Indian and Chinese Immigrant Communities: Comparative Perspectives

Review

Priyanka Chatterjee, Asian Journal of Social Science 46, 2018, 775 - 792.

"The editors of the volume offer fresh and engaging dimensions to the changing experiences of 'home,' 'identity,''migrant,' 'nationality,' and 'diaspora' through insightful essays. The introduction marks out the complexities that arise from crossing fixed boundaries, however, shadowy, which demarcate the geographical contours, while constricting the cultural, lingual, and other categories of identification. These across-movements perforate other limited spaces that then open up to generate trans-consciousness, although whether identities "thrive with their own sense of uniqueness and integrity" (p.xiii) remains debated, thus questioning the integrity of the nation-state. 

Addressing the complexities of spatial identities from a multidimensional stance, the volume reads the diasporic Indian and Chinese movements across South Asia and beyond through the interconnecting coordinates of lived spaces, economic networks, cultural interactions, and religious synergies. 

The contesting position of the migrants endows them with a plurality that opens up possibilities that evolve out of an instability. The volume tends to tease out this instability that is inherent within a migrant position that does not allow any constricted understanding of terms associated with such movements, hence allowing it to remain a fertile ground for investigation in the ambiguity posed by the ever-evolving transnational and transcultural engagement across boundaries."

Nayan Chanda. Global Asia, Vol. 10:2, Summer 2015.

".... This collection of 16 essays, edited by two Indian scholars, deals mostly with today's social, economic and political life of Indian and Chinese communities and casts a powerful light on little-known aspects of two of the world's most important diaspora.

The essays tell a fascinating story of how the two developed in different directions – one ignored by Indian authorities at home, the other cultivated by Chinese leaders from Sun Yat-sen to Xi Jinping. The relationship between these two diaspora and where they came into contact offer surprising insights into multiculturalism and religious fusion. ....

This book is an invaluable aid to understanding the dynamics of the people from two of Asia's oldest civilizations making it in the countries they adopted."

Koh Sin Yee. Aseasuk News No. 59 Spring 2016, 18.

".... While it is relatively common to find edited volumes examining South-South migration flows of a particular immigrant community, it is relatively rare to find works that compare two ethnic immigrant communities. It is even rarer to find interdisciplinary volumes that interrogate the intersections and interactions between two large ethnic immigrant communities. It is here that this book differentiates itself.

... the editors have carefully selected and juxtaposed chapters in a way that facilitates the comparative gesture.

This volume is a useful resource for scholars interested in understanding the migrant experience - especially from the perspectives of migrant and diasporic communities. Drawing from the disciplines of history, geography, political science, anthropology, sociology, and film studies, the chapters in this volume showcase strong parallels and divergences in the Indian and Chinese immigrant experiences. More importantly, this book highlights the resilience of Indian and Chinese immigrant communities as they migrate and build their new homes wherever they may settle. As the world becomes progressively borderless and transnational, and new migrations map onto old paths and established communities, this book brings home the fact that migration is an increasingly complex phenomenon that requires renewed approaches and methodologies for us to fully comprehend."

About the Publication

This interdisciplinary collection of essays offers a window onto the overseas Indian and Chinese communities in Asia and across the globe. Contributors discuss the interactive role of the cultural and religious "other", the diasporic absorption of local beliefs and customs, and the practical business networks and operational mechanisms unique to these communities. Growing out of an international workshop organized by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore and the Centre of Asian Studies at the Uniiversity of Hong Kong, this volume explores materials, cultural and imaginative features of the immigrant communities and brings together these two important communities within a comparative framework.

Co-publication: Anthem Press India / ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

Available for distribution in Southeast Asia by ISEAS Publishing.

Contents

Indian and Chinese Immigrant Communities: Comparative Perspectives [Whole Publication], by Jayati Bhattacharya, Coonoor Kripalani, authors

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