At My Mother's Table: Migration, (Re)production and Return Between Hadchit, North Lebanon and Sydney




Hyndman-Rizik, Nelia Nacima

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In the era of globalisation, studies of migration focus on mobility, deterritorialised identities and diasporic forms of belonging across nation state boundaries. Indeed, uprootedness from the soil of home and place has resulted in a general condition of ‘homelessness’ in late modernity, referred to as the diasporic condition. The search for an ‘absolute home’ has become the Holy Grail for pilgrims in late modernity and forms the basis for this study, which explores the ‘migrant’s conundrum’: does home move where the migrant moves, or is it forever tied to the primordialism of place, soil and kinship? Through an examination of the construction of homeliness amongst an immigrant community of 500 households from the village of Hadchit, North Lebanon, who reside in Western Sydney, Australia it will be shown how their strategies of home-building depend upon the capacity to imagine themselves as being united by kinship, a shared village of origins and as part of the broader communal Maronite identity (Mwarne), which now transcends nation state boundaries. Patrilineage (bayt), village (day’aa) and sect (ta’eefa) have historically defined Lebanese sectarian identities and now, as this study shows, are deployed as a strategy of home-building and community construction in diaspora. ...



Migration, Return, Lebanon, Mothering, Home




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