Sunday, September 9, 2007

The List of Questions

This will help me keep things very basic, direct and a little bit kooky.

• Since Jews have been in Portugal for centuries, do Portuguese in Hawaii have Jewish blood?
• Are the Ainu the same people as the Jomon, the darker-featured early settlers of Japan?
• Since there are theories that the original settlers of the world were water-farers, is it possible that they are the same people who settled in Southeast Asia (specifically Taiwan), and then became the Jomon of Japan, and their descendants settled across the Pacific?
• Why do the singing harmonies of the South Pacific sound so similar to those in South Africa and nowhere else?
• How much did the Mongols of the Khan dynasty intermingle and intermarry with tribes in Central Asia and Eastern Europe?
• Is it true, according to one theory, that the original settlers of Northern Japan (Ainu of Hokkaido) came from Siberia, and those people originated from Northern Europe?
• Is it true that some of the original Native Americans have DNA that traces back to Northern Europe?
• What drove people to migrate through Siberia and over the frigid land bridge to Alaska despite sub-zero temperatures?
• There is a tribe in Thailand that shares similar DNA to Japanese. What is the connection?
• Was there any migration from North America to Hawaii in the pre-Western contact era?

Questions that have already been answered in my inquisitive study:
• Why did Samoans and Tongans have such a bitter rivalry that carried over to Hawaii when I was a kid back in the 1970s?
• What's the difference between Okinawan and Japanese names?
• Why do Okinawan dishes have much more pork than traditional Japanese dishes?
• How did Islam arrive in the Philippines?
• Why is there so much antipathy between the older East Asian people — Korea vs. Japan vs. China?
• How did beer brewing arrive in East Asia?
• Why does diabetes attack Asians, Polynesians and African-Americans at such a high rate?

There's more, of course, but this is enough for now.

A history of the Azores

I know it's common knowledge that the Portuguese desccendants in Hawaii originated from the Azores Islands of Portugal. Take a look at a map and it's absolutely insane how far away these islands are from the mainland. In fact, these islands are practically in the middle of the Atlantic!

I also wonder, if all of the Portuguese in Hawaii are from the tiny Azores, why are there so many people named Medeiros? (Which is a derivative of Madeira, or the Madeira Islands, also of Portugal. From what Wikipedia says, the islands were still uninhabited into the 1400s, when the Portuguese government sent citizens to live on these islands. They were, naturally, a strategic point for countries at war in the years to come. I'd like to visit the Azores. I shouldn't really think they're so tiny. One of the islands, Sao Miguel, has a current population of 123,000.

Here's a link to a flickr page of photos.

flickr: Reg. Aut. dos AƇORES - Portugal

If life there had been this good back at the turn of the century, we wouldn't have so many Portuguese in Hawaii. There would be no ukulele, no malasadas, no Portguese! Migration is often the result of hardship and dreams. It's always interesting to go back in time and trace the footsteps of people.

Hannukah in Dublin and Cork

Not quite what I was looking for, but exceedingly interesting and valuable for anyone who treasures the history of migration. Here is an account on Wikipedia of the history of Jews in Ireleand. I had no idea Daniel Day-Lewis is half-Jewish. Cool.

Wikipedia: History of the Jews in Ireland

Waves and colors of Western Europe

Since doing some reading about migration to Japan, re: Jomon and Yayoi periods, I can't help but see Japanese faces and wonder, 'Hmm, definitely Jomon.' Or, 'Oh, definitely Yayoi.'

But I've so wondered about some reading I've done about Spain and the rest of Western Europe. How Spain had invaders from the south (Moors) and the North (red-haired Vikings, or Norsemen). It's pretty fascinating to me, maybe more so because my brother (he's my half-brother but I never considered him anything but my "full" brother) is part Irish. He has brown, wavy hair and somewhat fair complexion. He could pass for Irish, or any of the more southern European extractions like Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish ... he's sorta lucky that way!

But what compells me in terms of migration is that I'd like to learn more about where certain facets of the region originated. Red hair. "Black Irish." And, of course, the whole Protestant-versus-Catholic thing. I've seen my share of PBS documentaries about the history of Ireland and the church wars. Sad stuff. But was any of it aligned with ethnicities? Or were there brothers and cousins warring along those religious lines?

I find bloody, violent rivalries within small regions so compelling. To the rest of the world, say to someone like me in Hawaii, all Irish are pretty much the same at a glance. Probably much the same for someone from Ireland who takes a look at people in Hawaii. How could people in such a beautiful place not be able to get along? But it's true. There are problems everywhere.

So I'll post what I find tonight, and maybe the info will entertain, amuse and educate all the same.