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Accepted Paper:

Social Media as a Means of Saving Interrupted Georgian-Ossetian Tradition (The Case of Sajvareoba Festival in Racha)  
Natia Jalabadze (TSU, Ivane Javakhishvili Institute of History and Ethnology) Lavrenti Janiashvili (Iv. Javakhishvili Institute of History and Ethnology)

Paper short abstract:

The article argues that social media and internet technologies can be a resource for saving joint Georgian-Ossetian religious practices that were interrupted due to the 2008 August war.

Paper long abstract:

In our social media-dominated society, we can find information about cultural practices that no longer exist. The vast amount of information and ease of communication available to most people today is unprecedented and an excellent means of preserving cultural traditions.

Historically Georgians and Ossetians had close social, economic, and cultural ties. Mixed marriages and different types of joint social and cultural activities provided positive and firm relations between them. Traditionally, Georgians and Ossetians had some common shrines and religious practices. However, due to the 2008 war, the neighboring Ossetian and Georgian villages were separated by the occupation line and contact between them was cut off. The Tskhinvali authorities do not allow Georgian citizens to enter the de facto state. Thereafter they can no longer celebrate traditional holidays together.

The article discusses a religious holiday Sajvareoba which is practiced in Racha, the mountainous region of western Georgia, and was celebrated jointly by Georgians and Ossetians until the occupation of the region; this practice brought Ossetians and Georgians closer and contributed to their peaceful coexistence. The continuation of the joint Georgian-Ossetian practice will be the key to the normalization of tense relations between these peoples. The authors will show the role of social networks in the context of maintaining this tradition.

Panel P53a
The concept of Tradition: its survival, transformation and virtual world refashioning
  Session 1 Monday 6 June, 2022, -