Exploring the history and experiences of mixed heritage persons and inter-racial relationships across the world
Many years ago I remember catching a program on TV that was seeking to introduce bachelors working in Alaska to women around the USA. This was because Alaska had a serious shortage of eligible women and many men were failing to find wives or even girlfriends. Many Asian countries, particularly China now have a similar problem with recent estimates by the Chinese State Population and Family Planning Commission stating that there will be 30 million more men than women in 2020.
It is debatable where the ‘one-child policy’ that was introduced to reduce China’s burgeoning population in 1979 coupled with the Asian tradition of son preference is to wholly blame for this situation. Many other Asian countries such as Taiwan and South Korea have had substantially more male births over a number of years. The natural ratio is about 107 male births to every 100 female but both China and South Korea have gone as high as 115 per 100. The fact of the matter is that there is and will be for the foreseeable future a shortage of females in these communities.
If you have not noticed the expansion of the Chinese industrial giant in the past few years, you have been asleep. Not only is China an industrial giant but she is also using her mighty economy to invest billions in raw material sources – many of which are African countries. Behind the vast sums of money going into Africa is a growing number of Chinese experts and entrepreneurs, mostly male, looking to make their fortunes on the continent. Despite the growing economy back home, many well educated Chinese people are finding it difficult to find work and Africa presents opportunities to work and get paid more! Current estimates put the numbers in the region of 1 million Chinese people all over Africa.
Whilst in some countries there has been a backlash against the Chinese ‘invasion’, many African countries are accepting the new arrivals and the visitors are now slowly integrating into the societies. Unlike earlier Chinese communities, these new arrivals are more visible in the locals’ daily lives and there are reports of inter-racial relationships starting to take place. A recent visitor to Zimbabwe remarked about this to me a couple of weeks ago.
But the Chinese are not the only stretching their muscle across Africa, so are the South Koreans and if the pattern is repeated, we should start to see statistics including the inevitable new mixed communities in many countries. Yes, I did say inevitable. If anything history has taught us is that us humans can’t help ourselves 8-).