“Creolization and creole populations in (postcolonial) Asia and the Asian diaspora”.
Creolization and creole populations have rarely been studied systematically and comparatively beyond the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. However, processes of creolization have occurred around the world, particularly in colonial societies, not least in Asia and in the Asian diaspora in colonial societies elsewhere. Creole groups emerged, which, due to their heterogeneous background, were often situated in-between indigenous and exogenous populations and functioned as mediators between them. In many cases creole groups and culture have also played an important role in the creation of transethnic identity and in postcolonial nation-building. As a result of these particular social dynamics in specific historical and social contexts, creoleness – whether it is (still) labelled as such or not – often continues to serve as an identitarian frame of reference particularly in such postcolonial societies which need to accommodate for their population’s diversity with regard to origin, culture and language, and, at the same time, to foster and substantiate a sense of mutual belonging which cuts across such differences. Since diversity is conceptualized as a constituent, rather than an opposite, of creole identities, forms and practices, creoleness seems to correspond to postcolonial realities and experiences more adequately than Western concepts of modernity. On the other hand, creole groups and creole culture are also experienced ambivalently since they often emerged in colonial contexts and are therefore associated with colonial patterns which postcolonial societies strive to overcome. In this panel we would like to learn about creolization and creole groups in Asia and in the Asian diaspora. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to: email@example.com (Jacqueline Knörr, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany).
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