Diasporic Identity

Diasporic Identity


Diasporic identity comes from people relocating from one community, country, to another (diaspora). Diasporic identity involves a movement of people who have a thing in common, nation/ethnicity, and move to another geographical location that is new to them. Often, it is linked with refugees.

There is always this problem in diasporic identities: Who are we? The most important question always rises. How do diasporic identities identify themselves? In MAUS, the writer portrays the strong contrast between the father and the son. The father identifies himself as Jew who has been survived through harshness, and tried to live in a way that Jewish people would behave traditionally. Without experiences and knowledge of his dad's effort, the writer got tease a lot when he was in his childhood and become confused about their own identity. Is he polish or American?

There is always a difference with new life and expectation. For diasporic identities that moved from a different place, there are tons of things that are difference. In the Short Novel, House-Hunting, unlike Soweto depicts the writer’s family moved from South Africa to New York. The complicated process of house renting makes the house-hunting procedure exciting as well as frustrating. A different language and a different rental system make the writer even more unease than when she was in South Africa. In Persepolis, Marjane was kicked out of the house and became a homeless person because her failure relationship. Diasporic identities are not easy and stable state to find or easy to keep. The collision between and within two different cultures requires time and effort to reach equilibrium.

Besides, we talked about the understanding and effectiveness of communicating among difference culture and the danger of "one aspect." There is always a prevailing image of one certain culture for diasporic identities. In the rap show we view during class, where two Asian girls were showing about their discontent about how people treat them with those prevailing images. There is always more of one culture. But limited as access to them in case of immigrates, the local residents are only able to learn about their culture through those diasporic identities, which might cause cultural bias.

The issue of how to survive while in a new residence is always a bug to diasporic identities. Often, such people face hardships in their place of residence, starvation, abuse (especially women and girls) and issue of selecting laborers to work for the country in which they seek refuge. Racism and discrimination are part of the problems diasporic identities face, as shown in MAUS. Vladek shows negative attitude towards African-American race and give negative comments towards such races, and finds it hard to communicate due to his broken English portrays him as miserly. He finds it hard to communicate to his wife Anja due to their separation. Vladek is chosen among the laborers, they find it hard to communicate to each other and they only reunite after the end of war. In the end, Vladek finds a way to survive even though his parents are not pleased.

The question of integration with other cultures is often raised by diasporic identities. Having life as easy as before in new place is difficult, since they find it hard to interact, understand and associate with other cultures. Marjane in Persepolis portrays this when she is in exile in Australia. She does not have friends to share with her friends during Christmas, she denies her identity when approached and she is often not at peace when she remembers her relatives back home. Diasporic identities fear revealing their identity in their newly place, which act as a barrier of integration. Marjane eventually decides to shade off her culture and decides to learn a new culture in the diaspora.


Diasporic identities face many challenges while in a newly environment. Issue of whom they really are, their rights, how to relate with other people while in diaspora, issue of survival and discrimination are some of the challenges such identities face. Persepolis and MUAS are examples of stories that explain the struggles diasporic people face.

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