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Return of the Goan Diaspora: Deconstructing a Myth

Brenda Coutinho


Goa, the smallest state of India, is situated on the shores of the Arabian Sea on the western coast of the Indian subcontinent. This strategic position has always rendered it vulnerable to in-migration as well as out-migration. Various circumstances propelled Goans to travel beyond Goan boundaries. Out-migration has been an ongoing phenomenon from the sixteenth century until the present in this former colony of the Portuguese empire. Serpentine queues of Goan applicants waiting to acquire Portuguese passports in Panjim, Goa; many Goans seen applying for work visas at the American Consulate, Mumbai; scenes of many shuttered houses in the Goan villages; and youngsters witnessed flocking to agencies advertising jobs in the Gulf countries, are some of the few indicators of the fact that Goans choose to migrate even today. However, there is a subtle change in the attitude of the Goan diaspora towards the concept of ‘a return to the homeland’ today as compared to that of the previous generations. This article attempts to trace this change in the attitude patterns of the international Goan diaspora and its impact on the locals. Our study is based on observation and personal interaction with members of the diaspora community who are still residing in the host countries, and also those who out-migrated but have returned to Goa for good. In this research, we make a comparative study of the sub-categories of Goan diaspora—Type A, Type B and Type C.


Government College of Arts, Science, and Commerce, Quepem-Goa, India

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