Accepted Paper:

Converting within religion: religious transformation among Indonesian Muslims in Hong Kong  


Faried F Saenong (ANU)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the religious transformation among Indonesian Muslims living and working in Hong Kong.

Paper long abstract:

Religiosity of oneself may become different in various places including hometown and new residence they belong to. In regard to the practices of religiosity in hometown, there is a number of socio-cultural restrictions people may face, while in a new residence, opportunities and challenges are also influential. Based on a fieldwork in Hong Kong in 2012, this paper highlights the religious transformation of Indonesian Migrant Muslims living and working in Hong Kong. This country has transformed many Indonesian Muslims into different new identities at least from their physical appearance in public. Face-veil and short pants have become two different extreme points which colored their life. This paper examines how self-transformation has created a renewed person in terms of becoming more 'religious' with many forms of piety (Mahmood 2005) on the one hand, or more 'hedonistic' on the other due to spatial displacement.. Including in this issue, this paper also has a look at how opportunities and challenges in a new place have transformed a migrant into different personalities in terms of religiosity. As parts of religious transformation, issue of gender (Robinson 2000), agency (Avishai 2008), identity, marriage (Nisa 2013), and origins will become a substantial part of the discussion.

Panel Rel03
In search of faith: itinerant religiosities and negotiated moralities in Asia