Diaspora Essay

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Among the writings of different authors, such as James Clifford, Vivek Bald, and Vinay Lal, the concept of diaspora conveys a very powerful meaning but also presents many issues. This term “diaspora” essentially describes the scattering or dispersal of people from their homeland, thus characterizing migrants, in particular, who have settled in another country. While there are certainly many ways to denote what makes a community diasporic, it is not possible to give this concept an exact definition, as diasporas are not temporary, thus, does not exactly refer to the immigrant communities (Clifford 1994, 311). The fact that the concept of diaspora initially described the displaced communities of Jewish, Greek, and Armenian people but has since broadened to include a multitude of other communities, such as the Indians, clearly demonstrates its expanding definition. Additionally, diasporas apply heavily to South Asian communities. In the early twentieth century, a growing population of Indians began settling in the United States and started making history in U.S. culture. Combining the viewpoints of James Clifford, Vivek Bald, and Vinay Lal, diaspora proves to be a very powerful notion that embodies the difficult settlements of the South Asian communities into North America, highlighting their struggles but also achievements which is what makes their stories so interesting. First and foremost, Clifford James explores the distinct criteria in defining the meaning of diaspora and the criticism that comes with this. He details Safran’s six categories in being a true diasporic community, which includes “a history of dispersal… desire for eventual return… and a collective identity importantly defined by this relationship” (Clifford 1994, ... ... middle of paper ... ..., this struggle for freedom is also an important moment in the history that has helped shape our future. In 1965, laws were finally enacted to allow easier entry for immigrants, causing the burgeoning amount of South Asian diasporas existing in the U.S. today. Because of the efforts of the Indian immigrants in the Komagata Maru calamity, future South Asian diasporas were able to settle in more areas in the U.S. as well as Canada. With all the definitions and details circulating this concept, it is imperative to be cognizant of the essence of a diaspora. It is a term that certain communities collectively identify with, through which they have shared the same experiences of loss, obstacles, and eventually freedom. Most importantly, it is a term that relates to the past struggles migrants overcame to allow the expansion of such South Asian diasporic communities today.

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