the Tamil Hindu and their neighbours in Medan Silvia Vignato Mixed religion environments have qualified Medan since its early history as a sultanate (funded 1632) and a colonial hub. In the early 1990s, when I started my research, a smooth religious and ethnic pluralism, that is, an ideal pacific coexistence of different systems of social and spiritual belonging, was locally acknowledged as one of the characteristics of the city and as a Medanese and Indonesian way to be a citizen. Things have evolved since, both in daily practice and in ideological discourse. This chapter tries to capture some elements of this transformation when observed through the prism of a neighbourhood with a meaningful “Indian” Hindu presence. This implies considering the changing position of Indian Hinduism within a local and national religious-scape as well as the symbolic role played by overlapping and contrasting symbolic areas in a shared living space. In order to underline the historical change in practiced religious tolerance here I shall compare the same Tamil Hindu ritual carried out in the same mixed neighbourhood of Medan and largely by the same families in 1995, 1999 and 2011, with a special attention to the non-Hindu neighbours’ standpoint. The ceremony revolves around a bloody sacrifice with a divination session which can be carried out for different occasions – calendar dates, personal vows, achievement celebrations and so on. The physical structure of the urban environment and its radical transformation is the background of my analysis. Appadurai (1995: 209) has since long claimed the value of using the neighbourhood as an analytical unit as it underlines the interplay of spatialized and embodied ideas and values as opposed to a more politically designed “locality”. This is particularly true for multi-ethnic, migration-based growing cities, like Medan, where ethnicity is constantly challenged and reformulated through shifts in constructed space: changes in materials, ownership and regulations. Taking a neighbourhood as a standpoint seems then particularly appropriate when looking into religious plurality as lived day-by-day experience, what Formichi has defined as an “ordinary religious pluralism” (2013:53). My reading of the neighbourhood’s dynamics is partly informed by Bourdieu’s notion of a “religious field” as the intimate construction of lived levels of submission through the manipulation of “salvation goods”: moral integrity, after-life salvation, self-improvement, health and general welfare (Bourdieu 1971). Bourdieu’s vision does not specifically account for religious plurality, though, and I suggest that the “religious field”, the constant exchange between moral and material gains, is not made to correspond to one religion but to the entire social dynamics related to immaterial powers.
Vignato, S. (2020). From imposed order to conflicting superdiversity: the Tamil Hindu and their neighbours in Medan. In C. Formichi (a cura di), The State of Religious Pluralism in Indonesia.. Cornell University Press.
|Citazione:||Vignato, S. (2020). From imposed order to conflicting superdiversity: the Tamil Hindu and their neighbours in Medan. In C. Formichi (a cura di), The State of Religious Pluralism in Indonesia.. Cornell University Press.|
|Titolo:||From imposed order to conflicting superdiversity: the Tamil Hindu and their neighbours in Medan|
|Presenza di un coautore afferente ad Istituzioni straniere:||No|
|Tipo:||Capitolo o saggio|
|Carattere della pubblicazione:||Scientifica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Titolo del libro:||The State of Religious Pluralism in Indonesia.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in libro|