Accepted Paper:

"This is a multicultural place": a phenomenon of the worshipping of "saints" in Roma Muslim communities in the Balkans  


Ksenia Trofimova (Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

The paper intends to examine the specificity of the contemporary existence of tradition of worshiping of "saints" among Muslim communities in the Balkans. The key concepts, their interpretations and transformations of meanings as a result of cultural processes in the local traditions are analyzed.

Paper long abstract:

The worship of "saints" is a historically based tradition and is relevant for different ethnic and religious communities including Rroma ethno cultural groups. The cult discussed appears primary in the frames of tradition of veneration of "saints" (auliya), widely spread in Muslim milieu. It includes in itself a creation of sacred places (tekke), which were the place of pilgrimage and performance of certain ritual practices, associated with the figure of either of "saints" or "babalara". Later on, this local tradition develops in the multicultural area and therefore undergoes various changes right up to the present time. Nowadays such places appear mostly in Rroma districts and are developing in the syncretic cultural space reflecting the relevant social and cultural processes within the communities. This paper focuses on the analysis of the current status of the cult and recognizes the variety of its content, the construction of social and religious statuses and roles in local communities as well as the specificity of formation of this discourse in Rroma milieu. The proposed research discovers an interesting prospect for the study of different aspects of the formation of tradition in Rroma communities.

Panel P20
Fluidity, mobility and versatility of the sacred