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Intersecting Diaspora Boundaries

Portuguese Contexts


Edited By Irene Maria F. Blayer and Dulce Maria Scott

This collection of essays provides both critical and interdisciplinary means for thinking across diasporic travels within the Portuguese experience and its intersection with other peoples and cultures. The chapters are organized into four sections and offer rich, diverse, and insightful studies that provide a conceptualization of the Portuguese diaspora with special attention to the importance of cross-cultural interferences and influences. Within this framework, and from a variety of perspectives, some of the chapters depict identity-formation paths among Portuguese Jews and Luso-Indians in Australia, as well as the historical, cultural, and literary interplay among Portuguese and other diasporas in Goa, the West Indies, and Brazil. Other chapters analyze Portuguese-American literature and poetry, whereby the intersection of memory, dual identity, and place are meticulously explored. The last section of the book addresses Portuguese writers and poets who lived through (in)voluntary exile or were dislocated to Europe and Asia, and how their diasporic conditions interface with their textualized narratives. Place and memory as means of reconstructing a fragmented existence, in the writings of exiled writers, are also explored. The volume closes with a chapter on Portuguese illegal migration to France. The studies herein open new lines of inquiry into diaspora studies.
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Chapter Four: Goa: From the Local to the Global and Back Again


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From the Local to the Global and Back Again



In the village of Khotalli, in the sunny state of Goa, A warm and friendly province, where life’s a wee bit slower, There lived a farmer Damu, who had fields of fruit and grain, Bananas and pineapple, nachnim and sugarcane (From “The Scarecrow in the Woods” by Mario Coelho)

Place is constituted by the way in which its inhabitants or those who are somehow connected to it by ancestry, sympathy, work, or scholarly interest interact with it or, as Benedict Anderson (6) would point out, “imagine it.”1 This way of thinking the community, as Anderson adds, is neither false nor genuine but has to do with the way in which its inhabitants experience it. Tim Cresswell makes the following observations about place: “Place is a way of seeing, knowing and understanding the world. When we look at the world as a world of places we see different things. We see attachments and connections between people. We see worlds of experience” (11).

Many times, this world of experiences takes the form of narratives that problematize the relationship of a community with a certain place. This is the case of the anthology by the Goa Writers Group, titled Inside/Out: New Writing from Goa (Menezes and Lourenço, 2011), which is a composite of short stories, sketches, life-narratives, poems,...

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