Am 18. und 19. Januar bietet Prof. Kalinga Tudor Silva, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, einen Vortrag und einen Workshop an. Der Vortrag über "Globalization, Nationalism and Ritual: The Role of Kandyan Dance in Sri Lanka" findet am Mittwoch, 19. Januar, 16h im SAI, Raum 317 statt. Der Workshop mit dem Titel "Ritual and Symbolic Dimensions of Caste in South Asia: The Case of the Sinhala Caste System in Sri Lanka" wird am Dienstag, 18.Januar, von 14-16h im SAI, Raum E11 abgehalten und am Mittwoch, 19. Januar, 9-11h wieder im SAI, Raum 509 fortgesetzt. Für letzteren melden sich interessierte Studierende an bei Eva Ambos (email@example.com). Weitere Details zu beiden Veranstaltungen:
TALK: Globalization, Nationalism and Ritual: The Role of Kandyan Dance in Sri Lanka
Recent research on Kandyan dance highlights its transition from the ritual to a performing art arena catering to urban elites, tourists and international audiences on the one hand and representing larger Sinhala national identity and cultural distinctiveness on the other. While emerging trends in Kandyan dance signify a secular and transcultural orientation, the importance of Kandyan dance in ritual contexts such as the Kandy Asala Perahera, temple pujas and healing rituals has not disappeared. But while the performing art has been taken over by professionally trained elite performers from English speaking urban backgrounds, the ritual tasks are performed in hierarchical settings by the subaltern Berawa caste. Kandyan dance still plays an important role in Buddhist rituals, deity worship as well as in paying homage to aristocratic, bureaucratic and political elites. Apart from its well-established roles, Kandyan dance is often involved in ritualization of secular events such as politics, marriage, opening ceremonies and development projects. Finally, Kandyan dance has emerged as an important representation of Sinhala Buddhist culture in spite of its varied roots and in the light of growing articulation of politics within the framework of Sinhala nationalism. Thus, development of Kandyan dance as a performing art in the era of tourism and globalization will not necessarily devalue or eliminate its ritual and political significance in Sri Lankan society.
WORKSHOP: Ritual and Symbolic Dimensions of Caste in South Asia: The Case of the Sinhala Caste System in Sri Lanka
The Sinhala caste system is often represented as a secular system of social stratification compared to the Hindu caste system in India and Sri Lanka driven by notions of purity and pollution. This widely-held view can be questioned and it can be argued that while economic and secular aspects of the Sinhala caste system like caste occupations have decreased over the years, certain ritual aspects continue to exist. This includes caste endogamy and public performance of ritual services in processions, healing rituals and temples. In the absence of an open discussion about caste in Sinhala society, symbolic strategies serve to perpetuate caste divisions in society. In other words, in caste configurations and caste dynamics, the ritual and the symbolic factors appear to be far more durable than the economic and material dimensions that have all but disappeared as of now.
This workshop will review theories of caste in South Asia which identify caste as a primarily symbolic domain with multiple meanings and diverse ritual activity. Further, transformations of caste, exemplified by the Sinhala caste system, will be discussed. Interested students please enrol until the 14th January: firstname.lastname@example.org. Students are expected to prepare a few pages of reading which will be provided after enrollment.