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Commerce with the UniverseAfrica, India, and the Afrasian Imagination$
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Gaurav Desai

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164542

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164542.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 18 June 2021

Through Indian Eyes

Through Indian Eyes

Travel and the Performance of Ethnicity

Chapter:
(p.85) 4. Through Indian Eyes
Source:
Commerce with the Universe
Author(s):

Gaurav Desai

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231164542.003.0004

This chapter presents a reading of the individual narratives of two early twentieth-century travelers, Ebrahimji Adamji and Sorabji Darookhanawala, both of whom undertook journeys into the East African interior. The reading attempts to foreground the ways in which ethnicity is configured through a performance of identity that is structured both through social norms and through willful personal determination. Adamji's text provides a glimpse of the Indian community's expectations of hospitality in early twentieth-century East Africa and it also showcases the widening circles of ethnic affiliations that sometimes inform the ways in which people decide on the company they keep. Darookhanawala's text is noteworthy for the ways in which it performs an exceptionalist ethnic identity, presenting the Parsi community as “not-quite” Indian even though it is commonly read as such.

Keywords:   narratives, travelers, Ebrahimji Adamji, Sorabji Darookhanawala, East Africa, ethnicity, identity, social norms, Parsi

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