You may have heard folks talking about their grandma stories, especially folks from various diasporas. But if you don’t know where these stories come from, or why they’re so important in diasporic cultures, or why they’re called grandma stories—well then, pull up a chair and stay awhile, because have I got a story for you.
The term diaspora comes from a Greek word that means ‘dispersion.’ And oh, how apt that word is to describe how peoples and cultures throughout history were scattered across the globe when expelled and wrenched from their homelands. Cultures have also seen dispersion when leaving their homes as refugees—of war, of politics, of all types of persecution—seeking safer ground to put down new roots and survive. In modern times, cultural dispersion has only accelerated with the advent of faster and easier methods of travel, disseminating immigrants around the world more thoroughly than a wind might carry pollen.