Aftermaths: Exile, Migration, and Diaspora Reconsidered (New by Marcus P. Bullock, Peter Y. Paik

By Marcus P. Bullock, Peter Y. Paik

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Maria sat alongside her mother and her sister beside the open coffin that stood next to several others during the night vigil. She recounts that at the burial of her brother-in-law, her sister, then pregnant with her third child, tried to jump into the open grave and had to be held back by her friends. The child died soon after birth. And so it was that after the subsequent death of their mother, Maria’s recently widowed sister tried to take care of her as well as her own surviving child while she worked in the coffee fields and cooked for the community whose members, Maria recalled, went elsewhere during the day.

And so it was that after the subsequent death of their mother, Maria’s recently widowed sister tried to take care of her as well as her own surviving child while she worked in the coffee fields and cooked for the community whose members, Maria recalled, went elsewhere during the day. TALES OF MIGRATION 21 Maria must have stayed with her sister for no more than a few weeks. The reason she gave for wanting to return to her brothers was her wish to wash and care for them in her mother’s place. Her feeling of responsibility was particularly strong toward the little one who was about two and a half.

The most impressive change that had occurred by the 1990s was that, for the first time in the nation’s history, there was a significant demand for labor. 10 And a global economy requires a global workforce. In this changed climate, Irish emigration was no longer something to be ashamed of, but a factor that would ultimately help sustain the new economy. Ironically, it was the history of recent emigration that, in part, allowed multinationals to flourish in Ireland: that is, not only had a lengthy history of emigration left the country relatively free of environmental controls and trade unionism,11 but Ireland, with its global diaspora, was uniquely positioned to supply an internationally experienced cadre of workers who, for all their cosmopolitanism, were eager to come home.

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