Intermarriage is a good thing, but difficult

The mayor of new York bill De Blasio, on 8 November will be re-elected for another four — year term despite his unpopularity among many of the inhabitants the main metropolis of America. The unpopularity is due not only to political views he is an ardent lavalieres, “progressives” politically correct quirks, but the fact that he’s married to a black woman. It’s very sad for some people, although they are not ready to admit it.

photo: Alex geldings

…Much water has flowed since then, in 1958, police arrested the residents of Virginia, Richard Lavinge and Mildred Jeter. They were arrested because they married a white man and a black woman. In those years, Virginia was one of 29 States where interracial marriages were prohibited by law. Such marriages at that time were, according to statistics, 0.1% of all marriages concluded in America.

Mayor De Blasio and his black wife, Shirley McCrae’s arrest, of course, is not threatened. Interracial marriage was legalized exactly half a century ago — in 1967 in the era of the providing the colored minorities of the plenitude of civil rights. But this does not mean that such marriages in the USA have become common and what made them “assorted” citizens of the idyllically they coexist.

Some may think that constantly seeing commercials on TV raznoraznih partners. American TV presenters — too, everything is completely “mixed” couples. A movie is always present interracial fellowship (and romance, just friendship). But life is not so. Segregation abolished long ago, half a century ago, but it disappeared de jure, exists de facto. Live mostly white among whites, blacks among blacks, Indians among the Indians, etc. And marriage combined too often with her.

The proportion of “black and white” marriages in the US is not up to 2% of the total number of marriages. If you look at the statistics, which also includes other races and ethnic groups, the definition of “mixed marriage” falls 15% of all marriages. For comparison: in 1980 the figure was 6.7 percent. Progress is evident, but the proportion of this phenomenon in the overall marital pot small. The percentage of Americans who do not see anything wrong with interracial and interethnic love, in 80-e years was approximately 50%, and now exceeds 80%. But again: don’t argue does not mean to participate.

But as is the case in Russia? When you start to look for statistics of mixed marriages, I see an incredible inconsistency in the data, from 12% to 58%. The statistics of interethnic marriages is not conducted, the absence of the column about a nationality in the passport and the appropriate column upon application to the Registrar makes this information very difficult. When trying to collect such statistics, they do so in different ways. For example: consider whether interethnic marriage, the Union of Russian from Russia and Russian woman from Uzbekistan? Or so can only be considered a Russian-Uzbek marriage where one of the parties belongs to the Russian ethnic group and the other to Uzbekistan? And what about half-breeds? Well, and so on.

I remember reading in 2012, the investigative journalism of “Rosbalt” concerning Moscow and St. Petersburg colleagues asked for the registry offices of the two capitals to provide data on ethnic (international) marriages and divorces over the last 10 years. “The main surprise, said “Rosbalt”, statistics have shown that, contrary to the traditional view, the number of interethnic marriages in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg in recent years is declining and not growing.”

The authors of this analysis stated “absolute leadership” of the Russian-Ukrainian marriages (in Moscow — 35,4%), while the second and third places were Russian-Moldovan (9,6%) and Russian-Armenian (8.5%) marriages. Next, in descending order were the marriages with citizens of Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Tajikistan, Georgia — the authors noted that “the vast majority of inter-ethnic marriages is with the citizens of the former Soviet republics”. The most preferred spouses from foreign countries were, in descending order, the Turks, the Germans, the Americans, the Israelis, the British, the Italians.

But more interesting other statistics. According to sociologists I have seen in several studies, “for and against” inter-ethnic marriages is almost the same number of Russians — in the range of 30% to 35%. For comparison: in America, as mentioned above, supporters have fourfold advantage over opponents.

It seems strange to me — for the simple reason that in Russia the coexistence of different ethnic groups is much older than in the New world, which newcomers from Europe began to settle only in the XVI–XVII centuries. International communication on the territory of Russia also has always been less antagonistic than in America, where white first exterminated the Indians, then were brought from Africa black slaves for hard labor on plantations then fought each other for colonies (England, France and the United States, with Spain and Mexico, etc.).

In Russia, too, was the forcible annexation of Slavic lands to the Golden Horde and the conquest of the ancestral lands of the Finno-Ugric, Turkic and other peoples, and the annexation to the Russian Empire in the North Caucasus in the result of the prolonged Caucasian war (1817-1864) and many other events of this kind. But… the “Tatar-Mongol yoke” many historians take all the quotes — just the Russian principalities paid tribute to the Khan, but lived freely with the Slavs and Tatars coexisted for two hundred years, mostly in peace. Ethnic Russian-Tatar marriages then was an everyday thing; among other relatives between Russian princes and Tatar nobleman.

The Grand Duchy of Lithuania, too, was not a “prison of peoples” for the Slavs and other ethnic groups, say the historians (this state was part of some Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian lands together with the Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Moldovan): it was common Baltic-Slavic state. Slavs was not forbidden to speak their language, to practice their faith. Mixed marriages were commonplace.

In a later pre-revolutionary Russia the spread of mixed marriages was rather restricted religious and class distinction than ethnic. But anyway — different people mingled with each other, it is inevitable in the framework of the multinational state.

Where did the negative or at least cautious the attitude of many of today’s Russians to mixed marriages? Probably one of the reasons is the abundance of ethnic conflicts (in various forms, from consumer hostility to full-scale hostilities) in the post-Soviet period. It started even before the collapse of the USSR weakened as soon as the “hand of Moscow”, immediately appeared on the surface of the old national grievances began settling of accounts between the neighboring Nations.

Not going to list the bloodiest conflicts in the post — Soviet space are well known. Let me just say that they are clearly not contributed to the tolerant attitude of the ex-Soviet peoples to other ethnic groups, including within the framework of inter-ethnic marriages.

Another blow to the friendship of Nations, which praised the Soviet propaganda (and which to a certain extent, really existed), was the abolition of propiska. Earlier people were bound to their places of residence, and can now (if you can) to buy housing at least in Moscow, at least in St. Petersburg; the percentage of “newcomers” in major cities has increased dramatically, does not need any statistics, one can see that with the naked eye. “Foreign” elements from the national Borderlands of the Russian Federation and from neighboring countries, many “natives” are irritating because immigrants increase the burden on the infrastructure, create congestion, and in addition often do not behave as is customary where they came from. Shooting into the air at weddings freedom-loving children of the mountains, combined with the marriage in Moscow only one, but very telling example.

Inter-ethnic unions is considered a blessing not only sociologists and political scientists but also many ordinary citizens — particularly in Western countries. Exaggerated political correctness that extends to the denial of the differences between the sexes in terms of physical abilities, the emancipation up to the extermination of all female fact (tenderness, affection, compassion, grace, and beauty) has turned so many Western women unattractive to Western men being. Americans and Europeans often travel to Asia and Eastern Europe (including not least in Russia) in search of feminine women, which are almost extinct in the West.

But there are “internationalists” lurks a serious danger: culture of Eastern and Western countries is very uneven, and not always “foreign spouse” can get used to a new country, to adopt and internalize its customs, traditions, language. Interesting statistics of international marriages in the world: the smallest figure has a Japan — 5%, and the leader of Cyprus — almost 75%. But, the same Japan is the leader in ethnic divorce: in the land of the rising sun falls about 70% of the international unions.

Statistics (albeit anecdotal) evidence that in Russia marriages and divorces between people of different nationalities approximately correspond to the total ratio of marriages and divorces without regard to the nationality — is saved every second family. If you compare with Japan, it can be concluded that Russia has more in common culturally with the countries “imported” spouses.

…I remembered an old anecdote. What is Paradise? That’s an English house, Chinese cook, American salary, a Russian wife. And what the hell? It is a Chinese house, an English cook, a Russian salary American wife.

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