India's other sites: social and cultural pathways at home and abroad
Cláudia Pereira (ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon)
Rita Cachado (ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon)
Inês Lourenço (CRIA, ISCTE-IUL)
Block 1, Piso 0, Room 36
Start time:
18 April, 2011 at 11:30 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short abstract:

India is a privileged context for building social, cultural, religious, political and historical places. At the same time, India is a starting point for building Indian places outside its territorial matrix. Diaspora phenomena illustrate these multi-sited and multi-belonging experiences.

Long abstract:

In and outside India diverse negotiations coexist in the way in which people shape their lives and places, starting from the different historical and colonial pathways that differentiate Goa, Daman and Diu, previously under Portuguese administration, from the rest of India, formerly British. The different uses of history must be seen in relation to memory and daily life: caste, religion, symbols and localities imply social, cultural and historical approaches.

Residential clusters inhabited by South Asian groups all over the world's greatest urban areas originate interesting interactions between people and spaces which, in turn, does not inhibit multiple processes of localization, driven by Diaspora dynamics and, by the same token, as an outcome of ambivalent belonging emotions towards extremely different national sites such as India and Portugal. Different life experiences, itineraries and memories all contribute to constructing real and imaginary spaces, which in turn act as strong identity features in present.

South Asians' quotidian and trajectories in cosmopolitan sites show that India and Asian societies in general act as a permanent inspiration, nourished by the media and contemporary consumption society. Therefore, we may raise several questions: what strategies do people use to shape their lives and places, in India and abroad? How is memory construction embodied? What differences and similarities can we, as researchers, observe, whether from the perspectives of individuals, groups or policy makers?