Editors:
Éva Rozália Hölzle
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Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka
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Acknowledgements

The idea for this book stems from fieldwork in a village adjacent to the Bangladesh–Assam border, where the villagers recounted their experience of being intimidated and physically abused by Indian border guards every day. ‘This is the price we have to pay to stay in this place’, the villagers lamented repeatedly. However, despite the continuous hardship, they were reluctant to leave their homes and move elsewhere, mainly because that would mean separation from their living place and an end to a shared life that they cherished and wished to sustain. Thus, what made them stay agonised them simultaneously. This paradox, also inherent in the phrase the ‘price of belonging’, roused our attention. A more extensive literature research confirmed that there was more to this simple phrase than what meets the eye. Soon, seminars designed for graduate students followed, so we could ponder, exchange ideas, and systematically research what the price of belonging could mean in different situations and cultural contexts. Additionally, to test and discuss the idea with other scholars, we organised a panel at the biannual meeting of the European Association of South Asian Studies (EASAS) in Warsaw in 2016, and the initial simple phrase started to swell conceptually and empirically. The panel in Warsaw led to another workshop, funded by the German Research Foundation and the EASAS in Bielefeld in 2018. Many of the contributors of individual chapters already presented their research in this workshop. We are thankful to those who stayed with us, and the contributors who joined us later during the materialisation of this book project. We wish to take this opportunity to thank everybody for their involvement in this volume – interlocutors, students, volume contributors, reviewers, editors, proof-readers, and colleagues – who thought that the topic was viable and relevant. We enjoyed putting this volume together and hope that our readers will be pleased too.

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