Diaspora Literature Essay

2905 Words Aug 15th, 2010 12 Pages
Diaspora Literature - A Testimony of Realism
By Shaleen Singh
Diaspora Literature involves an idea of a homeland, a place from where the displacement occurs and narratives of harsh journeys undertaken on account of economic compulsions. Basically Diaspora is a minority community living in exile. The Oxford English Dictionary 1989 Edition (second) traces the etymology of the word 'Diaspora' back to its Greek root and to its appearance in the Old Testament (Deut: 28:25) as such it references. God's intentions for the people of Israel to be dispersed across the world. The Oxford English Dictionary here commences with the Judic History, mentioning only two types of dispersal: The "Jews living dispersed among the gentiles after the captivity"
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Robin Cohen classifies Diaspora as:
1. Victim Diasporas
2. Labour Diasporas
3. Imperial Diasporas
4. Trade Diasporas
5. Homeland Diasporas
6. Cultural Diasporas
The author finds a common element in all forms of Diaspora; these are people who live outside their 'natal (or imagined natal) territories' (ix) and recognize that their traditional homelands are reflected deeply in the languages they speak, religion they adopt, and cultures they produce. Each of the categories of Diasporas underline a particular cause of migration usually associated with particular groups of people. So for example, the Africans through their experience of slavery have been noted to be victims of extremely aggressive transmigrational policies. (Cohen)
Though in the age of technological advancement which has made the traveling easier and the distance shorter so the term Diaspora has lost its original connotation, yet simultaneously it has also emerged in another form healthier than the former. At first, it is concerned with human beings attached to the homelands. Their sense of yearning for the homeland, a curious attachment to its traditions, religions and languages give birth to diasporic literature which is primarily concerned with the individual's or community's attachment to the homeland. The
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