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dc.identifier.citationFrydenlund, Sarah Iselin. Kataragama in a time of national crisis. Hovedoppgave, University of Oslo, 2003en_US
dc.description.abstractThis thesis discusses the sacred place of Kataragama (Kathirk ümam), situated at the extreme southeast corner of Sri Lanka, which is one of the island¡¦s most important pilgrimage sites. Kataragama, famous for its ecstatic religiosity and devotion, is sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims alike. The god worshipped in Kataragama has many names, among them Skanda and Murukan. His myths are complex and manifold, and it is crucial to this thesis to show similarities, but also differences, between the religious traditions¡¦ concepts of Skanda and the holy place of Kataragama. In addition to attracting pilgrims of various faiths, Kataragama is multi-religious in the sense that it is a sacred place where Buddhist and Hindu monasteries and temples to gods, a Mosque and several Sufi tombs, are located within the same sacred premises. In the midst of violent insurgencies and State sponsored terror, Kataragama has a remarkably peaceful history compared to other sacred places in Sri Lanka in terms of co-existence and non-violence. That said, however, Kataragama is becoming increasingly Buddhist as the result of modern nationalist ideologies of the 20th century, and further by the present political situation in Sri Lanka. Consequently, the purpose of this study is two-fold. First, recent developments in Kataragama, with special emphasis on the increased Buddhist presence, are discussed. Thereafter, an analysis will be made of how this ¡¥Buddhicization¡¦, as well as Kataragama¡¦s peacefulness and cultural diversity are interpreted and discussed among Kataragama religious officials and devotees. My ethnographic material indicates that two trends take place in Kataragama. On the one hand, exclusivist ideas about Skanda and the nature of Kataragama as a sacred place, are prominent, which have resulted in Hindu Tamil grievances. On the other hand, a view which celebrates cultural difference as a political tool for peace and reconciliation is developing. For example, during a media event for the traditional Kataragama pilgrimage in 2002 the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tyronne Fernando stated that, ¡¥One of the blessings of peace is that pilgrimage can once more become the glue that binds us as a multi-cultural society¡¦. Thus, Kataragama as a potential peace symbol has entered Sri Lankan politics, and only time will show how it will shape its future.nor
dc.titleKataragama in a time of national crisis : Diversity and exclusion in a sacred place in Sri Lankaen_US
dc.typeMaster thesisen_US
dc.creator.authorFrydenlund, Sarah Iselinen_US
dc.identifier.bibliographiccitationinfo:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&rft.au=Frydenlund, Sarah Iselin&rft.title=Kataragama in a time of national crisis&rft.inst=University of Oslo&rft.date=2003&rft.degree=Hovedoppgaveen_US
dc.contributor.supervisorPer Kværneen_US

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