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Title: ‘Bombay, our cultural heart’ : rethinking the relation between homeland and diaspora
Authors: Falzon, Mark Anthony
Keywords: Cosmopolitanism
Sindhi (South Asian people)
Hindu diaspora
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Falzon, M. A. (2003). ‘Bombay, our cultural heart’ : rethinking the relation between homeland and diaspora. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 26(4), 662-683.
Abstract: The relation between the notion of a primordial homeland and that of ‘diaspora’ has long been noted, and is considered by some to be indelible. It may well be the case, however, that when one distinguishes between the definitional and the operative levels, this association turns out to be tenuous. In the case of Hindu Sindhis, a diasporic business community dispersed in over 100 countries, Partition in 1947 brought about the wholesale migra- tion, particularly to Bombay, out of the newly-created Pakistan. Today, the primordial homeland (Sind) survives as little more than a nostalgic mem- ory; instead, Bombay functions as a node that connects and organizes translocality – it is the ‘cultural heart’ of the cosmopolitan Sindhis. Regular visits to the city to take part in family occasions, to arrange marriages, to engage in conspicuous consumption, to invest in real estate, and to establish new business connections, serve periodically to bring together people from around the world and to foster a sense of Sindhayat, ‘Sindhiness’.
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