Accepted paper:

Transmission of local ritual performance in the Kerala diaspora and its impact on the life-world of the practitioners.

Authors:

Yoshiaki Takemura (National Museum of Ethnology)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will examine the flourishing of local Hindu ritual in the Kerala diaspora in overseas, especially Dubai and Singapore. It will also question how this ritual is adapted and consumed by the Kerala diaspora and how those phenomenon influence the practitioner's life-world in local context.

Paper long abstract:

In an era of globalization, Performing Arts is not only increasingly drawn from intercultural creativity and located in the multicultural and transnational sphere, but also plays a significant part in the complex construction of identity and place-making within the diasporas. The previous studies point out that Performing Arts among the diasporas are often produced and consumed in the multi/ethnic-cultural arenas wherein a variety of aesthetic values and political interests interact and compete with each other. However, not much attention has been paid to how those performing arts adapted to the tastes of a new audience in this modern cultural, social and global sphere. In the northern part of Kerala, South India, a local divine worship, called Muthappan ritual, used to be held only at local Hindu shrines once or a few times a year. However, the increasing inflow of Gulf money and India's economic growth changed the ritual. It has been conducted often in multiple places over the last two decades. More importantly, this ritual is now expanding to outside the local setting. They are now carried out in Mumbai, Delhi, Gulf countries and South East Asia as well as major cities in Kerala. This paper will examine the flourishing of Muthappan ritual in the Kerala diaspora setting overseas, especially Dubai and Singapore. It will also question how this ritual is adapted and consumed by the Kerala diaspora and how those phenomena influence the practitioner's life-world in local context.

panel P005
The transformation of South Asian performing arts in the age of globalization: an anthropological analysis