The lives of ancestors: Sri Lankan first arrivals in Australia

Chandani Lokuge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Arguing that the past informs our present and indeed our future as migrants, this essay focuses on the history of movement and interaction of the earliest Sri Lankans who emigrated to Australia in the late nineteenth century. Rather than follow a sequential narrative arc, I use a personal essay form that allows me to humanize the migrant by identifying imaginatively with the migrant's sense of self, and through that strategy, question assumptions about singular national, ethnic and religious identity in the light of transnational border-crossings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-144
Number of pages16
JournalInterventions: International journal of postcolonial studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Australia
  • migration
  • Sri Lanka
  • transnationalism

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