This paper is based on an anthropological study of the Gujarati Hindu Diaspora in Portugal, particularly on the key role played by women in the construction of gender and religious identities, thus contributing towards their community’s cultural reproduction. The construction of female Hindu identities in the Diaspora is a complex phenomenon, determined by processes of cultural inclusion and exclusion alike and by the confrontation of tradition with modernity. We can consider that these Women embody the legacy of tradition and memory required by their own group to ensure cultural consolidation while at the same time representing an expression of autonomy from patriarchal authority. Therefore, the female body becomes one of the most significant vehicles of identity transmission, whose manifestations are encoded in behaviours, clothing and accessories. This paper aims to analyze gender identity transformation processes and show how they take on new expression and are implemented through phenomena of truly innovative status ascension when transposed to the context of the Diaspora.
|Keywords:||Diaspora, Hindu, Gender, Postcolonialism, Portugal, India|
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia/Science and Technology Foundation, CRIA/LUI – Centre for Research in Anthropology/Lisbon University Institute, Lisbon, Portugal
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