Liminality and generational change among the Koryo saram in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


In this paper I seek to reflect on how notions of diasporas, community and identity have changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union, focusing on the case of the Koryo saram of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The article contends that the (identities of the) Koryo saram are best understood through the lenses of diasporic conditions rather than as bounded communities (‘diasporas’) as such an approach allows for greater recognition of heterogeneity within such communities. While many Koryo saram continue to claim some form of Korean-ness, how they related to issues of homeland-orientation and boundary maintenance evidences internal variation and growing in-betweenness. The community’s hybridity and liminality stand out when examining generational differences and are especially evident among the local Korean youth.
Period20 Jan 2023
Held atBucheon University Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • diaspora
  • post-Soviet
  • Korean diaspora
  • Central Asia
  • Uzbekistan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • liminality
  • generational change