"Little India" is a rich historical and ethnographic examination of a fascinating example of linguistic plurality on the island of Mauritius, where more than two-thirds of the population is of Indian ancestry. Patrick Eisenlohr's groundbreaking study focuses on the formation of diaspora as mediated through the cultural phenomenon of Indian ancestral languages - principally Hindi, which is used primarily in religious contexts. Eisenlohr emphasizes the variety of cultural practices that construct and transform boundaries in communities in diaspora and illustrates different modes of experiencing the temporal relationships between diaspora and homeland.
Patrick Eisenlohr is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Washington University.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Note on Transliteration and Orthography Introduction 1. Creole Island or Little India? The Politics of Language and Diaspora 2. An Indo-Mauritian World: "Ancestral Culture," Hindus, and Their Others 3. Social Semiotics of Language: Shifting Registers, Narrative, and Performance 4. Colonial Education, Ethnolinguistic Identifications, and the Origins of Ancestral Languages 5. Performing Purity: Television and Ethnolinguistic Recognition 6. Calibrations of Displacement: Diasporization, Ancestral Language, and Temporality Conclusion: Time, Technology, and Language Notes References Index