This article analyses the relationship between migration and the process of personal identification as a civil subject that a migrant consciously carries out through a specific religious practice. By examining the latest stage of an originially colonial migration concerning modern and contemporary Indonesia, that is, the Indian organized human flow to plantations in North Sumatra (late XIX-midXX century), I aim to illuminate some aspects of the relationship between migration, ethnicity and religion. Between 1991 and 1998 I studied the quite original version of Tamil devotional Hinduism practiced by second to third generation Tamil migrants in North Sumatra, Indonesia. I analyzed the criteria which informed its construction and compared them to those which animated the local creation of a new indonesian Hinduism rooted in Karo traditional religion, doomed to desappear quite soon from the scene. The fundamental question I raised concerned the tension between local cults and world religions and the shift from the former to the latter as mediated by the Indonesian state (Vignato 2000). In this article I return on the subject to focus on early ritual experiences and the creation of a visual and sensorial universe as the ground for an experience which links embodied feelings and self-perception to a larger horizon of supernatural power or powers, and turns it into a religious experience. I shall argue that when divinity is relational, embodied and immanent, therefore localized, and when its importance and permanence depends on rituality rather than on abstract and personalized constructs such as faith, like in Hinduism, its migration necessarily rethinks bodies, materials and landscapes, let alone notions of the self. It then implies a big symbolic and reflexive effort for devotees and ritual specialists alike. Ultimately, I look into the point when migrants gain strength, or agency, or self determination, by involving deeper in their own re-localized religious categories rather than by dropping them. I shall pay a special attention to how religion enabled the Tamils to think their migratory traject before “the migrant” became a trope and a major figure of the modern world and “diaspora” an acknowledged civil and political construction more and more apt to uproot, revert and differentiate former colonial or North/South unequal relationships. I shall use Ron Geaves’s analytical figure of the “guardian of the border”(Geaves 2007) and underline that what happened in Sumatra was possible thanks to the existence of a small group of self appointed ritual specialists, who were able to mediate between their Tamil and Hindu religious frame and the Indonesia-driven Hindu movement, which included conversions and “internal conversions” (Geertz 1973) .
Vignato, S. (2018). Feeling Hindu. The Devotional Sivaist Esthetic Matrix and the Creation of a Diasporic Hinduism in North Sumatra. In B.E. Brown, & B. Yeoh (a cura di), Asian Migrants and Religious Experience. From Missionary Journeys to Labor Mobility (pp. 271-303). Amsterdam University Press.
|Citazione:||Vignato, S. (2018). Feeling Hindu. The Devotional Sivaist Esthetic Matrix and the Creation of a Diasporic Hinduism in North Sumatra. In B.E. Brown, & B. Yeoh (a cura di), Asian Migrants and Religious Experience. From Missionary Journeys to Labor Mobility (pp. 271-303). Amsterdam University Press.|
|Titolo:||Feeling Hindu. The Devotional Sivaist Esthetic Matrix and the Creation of a Diasporic Hinduism in North Sumatra|
|Presenza di un coautore afferente ad Istituzioni straniere:||No|
|Tipo:||Capitolo o saggio|
|Carattere della pubblicazione:||Scientifica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Titolo del libro:||Asian Migrants and Religious Experience. From Missionary Journeys to Labor Mobility|
|ISBN:||978 94 6298 232 1|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in libro|