Conversely, White female-Black male and White female-Asian male marriages are more prone to divorce than White-White pairings.
Family and society
The most common external factors influencing intercultural relationships and marriages are the acceptance of the family and the society in which the couple lives. Sometimes, the families of the partners display rejection, resistance, hostility and lack of acceptance for their kin's partner. Specific issues regarding the family; including generational gaps in ideology, and how the wedding will be held; which ties into how tradition will or will not be practiced. Many intercultural couples report conflict arising over issues of how to carry out child raising and religious worship as well. Dealing with racism from outside sources is also a common area of potential conflict.
Intercultural couples may possess differing communication styles. Individuals from a high context culture are not verbally explicit in their communication behaviors. These cultures typically consist of eastern world countries where collectivism and relational harmony underlie communication behavior. By contrast, individuals from a low context culture use direct obvious communication styles to convey information. In situations where marriage occurs between two people from differing communication contextual backgrounds, conflict may arise from relational challenges posed by the underlying assumptions of high/low context cultures. Challenges posed by differing communication styles are common among intercultural marriage couples. The longer the two individuals have existed in the current culture the less likely this is to pose an issue. If one or more partners within the marriage is relatively new to the dominant culture the likelihood for conflict to unfold on these bases increases.
Intercultural couples tend to face hardships most within-culture relationships do not. Various resources which focus on conflict resolution of intercultural differences in marriage relationships have become available in the media. Specialized counseling and support groups have also become available to these couples. Conflict resolution and mediation of the infrastructural issues faced by intercultural couples leads to a broader understanding of culture and communication. The concept of racial literacy was developed by sociologist France Winddance Twine to describe the ways in which these families teach their children about race and its impact.
It has been claimed by a number of scholars that diversity within a family system "enhances open communication for individuals to cultivate so they can have greater depth, and views of people within our world".
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When we established ourselves here, the Chinese ostracized us. The Portuguese had their wives, then, that came from abroad, but they could have no contact with the Chinese women, except the fishing folk, the tanka women and the female slaves. Only the lowest class of Chinese contacted with the Portuguese in the first centuries. But later the strength of Christianization, of the priests, started to convince the Chinese to become Catholic. ... But, when they started to be Catholics, they adopted Portuguese baptismal names and were ostracized by the Chinese Buddhists. So they joined the Portuguese community and their sons started having Portuguese education without a single drop of Portuguese blood.
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