The notion of ‘home’ is much more complex. We cannot talk about one singular ‘home’ in diaspora; what mainly characterizes diaspora is the multiplicity of ‘homes’ and the ‘multiple belongings’, as the following quote indicates:
· “The notion of diaspora can represent a multiple, plurilocal, constructed location of home, thus avoiding ideas of fixity, boundedness, and nostalgic exclusivity traditionally implied by the word home.” (Walters, Wendy. At Home in Diaspora. USA: University of Minnesota, 1923. P: intro xvi)
The link between diasporas and countries of origin is usually marked with ambivalence and psychological anxieties; basically because the diasporic subject is torn-between two different ‘homes’.
· “Th[e] scattering leads to a splitting in the sense of home. A fundamental ambivalence is embedded in the term diaspora: a dual ontology in which the diasporic subject is seen to look in two directions – towards a historical cultural identity on one hand, and the society of relocation on the other.” (Ed. Ashcroft, Griffiths, Tiffin. The post-colonial studies reader. London: Routledge, 1995. P 425)
‘Home’ and ‘abroad’ are mingled in diaspora, ‘home’ can be ‘abroad’ and vice versa; they are not necessarily fixed geographical points. There is a tension between “where are you at?” and “where are you from?” Sometimes, to feel ‘at home’ while they are in the ‘host country’, diaspora people create their own space. Chinatown is an example of a Chinese minority in London; a very important place for the Chinese population which creates a familiar space and makes them feel ‘home’. It is important in terms of creating a sense of belonging.
It is not uncommon to feel a kind of loss of home at home. As the title of Wendy Walters’s book At Home in Diaspora indicates. In this book she talks about her experience as a black American woman living in America which is supposedly to be her ‘home’, but she is always reminded that she is an African. In the introduction of her book she mentions Patricia Hill Collins, a black feminist, who writes of her own childhood:
· “I now see that I was searching for a location where I ‘belonged,’ a safe intellectual and political space that I could call ‘home.’ But how could I presume to find a home in a system that at best was predicted upon my alleged inferiority and, at worst, was dedicated to my removal? More important, why would I even want to?” (Walters, Wendy. At Home in Diaspora. USA: University of Minnesota, 1923. P: intro xviii)
Here we clearly see that the black American population is unwanted. They are looked down upon though they are American citizens. The perception of a state-sanctioned racism has been the reason that black writers continually ask in what sense the United States can be a home to people of color. The notion of ‘home’ in diaspora is based on inclusions as well as exclusions. As manifested in the following quotes:
· “The notion of home therefore is much more complex than approaches to diasporas premised on the power of nostalgia would want us believe. It ‘is intrinsically linked with the way in which the processes of inclusion or exclusion operate and are subjectively experienced under given circumstances. It relates to the complex political and personal struggles over the social regulation of ‘belonging’” (Tsagarousianou, Roza. “Rethinking the concept of diaspora: mobility, connectivity and communication in a globalised world”. P, 52)
Importantly, Stuart Hall reminds us that America itself begins as “the New World … [that] has to be understood as the place of many, continuous displacements… [I]t is the signifier of migration itself.” Vè Vè Clark says that “all cultures in the ‘New World’ are diasporic.” (Ibid. xix)
For Gopinath, diaspora can “be seen as part of the nation itself.”
· “Diaspora suggests a dislocation from the nation-state or geographical location of origin and a relocation in one or more nation-states, territories, or countries.” (Briziel, Jana Evan, et al. Theorizing Diaspora: A Reader. Blackwell: 2003. P. 1)