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Edición Instituto Cervantes at FAS - Harvard University

Between Two Shores: Galician Immigration to New York. Morriña and Transnational Identities pdf

Estudios del Observatorio/Observatorio Studies. 059-03/2020EN. (Orig.)

Abstract: Morriña, a keen sense of nostalgia and longing for one’s homeland, has long been closely aligned with a Galician way of being. Yet there are as many ways of experiencing this feeling or condition as there are—or have been—Galicians wandering the world. Although Galician philosophers and writers—Alfonso Castelao, Rosalía de Castro, Emilia Pardo Bazán, and José Camilo Cela among them—have already said much about morriña, its role in constructing transnational identities remains largely unexplored. Galician immigration to New York from 1945 to the present offers a unique opportunity to study this phenomenon. In the often anonymous, quotidian, and arduous trajectories of their lives—as they started small businesses, worked long hours, invested their prized savings, and raised their young families—these tens of thousands of Galicians linked their country of origin with their country of settlement. In the melting pot that is New York, the morriña experienced by Galician immigration in the second half of the twentieth century reshaped their way of understanding themselves in the world and played a pivotal role as these immigrants forged a new and unique identity as Galician-Americans.

Keywords: Galicia, immigration, identity, Morriña, New York, transnationality

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