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Mapping Memory and Nostalgia: Identity in Liminal Space


· Pratim Das University of Calcutta (Kolkata, India)
· Aratrika Ganguly PhD Research Scholar (University of Calcutta, India)


07/28 | 09:20-09:40 UTC+2/CEST


This Paper tries to understand the historical and political context of Burmese Repatriates who repatriated during enforcement of nationalistic policies in Burma and it will conceptualize the oral narratives of Burmese Repatriates; focusing on the identity crisis of the repatriates from Myanmar who are now settled in and around the city of Kolkata. The country of Myanmar was under the British Empire from 1824 to 1948, many Indians (undivided British India) went to Myanmar (known earlier as Burma) for better job opportunities and many went there as part of the British Army or as a part of the Indian National Army formed by Subhash Chandra Bose. However, the repatriates started migrating back to India during various phases of the 20th century either due to various anti-Indian riots started from the early 20th century and ethnic conflict or because of the nationalisation imposed upon the people of Burma by General Ne Win, former President of Burma. This paper focuses on the migration and dislocation of Indians of Burmese origin settled in and around Kolkata, India and how they are still living with the memory of their lives in Burma (in their imagination it is Burma still now and not the modern-day political country of Myanmar) and it subsequently becomes the narrative of their living. Analysis of the repatriate narratives of Burma Colony in Bengal will be a departure from the grand narratives of Burma and Repatriation. Besides, it will trace the Cultural memory and sense of nostalgia of Burmese repatriates across generations.