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migrant heritage

How can the experiences of transnationally-mobile people be better integrated into the ways in which history and heritage are learned and understood?

In this line of inquiry, I'm interested in exploring heritage practices developed by groups whose experiences have been overlooked and marginalised. My work focuses especially on the not-so-easily-pinned-down heritages of transnationally mobile people. I focus on bringing together scholars, heritage practitioners, artists, and educators with the objective to creatively and collectively re-envision how mobile lives can be better integrated into the ways in which our histories are learned and incorporated  both in education and in everyday life.

Roots Guide Educational Toolkit.png

Roots Guide Educational Toolkit

Are you an educator or facilitator looking for creative approaches to citizenship education-related content and teaching ideas on themes like diversity, migration, heritage, identity, belonging, and inclusion? 


Our new Roots Guide Educational Toolkit is designed for you! 

It offers you step-by-step instructions and ready-to-use lesson plans that can be used with teens and adults alike, in both formal and informal learning settings.


Download our free 48-page toolkit here:  

Designed by experienced educators and facilitators active in the fields of global citizenship education (GCE) and diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) in the Netherlands and around the world, the Roots Guide Educational Toolkit provides solid pedagogical structure and innovative, carefully researched content that enables introspection, sparks curiosity and inspires bravery to explore the complex political, socio-economic, and cultural situations we currently find ourselves in, and to imagine what futures we want to emerge. 

The Educational Toolkit draws on an array of creative methods and resources for large group, small-group and individual explorations to support not only cognitive learning but also socio-emotional and behavioural learning so fundamental to GCE.
Like our interactive Roots Guide guidebook of the Netherlands, the educational toolkit brings you, your students and participants through four steps:


  • Connect with your own and others’ current and previous experiences and feelings relative to identity, difference and stereotyping

  • See yourself and others through an intersectional lens - i.e., how society shapes what each of us can be/do as a result of the intersection of different facets of our identities

  • Reflect on how you want to represent yourself and articulate this to someone else, and recognise how you represent others


  • Recognise the range of identities and lived experiences in your group

  • Share memories to spark stories of personal connections to migration

  • Craft stories to (re)connect with the wealth of your own lived experiences

  • Develop empathic listening skills to understand and connect with others more deeply


  • Examine the differences between past, history and heritage to understand how the narratives we tell ourselves about who we are are never neutral

  • Situate personal, family/ancestral and community experiences within a broader social, economic and political historical context


  • Digest and express key learnings from the Reflect, Connect and Explore sessions via meaningful and accessible forms of self-expression


Download our free 48-page Roots Guide Educational Toolkit here:  

Purchase your very own copy of our alternative guidebook of the Netherlands, Roots Guide Nederland (available in Dutch), here: 


The Roots Guide Educational Toolkit’s creation team includes: Meghann Ormond, Ingi Mehus, Fiona Hawes, Kristina Mau Hansen, Daniel J.Wurpel, Rehab Eldalil and Hamzah Kashash

The Roots Guide initiative is made possible by support from the National Geographic Society, Stichting Pocket Stories, Wageningen University & Research, and folks like you.

Like what you see in the Educational Toolkit? Then, please support us! Use and spread the word about the Educational Toolkit with people in your network. And reach out to us! We’re happy to facilitate training workshops on the use of these tools. We’re also thrilled to learn more about what great things you’re doing on these timely topics.

#rootsguide #reflect #connect #explore #share #21stcenturyskills #globalcitizenship #education #facilitation #yourstorymatters #migration #diversity #inclusion #equity #identity #belonging #toolkit #resources #lessonplans


Migrantour Utrecht

What is Migrantour?

Migrantour Utrecht is a one-of-a-kind journey through Utrecht’s vibrant Lombok neighborhood, and into your heart and mind. We believe that sharing personal stories offers valuable perspective and creates meaningful bonds between people. This is why we set our feet on the streets to discover places through stories and together pave grassroots paths towards greater social inclusion. 

Our guided walking tours and workshops create spaces of intercultural encounter with heart that foster more expansive understandings of cultural heritage, reshaping mental maps and expanding horizons on our shared humanity. This is how we walk the talk of the African proverb, 'the footprints of people who walked together are never erased'. Migrantour. Places change and so do we. Recognizing diversity, sharing stories, including people.

For more information and to book a tour with us:

What we offer

Not far from the city center, Utrecht’s Lombok neighborhood is famous for its Ulu Camii mosque and Kanaalstraat shops. But there’s much more to Lombok’s rich, dynamic migration heritage to learn about and experience.

Get to know Lombok and the folks who live here better by taking our signature 2-hour Migrantour Utrecht guided walking tour! And why not make it an event, by adding on workshops, experiences and a meal after you take the tour?  

Our signature tour

Connect with the migration heritage of Utrecht's Lombok neighborhood during our 2-hour guided walking tour co-created and led by intercultural companions with diverse migration backgrounds. Our team of Migrantour Utrecht intercultural companions draw on their personal migration experiences and knowledge of Lombok to offer tour participants fresh and nuanced perspectives on

  • Dutch-ness and the social construction of national identity;

  • The role of schooling in social inclusion and exclusion;

  • Religious expression and tolerance in the city;

  • Gentrification;

  • Living with undocumented status;

  • Acknowledging our colonial legacies; and

  • Initiatives supporting connection with people different from ourselves.

Guided walking tours are available in English. Consult us about the possibility of having a tour in Dutch,  Arabic, Farsi, Bahasa Indonesia or German.

Our workshops

Complement your guided walking tour with our specially designed workshops that help enhance the impact of the tour and also serve as fun, meaningful team-building experiences! 

From creative workshops (e.g., linocut printing, embroidery, African drumming, collage, etc.) to cooking classes to educational workshops and thematic dialogue sessions (e.g., diversity and inclusion, ethics, participatory design, etc.) - there's something for everyone! Let us customise a post-tour workshop just for you, whether it's a one-hour session or a full-day experience. ​Workshops are available in English.​

Who we are​

More than one out of every three people living in Utrecht today has a parent born outside of the Netherlands, connecting Utrecht to places near and far throughout the world. The city is home to many people who came to the country as gastarbeiders in the 1960s and their descendants; from the former Dutch colonies; seeking asylum; and international students and ‘knowledge workers’. At Migrantour Utrecht, we're passionate about raising awareness about Utrecht’s migrant heritage and enabling our tour participants to reflect on how this heritage connects to their own. 

Migrantour Utrecht is a responsible tourism initiative co-created and led by people with migration backgrounds that offers tours and workshops different from what you’re used to. When you join us, you’re not just going to be picking up new information – you’ll also be supported in interacting, connecting, and engaging in dialogue with people of diverse backgrounds. We challenge participants to move beyond cultural exotification and focus instead on the dynamic intersections that influence our identities and the role we each play in shaping the places we call ‘home’. 

For more information and to book a tour with us:

Roots Guide

Mehus, I., Eldalil, R., Wurpel, D., Ormond, M. & Kashash, H. (2022). Roots Guide: Nederland - Verbind je met mensen en plaatsen. [Roots Guide: The Netherlands - Connect with people and places.] Haarlem: Pocket Stories. ISBN: 978-90-9035371-5

[EN] Discover the Netherlands like you never have before. Roots Guide invites you to step out of your daily routines and live in the here and now. Embark on an interactive and deeply personal journey with these four steps: Reflect, Connect, Explore, Share. During your journey you will be accompanied by inspiring guideswith diverse migration backgrounds. Specially designed questions will encourage reflection and dialogue. Let yourself be taken on an adventure with exciting activities, and share your new experiences with acquaintances and strangers. At the end of your Roots Guide journey you will not only see the Netherlands differently, but you may also want to be in the Netherlands differently. 

[NL} Ontdek Nederland zoals nooit tevoren. Roots Guide nodigt je uit om uit je dagelijkse routines te stappen en in het hier en nu te leven. Ga mee op een interactieve en diep persoonlijke reis met deze vier stappen: Reflect, Connect, Explore, Share. Tijdens je reis word je vergezeld door inspirende gidsen van verschillende migratieachtergronden. Speciaal ontworpen vragen zullen je aanzetten tot reflectie en dialoog. Laat je meenemen op avontuur met spannende activiteiten en deel je nieuwe ervaringen met bekenden en onbekenden. Aan het einde van je Roots Guide reis zal je Nederland niet alleen anders zien, maar wil je misschien ook anders in Nederland zijn.

For more information / Voor meer informatie:

Publications & initiatives

  • Ormond, M. (forthcoming) 'Unsettled: On learning to honor powerful strangers in an “immigrant world”', CrossCurrents. 

  • Silbernagel, J. and Ormond, M. (forthcoming) ‘Out of sight, out of mind: Diversity, equity, and inclusion struggles for foreign cleaners in the Germany hotel industry’, in P. Torabian, R. Mowatt, B.C. Bigby and F. Higgins-Desbiolles (eds), The Elgar Handbook on Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Tourism: Towards Justice, London: Edward Elgar.

  • Ormond, M., Mehus, I., Hawes, F., Hansen, K.M. & Wurpel, D.J. (2023) Roots Guide Educational Toolkit, Haarlem: Stichting Pocket Stories. 

  • Mehus, I., Eldalil, R., Wurpel, D., Ormond, M. & Kashash, H. (2022) Roots Guide: Nederland, Haarlem: Stichting Pocket Stories. 

  • Ormond, M. (2022) 'Landscape conversations', Medium, May. 

    • What is the one place in the world you'd want to share with your children?

  • Migrantour Sustainable Routes, Erasmus+ KA2 project, project team member through collaboration with De Voorkamer (2021-23)

  • Rural Migrantour, Erasmus+ KA2 project, project team member through collaboration with Pocket Stories (2021-23)

  • Ormond, M. & Vietti, F. (2021) 'Beyond multicultural "tolerance": guided tours and guidebooks as transformative tools for civic learning', Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 30(2-3), 533-559. 

    • In bringing people together that otherwise might have little more than passing contact with one another, tourism is appreciated for its potential to transform mindsets by fostering multi-perspectivity, a cornerstone of global citizenship education, among both ‘tourists’ and ‘locals’. Hence, while tourism plays a significant role in marginalising and exploiting immigrants’ bodies, labour and heritages, it also holds significant potential as a critical pedagogical tool for transcending the limits of multicultural tolerance discourse and combatting exploitation and xenophobia. In this article, we reflect on two Europe-based global citizenship-inspired initiatives bringing together migration and tourism in novel ways: Migrantour guided walking tours and the Roots Guide guidebook. They endeavour to rework guided tours and guidebooks, two of tourism’s most common pedagogical tools, into ‘good company’ that supports the Arendtian practice of ‘visiting’ as a key mode of civic learning. In so doing, we explore the representational and structural opportunities and challenges that these two initiatives encounter as they seek to co-create multi-dimensional narratives and routes in ways that recognise guides’ diverse experiences and perceptions of the places they call home, avoid stereotypical representations of ‘communities’ and hold space for the real-life frictions that accompany diversity.

  • Ormond, M. (2018) ‘Adoption, genealogical bewilderment and biological heritage bricolage’, in H. Muzaini and C. Minca (eds), After Heritage: Critical Geographies of Heritage-From-Below, London: Edward Elgar, pp. 148-168.​

    • Closed adoptions – where birth and adoption records are legally sealed to obscure adoptees’ biological parentage – were once the norm in many western Anglophone countries. Grassroots resistance to closed adoption relied upon the belief that deprivation of knowledge of their true biological origins could lead to psychological trauma among adoptees. In this chapter, I reflect on my own mother’s sense of deprivation as a resullt of closed adoption, her desire for a coherent origin story and her consequent process of cobbling together disparate fragments of legally-, religiously-, scientifically-, commercially- and familiarly-authorised and -authorising heritages from among diverse analogue, digital and biotechnical resources rendered intelligible, relevant and truthful by societal and (bio)technological transformations over time. In so doing, I call attention to complicated power relations in everyday personal heritage practices that challenge the simplistic pitting of ‘heritage from below’ (Robertson 2012) against ‘Authorised Heritage Discourse’ (AHD) (Smith 2006).

  • Ormond, M. (2018) ‘Heritage from below’, Hiraeth Podcast, July, Amsterdam.

    • In the Hiraeth podcast episode, I address the concept of 'heritage from below'. I do this by discussing my own complicated sense of personal heritage, linked to my two passport countries (the U.S. and Portugal) as well as the Netherlands (my current home) and other countries that have touched my life. My identity has been shaped by both my own travels around the world and my family history, which includes my mother’s search for her birth parents on two continents. ​

  • Ormond, M. (2018) 'Travel and hospitality as political acts', Medium, August.

    • What responsibility do we have to recognise and respect (seemingly) distant others? This is a personal story about the significance of both intra- and inter-national travel and migration in the ways I came to make sense of my relationship with the people and places of my youth in a small town in the United States.

  • Ormond, M. (2018) 'This place, that place and another', Medium, August.

    • What conditions must be satisfied for someone able to claim a national identity? This is a personal story exploring my shifting relationship with my second passport country, Portugal, after I left the country. Do I still have the right to claim Portuguese-ness? Did I ever?

  • Ong, C.E., Ormond, M., and Sulianti, D. (2017) 'Performing "Chinese-ness" in Singkawang: Diasporic moorings, festivals and tourism', Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 58(1), 41-56.

    • Through an examination of two festivals – Qing Ming and Cap Go Meh – in the town of Singkawang in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan), we show how Singkawang-bound Chinese Indonesian tourists and their Singkawang-based relatives produce a diasporic heritage network through ‘moorings’ generated by both transnational and internal migration. Instead of returning to a singular ‘homeland’ in distant China, these tourists return to Chinese-majority Singkawang as a result of their personal genealogical roots and of their broader cultural allegiance with a kind of Chinese-ness that Singkawang has come to represent within a post-Suharto Indonesia. Through these two festivals, we demonstrate how personal heritage practices like ‘roots tourism’ and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) are intimately bound up with identity and developmental politics at local, national and international scales. In so doing, we identify a range of ways in which migratory and tourism flows by Chinese Indonesian internal migrants shape relations to their ancestral hometowns and cultural ‘homelands’ in Indonesia within the context of membership to and participation in a broader transnational diaspora.

  • Expatriate Archive Centre, board member (2016-21)

  • Fonseca, M.L. and Ormond, M. (2008) ‘Defining “family” and bringing it together: the ins and outs of family reunification in Portugal’, in R. Grillo (ed.), The Family in Question: Immigrants and Ethnic Minorities in Multicultural Europe, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, pp. 89-112.

    • Book abstract: The family lives of immigrants and ethnic minority populations have become central to arguments about the right and wrong ways of living in multicultural societies. While the characteristic cultural practices of such families have long been scrutinized by the media and policy makers, these groups themselves are beginning to reflect on how to manage their family relationships. Exploring case studies from Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Australia, The Family in Question explores how those in public policy often dangerously reflect the popular imagination, rather than recognizing the complex changes taking place within the global immigrant community.

  • Fonseca, M.L., Ormond, M., Malheiros, J.M., Patrício, M. and Martins, F. (2005) Reunificação familiar e imigração em Portugal [Family Reunification and Immigration in Portugal], Lisbon: ACIME.​

    • 'Reunificação familiar e imigração em Portugal' ('Family reunification and immigration in Portugal') provides a framework of the phenomenon of family reunification and the integration of immigrants in host societies, by examining the experiences of countries with a deeper tradition of immigration than Portugal, such as North-western European countries and the United States. It also comprises an overview of Portugal’s experience with immigration, based on information available from official statistical sources, an appendix with a comparative table that summarises selected European Union member-states’ national legislation on family reunification, as well as an analysis comparing the Portuguese legislation with the EU Directive relative to family reunification (Directive 2003/86/CE). Taking into account the general lack of data and the limitations of the data that does exist, a survey was performed on a sample of non-EU citizens living in Portugal representative of the largest immigration populations or of populations that, despite currently being small, have displayed significant growth potential. In order to evaluate the potential to receive immigrant families at the regional level, case studies were conducted in a variety of districts across the country based upon interviews and focus groups with immigrants, socio-cultural institutions, NGOs and other relevant local actors from both public and private sectors.

  • Ormond, M. (2002) ‘Mapping Minority Media: The National Context—Belgium’, Diasporic Minorities and their Media in the EU: A Mapping, Media@LSE, London School of Economics.

Supervised work in this area​

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