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Transnationalism and the Indo-Fijian Diaspora: The Relationship of Indo-Fijians to India and its People

Transnationalism and the Indo-Fijian Diaspora: The Relationship of Indo-Fijians to India and its... This paper investigates the relationships of Indo-Fijians to their ancestral homeland, both in Fiji and following their secondary migration to Australia. Most Indo-Fijians are descendants of indentured labourers to Fiji. The majority have long ago lost all personal contacts with India. During their stay in Fiji, their social, cultural and religious practices have undergone many changes. Their experiences with subcontinental Indians are limited and their views of India and of subcontinental Indians largely based on ignorance, indifference and stereotypes. Recent efforts of the Indian government at fostering relations with its 20 million strong diaspora are primarily aimed at wealthy Indian migrants in the West and descendants of indentured Indians have attracted comparatively little interest in India. Many Indo-Fijians have left Fiji and resettled in the developed Pacific Rim countries, especially Australia. In the wake of this secondary migration, Indo-Fijians have realised that their social and cultural distance from subcontinental Indians is too great to be narrowed by a shared ethnicity. In the process, they have developed a Pacific identity and have constructed a transnational space around Fiji as the new centre largely excluding the cultural hearth India. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Intercultural Studies Taylor & Francis

Transnationalism and the Indo-Fijian Diaspora: The Relationship of Indo-Fijians to India and its People

Journal of Intercultural Studies , Volume 29 (1): 29 – Feb 1, 2008
29 pages

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References (43)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Centre for Migrant and Intercultural Studies
ISSN
1469-9540
eISSN
0725-6868
DOI
10.1080/07256860701759956
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationships of Indo-Fijians to their ancestral homeland, both in Fiji and following their secondary migration to Australia. Most Indo-Fijians are descendants of indentured labourers to Fiji. The majority have long ago lost all personal contacts with India. During their stay in Fiji, their social, cultural and religious practices have undergone many changes. Their experiences with subcontinental Indians are limited and their views of India and of subcontinental Indians largely based on ignorance, indifference and stereotypes. Recent efforts of the Indian government at fostering relations with its 20 million strong diaspora are primarily aimed at wealthy Indian migrants in the West and descendants of indentured Indians have attracted comparatively little interest in India. Many Indo-Fijians have left Fiji and resettled in the developed Pacific Rim countries, especially Australia. In the wake of this secondary migration, Indo-Fijians have realised that their social and cultural distance from subcontinental Indians is too great to be narrowed by a shared ethnicity. In the process, they have developed a Pacific identity and have constructed a transnational space around Fiji as the new centre largely excluding the cultural hearth India.

Journal

Journal of Intercultural StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: Feb 1, 2008

Keywords: Australia; Indian Diaspora; Indo-Fijians; Kinship Networks; Transnationalism

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