Etymology and Historical Roots of the Diaspora

Indeed, originally, the term diaspora referred to the process of forceful dispersal of minority ethnic group or religious groups from their ancestral homes. However, from the late twentieth century to today, this term now refers to any group of migrants and their descendants who maintain a link with their ancestry (Bakewell 1) and relate to issues like struggles for political independence, development, and transnational mobilization. Indeed, in the modern world, diaspora refers to the Jews living outside Israel, scattered refugees from South East Asia, Christian minorities in East and South East, the Muslim minority, the African Diaspora among other minority groups (Experience Africa Web). Historical and Current Applications of the Term Diaspora and Its Contested Meanings. Historically, the term diaspora applied in defining the process of dispersing minority religious or ethnic groups from their homeland to exile between the 6th and 8th century. Indeed, we can see this application while defining the exiling of the Jews from Judea to exile. Actually, the term historically referred to the dispersal of a given set of peoples mostly the minority who continuously keep the link with their historical ‘homeland’ after dispersal. Specifically, the term diaspora applies principally to Jews and less commonly to Greeks, Africans, and Armenians in the historical diaspora (McClennen 14-15). However, in the modern society, the term diaspora has a seemingly different meaning and application. Indeed, since the late twentieth century, this term generally refers to any migrants and their descendants who face forceful dispersal and scatter all over the world but maintain a link with their ancestry. In fact, in its current application, the term diaspora includes other scattered groups like the Palestinians, Cubans (Bakewell 2), Africans, Christians, Indians, Muslims, and other minority groups.

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