Dying in the New Country

Canberra: Centre for Cross-Cultural Research and Humanities Research Centre
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Humanities Research, 2003, 10 (1), pp. 171 - 178
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Before the great Cold War diaspora wrenched millions of Latin Americans from their homelands and thrust them to the fortunes and misfortunes of foreign lands, most of us from the region had assumed that the land of our birth would naturally also be the land of our death. Cemetery plots confirmed the passing of the generations, but they also confirmed our expectations that one day we too would join our ancestors in that same sacred family space. Visits to these plots formed part of family life: to mark birthdays, Mother s and Father s Days, and other special anniversaries. Sadness mingled with a deep sense of belonging on those occasions, as young children, parents and grandparents pilgrimaged as one in this time-honoured ritual of remembrance and solidarity with our dead. Family plots were an extension of our family homes, they completed the circle of life and death.
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