No Country for Diasporic Men
Master Theses by
Zehra Ahmed Yousofi
Western Kentucky University
I cam across this thesis from Zehra Yousofi a few days ago, and it blew my mind. Rarely have I read papers this enticing. I went through it first time in one sitting. It was as if Yousofi was describing my life. The thesis is about specifically South Asian Diasporic Men, but I realize this can be extended to many others. The notion of hybridity, and the understanding on the pains and struggles was very cathartic.
Effects of colonialism, racism, classism, sexism, can be such big topics, and I notice the desire to simplify, to cast it all away. I realize I haven’t been equipped with the appropriate language nor tools to deal with my challenges, as I did what I could do assimilate, to fit into the perversion and violence of normality.
Yousofi writes, “Ultimately, there are two possible consequences for South Asian men in a diaspora: one is to attempt to negotiate their position as a mixture of both the ideals of the diaspora and South Asian culture and the second is to continue to live a fragmented life of denying aspects of their identity tied to either the diaspora or South Asian culture.”
The strange and rare feeling of representation, as I rarely experience from characters in books, films or music, but here, I suddenly felt naked, seen. It was difficult to describe this feeling, as it was so rare and new. I cried. I breathed out, and let go.
I highly recommend this read, and the empathy and compassion that it asks of ourselves, for ourselves perhaps.