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The Sinhalese Diaspora: New Directions of Sri Lankan Diasporic Writing.


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This article investigates a particular sub-section of South Asian literature in English, namely, contemporary diasporic social realism fiction by Sri Lankan authors. It not only explores the little-discussed Sri Lankan Sinhalese diaspora which is usually overshadowed by the more numerous and better known Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora, it also focuses on middle/upper-middle class migrants, whose migration, assimilation and resettlement encompass a very particular set of issues, particular to their class and background. Middle/upper-middle class Sinhalese migrants from Sri Lanka are more commonly economic migrants than political migrants (refugees or asylum seekers). They carry a considerable amount of social capital, but are unable to translate some of this into the correct and recognised currency of the host country, leading to certain frustrations and subsequent necessary (and occasionally painful) identity negotiations. The article investigates the struggles of this particular group of the diaspora – middle/upper class, Sinhalese economic migrants - joining society in the West at a lower socio-economic level than that from whence they came.

Acceptance Date Feb 24, 2016
Publication Date Mar 17, 2016
Journal South Asia: journal of South Asian studies
Print ISSN 0085-6401
Publisher Routledge
Keywords Sri Lanka, diaspora, Sinhalese, literature, class, migration
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