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Diasporic representations of the home culture: case studies from Suriname and New Caledonia
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-17, 20:38 authored by Pamela AllenPamela Allen
The focus of this paper is the ways in which certain customs and traditions are actively selected and/or reinvigorated and subsequently authorised, by institutions or by individuals, as being key markers of the culture of the ‘homeland’. The cultural practices chosen for discussion are the kejawen mystical system as practised in Suriname and the acquisition of the Indonesian national language, bahasa Indonesia, in New Caledonia. The discussion is informed by two key ideas. The first is that immigrant communities designate certain cultural practices as being worthy of preservation as an ‘inheritance’ for the future. The second is the interplay between cultural practices and power or authority, which gels in scholarly discussions about ‘cultural heritage’. I argue that the continuation of a cultural practice or tradition lies as much with its authorisation by key individuals or institutions as it does with its purported authenticity.
Publication titleAsian Ethnicity
Place of publicationLondon
Rights statementCopyright 2013 Taylor & Francis