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Return migration in later lifeInternational perspectives$
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John Percival

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447301226

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447301226.001.0001

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Returning to ‘roots’: Estonian-Australian child migrants visiting the homeland

Returning to ‘roots’: Estonian-Australian child migrants visiting the homeland

Chapter:
(p.161) Eight Returning to ‘roots’: Estonian-Australian child migrants visiting the homeland
Source:
Return migration in later life
Author(s):

Brad Ruting

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447301226.003.0008

This chapter draws on qualitative research to explore visits to the homeland by older Estonian-Australian migrants to Australia who left Estonia as children during the turmoil of the Second World War. Many of these immigrants experienced a sudden separation from Estonia and had little contact with their relatives there for many decades. Most did not visit until after Estonian independence in 1991, by which time they were aged in their 40s or 50s and well settled in Australia. They visited mainly to reconnect with relatives and engage with their cultural ‘roots’. These visits have enabled engagement with ‘myths of return’ in the diaspora in a way that allows returnees to form personal connections with Estonia while maintaining their everyday lives in Australia. This has led to the emergence of flexible and individual engagements with the homeland, with visits a key way part of maintaining and strengthening attachments to both Estonia and Australia.

Keywords:   Roots, Reconnect, Attachment, Visits

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