The BBC’s article on a recently-released book about the remnants of India’s Anglo-Indian population made me think of one of the most under-considered aspects of colonial experiences: the human product. From the 17th to early 19th centuries it was hardly considered inappropriate for British men on the employ of the East India Company to take native wives. In fact, it was encouraged. Generations of these mixed-race and bicultural children helped to facilitate smooth business relations between the two civilisations, something that was only undermined by that most ghastly of G-d’s creations: the virtuous Victorian woman. This didn’t entirely stop the process of human synthesis, however. Never truly accepted by either culture, they never-the-less represented the best and worst of the Raj. Not truly entirely British my parentage and culture, they suffered colonial snobbery and Hindu bigotry. After all, most were the children of British fathers and out of necessity very low caste Hindu mothers. As those Britons were clearly not of Hindu birth, they were deemed untouchables and no high-caste Hindu would suffer drinking from the same cup, much less bearing their children, gladly.
Despite this, they were the embodiment of the very thing that created them: they were the British Raj in its human form. In some ways Indian, in some ways British – they, whatever the protestations to the contrary, were the pace makers for India’s cultural and political elite: Anglophone, Anglicised and the products of their own ancient civilisation. The photographs of Goa reflect yet another facet of colonial reality. After well over 400 years, Portuguese India became more Portuguese than Indian. Yet, to India it returned and until recently Portuguese was still the dominant language spoken by true Goans. Much like Macau, it was miniscule but it represented the centuries-long fusion of mentalities, blood and currency that built the modern world. And, like Macau, this world is slowly disappearing as Goa slowly loses more and more of its Portuguese legacy and all that is left is whatever self-serving narratives the powers that be choose to write.
11 thoughts on “Esta é a Ditosa Pátria Minha Amada”
Colonisation through the centuries tended to produce similar blends of blood, language and culture. The Greeks around the Med and the Black Sea, the Romans even further afield, the Europeans in Africa and the Americas. Should we now add ‘the Muslim Diaspora’ in Europe?
Janus: The Macedonian Greeks also left a blood and cultural blend in South Asia.The Gandhara style was so obvious a fusion that Blind Freddy would see it.
Link: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/Gandhara_Buddha_(tnm).jpeg (This is just the best image that came up on Google Search) India’s classical Gupta style still showed a strong Greek influence: http://www.buddhachannel.tv/portail/local/cache-vignettes/L266xH417/Mathura_buddha-7f901.jpg
Thus, inadvertently and indirectly, the Greeks influenced Chinese, Korean and Japanese art forms.
Yes, you can say that Muslim colonies are just another part of this ancient process. They’re not especially new, either. The Balkans have suffered for centuries. Most famously, Portugal and its less interesting and important neighbour, I forget the name, fought the lot off for centuries. There are also remaining Jewish colonies in Europe. Nothing like it was before the Holocaust and Pogroms, but colonies never-the-less.
Yes, Alexandros Megalos did the business and where Carthage failed, later North Africans spread their style around Iberia. Interesting too how Asian design and technology filtered back to the UK and Europe with the help of the imperial powers.
mmm, where are Ferdinand and Isabella when you need them?
CO: Sod the lot! So long as Portugal is left alone, the muzzies can have Dodgydagoland. It’s a gigantic tourist trap these days, anyway.
Considering how many times Europe has been round this mulberry bush before in history, one would have thought we would know better than to let them in again and this time voluntarily!!!
Nothing of any good has ever come out of the East!
From Genghis Khan to SARS, it has always been trouble for centuries.
Why are people so bloody self destructive?
God rot all liberals, humanists, do-gooders and the like. If they are so bloody worried about the wogs of any variety why don’t they go there to “do good” rather than bringing them here to sully our patch?
Talk about doomed to repeat mistakes!
Christopher, Portugal is safe, too poor to give handouts to gimmigrants!! They don’t appear to harbour parasites!
I am hideously amused to see the obvious and anticipated consequence of Merkel’s largesse, as if it wasn’t obvious that it would cause the resurgence of fascism. People do not change. All PC does is to repress superficially and give a temporary guilt complex to the easily persuaded.
About time people recognised that we are the nastiest and most violent species on this earth (at the moment!)
CO: Meritocracy and the domesticated pig were imported by the Portuguese from China. As were paper, silk and fine china. People like the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese didn’t cause us trouble at home. They’re also some of the least prone to criminal activity of any group. Certain people practising a particular “religion of peace”,however, have well above average crime and dole-dependency rates! I insist on keeping one of my neighbours, though. She’s an Algerian who married a German, integrated entirely and even raised several German Catholic children in defiance of Islamic law and her fellow Muslims. She also works hard and is always the first to help anyone who needs it with no thought paid to ever getting anything back. I’d be happy to send 1000 dole-sucking Hun parasites to Algeria in her place!
You have heard that AfD received 14.2pc of votes Sunday in Berlin, I’m sure. That sounds reasonably good, but perhaps not stunning, until you consider the fact that Berlin makes London look like West Texas politically speaking. They’re so far to the left I’m half convinced that I still need to use my passport to cross into the Warsaw Pact! I found it amusing that Sweden changed almost overnight from the asylum capital of the world to Theresa May’s vision of paradise!
The latest example of PC gone beserk came today. A couple of Belgian police officers were arrested in France at the wheel of a van containing thirteen illegals. These illegals had got into a lorry, thinking it was heading for the UK and when they worked out that it wasn’t, they started banging and shouting to attract the driver’s attention. He handed them over to the Belgian police who decided they didn’t want the poor souls wandering round a strange town in the dark, so gave them a lift back to France. The French police are not very amused at the actions of their Belgian colleagues and the Belgian police are not pleased that their two officers were handcuffed and questioned for four hours.
Sheona: So much for European unity, innit? France is always happy to turn a blind eye to all sorts of illegal activity so long as it doesn’t become their problem. The Belgians are exactly the same. Technically, the Belgians were correct. They likely had no leave to remain and it was thus their duty to ensure that they go back from whence they came to be processed there.
It amused me when the mayor of Calais was sniping at the British for “not being true Europeans” and maintaining their own border control. What it really was was the French not wanting to take responsibility for the failures of their open border policy and trying to dump the human detritus on the British.
The Italians now have camps like the Jungle full of illegals trying to get into France or Switzerland, but the French don’t mention this fact, that the Italians are doing the work that the French are doing at Calais.
Sheona: the Swiss, of course, don’t give half a toss that the EU doesn’t agree with its asylum procedures and certainly will not deign to let their country be turned into a door mat. If only the delightful Mrs May shows half as much spine when negotiating Britain’s liberation from the post-Iceberg Titanic that is the EU! Anyway, this just goes to show how far the EU has fallen in a handful of years. In December I will report from Sweden, Denmark and Norway.