I had hoped to interview a bunch of English-speaking Malagasy about their various ethnic groups, stereotypes about them and inter-ethnic mating patterns. Alas, very few people here speak English so all I have to go on is several conversations I had with individuals.
The following opinions were unanimous:
1) Overall, black African Malagasy are less intelligent than Asian Malagasy. As one individual put it, “what have blacks invented?”
2) Overall, black African Malagasy are more likely to be criminals – though crime is not a big problem in Madagascar.
I should add that one person identified an Asian ethnic group as having the worst reputation for being fools and irresponsible: The Betsileo. But this person also said that, aside from that, the black tribes are known to be less intelligent.
As for marriage patterns, three people clearly stated that, when an Asian Malagasy marries a black Malagasy, the male is always black and the female always Asian. One person said the opposite – but I’m fairly certain he was confused with the question; my own observations agree with the others. I’ve seen several black male/Asian female couples and not one the other way around.
Though what I have done is, by no means, a scientific study, it does confirm the notion that interracial dating patterns are biological in origin and not cultural. A leftist will claim that, somehow, French colonialism or Western media had something to do with it. But why would the French have advanced the status of black males over Asian males? All they were interested in was advancing their own status. As for Western media being a culprit, I find this hard to believe in a nation where the vast majority don’t even have electricity – let alone television. They live in mud, or thatched, huts and draw their water from the river. None of the Malagasy I spoke to had any idea why the rules are set as they are; it is a total mystery to them. There was no indication that things had once been different either.
One individual, who is Christian, said that God gave each race the tools it needs to succeed. The Asians got intelligence, the blacks got physical prowess and the whites a balance of the two. I didn’t want to spoil it for him with distinctions between North and South Asians.
I have seen no indication, whatsoever, of any animosity between the Asian and black groups. As far as I can tell, there is peaceful coexistence.
If it’s true that Madagascar adheres to the same racial patterns we see everywhere else, then this is a nail in the coffin of the notion that they are the product of culture. Are we to believe that every culture miraculously produced the same results?
We do find some white male/ black female couples in Madagascar. This is to be expected due to the vast economic disparity between the two groups. If not for this disparity, such couples would be around 20-30% just as we find in Western countries. If the Asian Malagasy were significantly wealthier than the black ones, my guess is that maybe 10% of the mixed couples would involve an Asian man and a black woman.
I had mentioned, in a previous post, that somebody had told me that the Merina (an Asian, and the largest, ethnic group here) focus more on intellectual pursuits. I now realize this is an exaggeration. The vast majority of Merina, just like everybody else, are dirt poor and probably have little time for any pursuit other than surviving. A more accurate statement would have been that, among the elite, the Merina are overrepresented. It should be noted that most Merina have substantial black heritage and that many “black” Malagasy have some Asian heritage. The lines are fuzzy.
When I asked one man whose women are the most beautiful, he mentioned a particular tribe whose women look like Arabs. It is easy to see why, in Africa, sharp features are c0nsidered attractive. I saw many blond children on the coast. I was told this is from pirates of long ago. Apparently the population was so small, hundreds of years ago, that even a few blond pirates were enough to produce a widespread trait today. Maybe they’re all descended from the same pirate.