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The Evolution of 'Indian' Identity and Transnationalism in New Zealand

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Indian migrants have been arriving in New Zealand for more than a century, although large numbers of migrants are a phenomenon mainly of the last two decades. This paper considers the history of Indian settlement and identities in New Zealand and then outlines the ways in which recent migration streams have accelerated transnational phenomena of the past and introduced some new elements. This paper is based on a series of interviews and presents the views of key informants within the Indian community. At the personal level, connections operate not only between India and New Zealand but also within the broader global Indian diaspora. At more institutional levels the media serve both national and transnational functions, as do ethnic associations. The latter also illustrate the great diversity within a heterogeneous 'Indian diaspora' in New Zealand. The paper also asks whether there is a 'pan-Indian' identity, and the ways in which this relates to other aspects of identity.
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Keywords: Indian; New Zealand; Transnationalism; diaspora; identity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Auckland, New Zealand

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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