chapter  12
13 Pages

Transforming homelands

Punjabi diaspora and capital flows
WithRosy Hastir

The Punjabi community is the leading transnational community who are pioneers in sending back remittances to their families settled in the homeland. In a globalised world India ranked as top recipient of remittances sent by its people settled in Western countries and Punjab in particular, where the flow of capital is immense. Scholars of migration have shown that historically and in the contemporary period, migration shapes the lives of people both in the places of origin and in places of destination. Migrant communities must therefore be studied as ‘transnational’ because they cross different kinds of boundaries, in terms of movements of goods, people, ideas and cultures, creating and transforming spaces across the globe. It is this framework of the ‘transnational’ nature of migrants that I hope to study through my work on Punjabi migrants and the diverse links they maintain across national/transnational boundaries. Taking the issue of migrants crossing different boundaries as well as the ideas raised by studies of migrants in places of origin and in places of destination, I decided to conduct fieldwork in one village of Punjab and two settlements of Sikh migrants in Italy to study the processes of immigration.