Transnational women of Indo-Mauritian origins and their experiences with colonial and heritage languages

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Abstract

Mauritius was colonised by both French and British leaving colonial languages (French and English), Kreol as the spoken language, and other heritage languages. As two transnational women of Indo-Mauritian origin, now living in Australia, we share our experiences and challenges with colonial and heritage languages (Hindi and Bhojpuri). We use Collaborative Autoethnography (CAE) to offer a ‘multi-subjective’ stance to our narratives. We draw upon our experience with the learning, use, and maintenance of languages–from our familial upbringing and education and the challenges we face with languages through our migration experiences. We discuss languages as a means of ‘empowerment,’ but also as an experience of ‘resistance’ to language ideologies and hegemony. We use the postcolonial theory of ‘resistance’ to support our discussion of an imposed hierarchy and legacy of colonial languages and the complicity we experience in using English as a dominant language within our transnational living.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-88
Number of pages22
JournalSouth Asian Diaspora
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • collaborative autoethnography (CAE)
  • colonial and heritage languages
  • Indo-Mauritian diaspora
  • language hegemony
  • migration and transnationality
  • postcolonial theory of resistance

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