Tuesday, December 10, 2002

This is fascinating
William Dalrymple writes in the Guardian about Anglo-Indian mixed marriages in the 18th century and early 19th century. Don't you just love anything about British India?

Dalrymple sees these mixed marriages as a sign of multiculturalism, but I notice he only talks about British men marrying Indian women. Nothing about British women marrying Indian men. I'd say more a sign of dominance by the conquerer than true multiculturalism, even if some of the guys who took native wives also took on pseudo-Indian mannerisms. Maybe the practice stopped not only because of the Indian mutiny and the large scale British destruction of Indian upper echelons, which is Dalrymple's explanation (interesting in itself). Couldn't it also have something to do with indignant British women disliking being usurped? They probably had the full backing of Queen Victoria in their feelings! I can imagine her not being very amused by her officers’ un-British behavior, er, behaviour.

Well, anyway, Dalrymple has written a whole book about this phenomenon. I don't find it that fascinating, though. Actually, the editorial review in Amazon.com is quite enticing.


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