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Title: Long Distance Nationalism: A Study of the Bagir Ghati Community Living in East London
Keywords: Nationalism
Issue Date: 30-May-2013
Publisher: University of Glasgow
Description: By examining the experiences of the first generation Bagir Ghati migrant settlers of East London, this paper investigates the ‘link’ between the diaspora and the homeland. In the wake of the resurgence of connections between immigrants and their homelands (based upon linguistic, ethnic, cultural and social homogeneity and place of birth), it is time for us to explore the implications of long-distance nationalism. In such a world, what are the meanings of home, country, nation and nationalism: Who are Bagir Ghatis, are they Bengali, British, English, Sylheti, Muslim, what about the children and the grandchildren of the first generation settlers who were born in Britain? As legal citizens of Britain, how should the Bagir Ghatis relate to the land and people of their ancestry? How do the people back in Bangladesh whom they left behind view them? And finally, what is Britain to the Bagir Ghatis? Once we begin to think about the process of Bagir Ghati transnational migration and the subsequent long-distance nationalism which comes as a result, our perception of how the world is organised stands challenged and in need of revision. If there are thousands of other Bagir Ghatis and Bangladeshis living simultaneously in more than one country, what do we then understand about the boundaries of nation and state? Can we accept the view projected by the media, state leaders, and international organisations that the world is made up of separate independent nation-states, each with their own territory, language, history, and culture? Is it possible for a person to have two or more homelands?
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