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© 2020

A Sense of Viidu

The (Re)creation of Home by the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Australia

  • Niro Kandasamy
  • Nirukshi Perera
  • Charishma Ratnam
Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Niro Kandasamy, Nirukshi Perera, Charishma Ratnam
    Pages 1-24
  3. The Politics of Home and Belonging

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
    2. Gary Paramanathan
      Pages 47-51
  4. The Psychological Effects of Remembering Home

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 71-71
    2. Paheerathan Pararasasingam
      Pages 73-76
    3. Shankari Chandran
      Pages 113-116
  5. Social and Cultural Experiences of (Re)creating Home

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 117-117
    2. S. Shakthidaran
      Pages 155-157
    3. Niro Kandasamy, Nirukshi Perera, Charishma Ratnam
      Pages 159-165
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 167-168

About this book

Introduction

"A poignant and relevant book for our times that provides a deep understanding of loss, displacement, migration, belonging, and home. A Sense of Viidu weaves together the history and stories of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Australia and reveals the complex, emotional, and multi-dimensional experiences of the many thousands who have sought and continue to seek peace and a safe home."
Padmini Sebastian OAM, University of Melbourne, Australia

"A sense of viidu gives readers a profound and absorbing insight into the complexities of the Sri Lankan Tamil refugee experience in Australia. Empirically rich and deeply haunting, it accounts for homes lost and remade by subjects in exile and their unwavering spirit in the post-conflict era."
Dr Selvaraj Velayutham, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

"A diverse and insightful collection of texts which show how experiences of loss in and of the homeland are intertwined with psychological, cultural, social, and material processes of homemaking in Australia. Australia’s own violent history and migration policies make up a backdrop to the efforts of first and second generation Tamil migrants to shape their lives in a world of both possibilities and pain."
Prof Camilla Orjuela, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

​This book is the first compilation of the experiences of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Australia. It explores the theme of home—from what is left behind, what is brought and what is (re)created in new spaces—and all the complex processes that ensue as a result of leaving a land defined by conflict. Although the war officially came to an end in 2009, conflict continues in diverse forms, which is presented from the perspectives of those who have left Sri Lanka. The research chapters present a multidisciplinary approach to Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora studies and are complemented by creative contributions from prominent Sri Lankan artists in Australia.

Keywords

Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Australia A sense of home for Sri Lankan Tamils Second-generation Sri Lankan Tamil migrants Sri Lankan Tamil migration experiences Sri Lankan Tamil refugee & asylum seeker in Australia Impacts of war trauma on Sri Lankan Tamils Asylum seeker adolescents’ memories of the past Politics of belonging among Tamils in Australia Sri Lankan Tamil culture in Australia

Editors and affiliations

  • Niro Kandasamy
    • 1
  • Nirukshi Perera
    • 2
  • Charishma Ratnam
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Historical & Philosophical StudiesUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Prehospital, Resuscitation and Emergency Care Research UnitCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.Monash Migration and Inclusion CentreMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

About the editors

Niro Kandasamy completed her doctorate at the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne, Australia. Her dissertation examines the role of memory in the life stories of young Sri Lankan Tamil people resettled in Australia in the 1980s and 1990s. She also undertakes research on the experiences of women with a disability in post-armed conflict Sri Lanka. She was a student visiting fellow at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford in 2018. She has published work in Ethnic and Racial Studies (2018), Immigrants and Minorities (2018), Australian Social Work (2017) and Medicine, Conflict and Survival (2017). Niro is currently a Senior Research Officer at the Brotherhood of St Laurence and teaches in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. 

Nirukshi Perera received her doctorate in Linguistics from Monash University in 2017. Her thesis on language practices in a Tamil Hindu temple in Australia received the 2018 Australian Linguistics Society/Applied Linguistics Association Michael Clyne prize for the best thesis on immigrant bilingualism and language contact. She is interested in how Sri Lankan languages work in societies – from language use by migrants in the diaspora to language policy and linguistic-related justice in post-war Sri Lanka. Her work has been published in the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development and Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication. Niru is currently a Research Fellow in Linguistic Analysis at Curtin University. 

Charishma Ratnam is a doctoral researcher in Human Geography at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research interests are in cultural geography, home-making and geographies of memory and identity. She focuses on how memory and identity intersect with home-making practices for migrants. Her doctoral research investigates these intersections among Sri Lankan refugees and asylum seekers settling in homes in Sydney. Charishma employs visual and mobile methods including videography, photography and walking methods in the home with her participants to better understand their everyday routines, encounters and home-making practices as they settle in host countries. She has published her research in Geography Compass (2018), Emotion Space and Society (2019), and Visual Ethnography (2019). 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title A Sense of Viidu
  • Book Subtitle The (Re)creation of Home by the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Australia
  • Editors Niro Kandasamy
    Nirukshi Perera
    Charishma Ratnam
  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-1369-5
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-981-15-1368-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-981-15-1371-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-981-15-1369-5
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXIII, 168
  • Number of Illustrations 7 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Migration
    Citizenship
    Conflict Studies
  • Buy this book on publisher's site

Reviews

“A poignant and relevant book for our times that provides a deep understanding of loss, displacement, migration, belonging, and home. A Sense of Viidu weaves together the history and stories of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Australia and reveals the complex, emotional, and multi-dimensional experiences of the many thousands who have sought and continue to seek peace and a safe home.” (Padmini Sebastian OAM, University of Melbourne, Australia)

A Sense of Viidu gives readers a profound and absorbing insight into the complexities of the Sri Lankan Tamil refugee experience in Australia. Empirically rich and deeply haunting, it accounts for homes lost and remade by subjects in exile and their unwavering spirit in the post-conflict era.” (Dr Selvaraj Velayutham, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)

“A diverse and insightful collection of texts which show how experiences of loss in and of the homeland are intertwined with psychological, cultural, social, and material processes of homemaking in Australia. Australia’s own violent history and migration policies make up a backdrop to the efforts of first and second generation Tamil migrants to shape their lives in a world of both possibilities and pain.” (Prof Camilla Orjuela, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden)