Juxtaposing the diasporas of Indians and Chinese, the essays in this volume provide insights into the lives of migrants and – in a rarely studied manner – their interactions with each other in shared spaces. Intrinsic to migrations and transnational interactions are tales of differences and dilemmas, conflicts and coercion, encounters and integration. Traditional boundaries of language, culture and ethnicity are challenged and negotiated to yield newer forms of identity and consciousness, which thrive with their own uniqueness and integrity. The essays in this volume take up these issues, as they 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. Bringing together these two important diasporas within a comparative framework, this volume explores material, cultural and imaginative features of the Indian and Chinese migrant communities, providing scholars the inspiration to rethink many important aspects of migration.
“Groundbreaking! The essays in this extraordinary collection juxtapose the Chinese and Indian Diasporas – two of the largest in world history – in a range of unprecedented ways. Far beyond merely comparing, they also reveal how the migration processes interact and intertwine, overlap and intersect each other. As a source of insight, inspiration and information, this volume forces us to fundamentally rethink many important aspects of migration while showing exciting new possibilities in the field of diaspora studies.” —Elizabeth Sinn, author of Pacific Crossing: California Gold, Chinese Migration, and the Making of Hong Kong
“Arising from two of the largest migrations in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Chinese and Indian immigrant communities are well known, little studied, and rarely compared—until now. This is a path-breaking book, which shows all the complexity and ambiguities of immigrant life in vivid comparative detail. I heartily recommend it.”—Gary G. Hamilton, Associate Director, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington