From seeking (temporary) refuge in a European colony in the Indian Ocean after 1860 to becoming an integral part of a post-independent ‘rainbow nation’, the diverse island state Mauritius has been home to a sizable Hakka community. Since then, Hakka Mauritians have both adapted to and resisted changes in their identity formation, often challenged by factors such as persisting ethnolinguistic communalism in Mauritius, further emigration, and various language ideologies and shifts. In this research, I explore how Hakka Mauritians negotiate their identities and heritages between Mauritian multicultural nation-building and a resurgent Hakka identity movement.
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Federica Guccini is a PhD candidate in Anthropology with a collaborative specialization in Migration and Ethnic Relations. Her doctoral research at Western University, under the supervision of Dr. Karen Pennesi, focuses on Hakka Mauritian migration, language and identity practices in Mauritius and Canada. The project is supported by a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.