Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year Special: interracial history

It's 2007! And to ring in the new year, I thought I'd take a look back at mixed-race experiences of the past. We often think about interracial marriages as being a new thing, but it's been around for centuries. Here are some random multi-ethnic stories from the past.

During the 1950s, North Korea and East Germany had a foreign exchange program which allowed Korean students to study at German universities. This resulted in some interracial marriages between German and Korean college students. However, it also resulted in some heartbreak; in 1961, North Korea ordered their students to return home. Some of the German wives have been trying to reunite with their Koreans husbands for more than 40 years.

Separated by fiat, a German awaits North Korean spouse

Please Find My Husband… Heartbreak over a Repatriated Husband

One can only imagine what half-Japanese people experienced during World War II; especially if the other half of their heritage was a country that was fighting Japan. Here is an article (with an audio interview) about 2 orphan sisters who grew up in Britain during the 1940s. They did not know until they were older that their mother was British and their father was Japanese.

Home Truths: Half Japanese

In 1889, a Chinese immigrant to the U.S. named Huie Kin married a Dutch American woman named Louise Van Arnam. Today, the descendants of their 9 children comprise a multi-ethnic clan who are proud of their mixed heritage (mostly European and Asian), which is celebrated at their family reunions.

The Huie Kin Family's Dynasty of Diversity

Victoria Ka'iulani would have been the next queen of Hawai'i, had the monarchy not been overthrown in 1893. She was the daughter of a businessman from Scotland and a princess in Hawaii's royal family, which made her half Hawaiian and half Scottish.

Women in History of Scots Descent: Princess Kaiulani

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani: History of the Princess


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