The effects of globalization and the momentous changes to the political map of Europe have led to a world in which multiculturalism and ethnic differences have become issues of increasing importance. In Nordic countries, relationships between new immigrants, local ethnic groups and majorities are created in ongoing and sometimes heated discussions. In transforming multicultural societies, folklore has taken on new manifestations and meanings. How can folklore studies illuminate the present cultural, political and historical changes?
"Creating Diversities. Folklore, Religion and the Politics of Heritage", edited by Anna-Leena Siikala, Barbro Klein and Stein R. Mathisen, seeks answers to this question. It emphasizes two important factors in the cultural and political exchanges among historical minorities, recent immigrants, and the majority groups dictating the conditions of these exchanges. The first factor is religion, which is a powerful tool in the construction of ethnic selves and in the establishment of boundaries between groups. The second factor is the role of national and regional folklore archives and ethnographic and cultural historical museums which create ideas and images of minorities. These representations, created in different political climates, affect the general understanding of the people depicted.
Fifteen well-known folklorists and ethnographers from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and the United States offer insights and background material on these problems. In addition to immigrants and ethnic minorities in the Nordic countries, especially the Sámi, examples are sought from among the Finno-Ugrian minorities in Russia and the Nordic population in North America.Book Details
How do people tell of experiences, things and events that mean a lot to them and are unforgettable? Eight Nordic folklorists here examine personal experience stories and the way they are narrated in an attempt to gain an understanding of the people behind them and to reveal how these people handle their history, their lives and their cultural memory. All the articles are based on interviews and narrator-researcher collaboration. The stories tell about birth, sickness and miraculous cures, intergenerational relations, war, and matters not normally talked about. The analyses complement one another and the work may be used as a university course book.Book Details
Lying on the border between eastern and western Christendom, Orthodox Karelia preserved its unique religious culture into the 19th and 20th centuries, when it was described and recorded by Finnish and Karelian folklore collectors. This colorful array of ritulas and beliefs involving nature spirits, saints, the dead, and pilgrimage to monasteries represented a unigue fusion of official Church ritual and doctrine and pre-Christian ethnic folk belief. This book undertakes a fascinating exploration into many aspects of Orthodox Karelian ritual life: beliefs in supernatural forces, folk models of illness, body concepts, divination, holy icons, the role of the ritual specialist and healer, the divide between nature and culture, images of forest, the cult of the dead, and the popular image of monasteries and holy hermits. It will appeal to anyone interested in popular religion, the cognitive study of religion, ritual studies, medical anthropology, and the folk traditions and symbolism of the Balto-Finnic peoples.Book Details