The word diaspora is derived from the Greek verb diaspeiro which means to scatter or to spread about. In its original context, it was an agricultural term used for the scattering of seeds during the process of sowing.
However, In the 21st Century, this word describes the dispersion of people from their homeland. Today, scholars acknowledge two types of diaspora- forced and voluntary. The first occurs as a consequence of wars or natural disasters like famine or drought, whereas the latter happens when people leave their homeland in search of better economic opportunities. The common link between the two diasporic communities is their shared sense of nostalgic longing for the homeland accompanied by a desire to return.
Diasporic literature refers to the literary: works produced by these displaced individuals, who migrated away from their homeland. As literature that reflects the displaced condition of its author, this kind of writing is informed by nostalgia for the motherland and the pangs and pains of assimilating into a foreign culture.
But the multicultural identity of these individuals does have a silver lining which is by not belonging to just one culture they have the freedom to borrow elements from multiple cultures and truly become global citizens.
First Indian diasporic writer India’s first diasporic writer was Sake Dean Mahomed who was born in Bihar in 1759 and migrated to Britain in 1782. He was the first Indian author to publish a book in English. His book The Travels of Dean Mahomet was published in 1794 and is regarded as the first major work of both Indian-English literature as well as Indian diasporic literature. Some contemporary examples of diasporic literature include Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, and Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss.
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