Religion, Morality and the Person: Essays on Tallensi Religion (Essays in Social Anthropology) eBook

Religion, Morality and the Person: Essays on Tallensi Religion (Essays in Social Anthropology) eBook

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This text traces the history of Tamil migration, from the economic migrants of the 1960s onwards. The author draws unnerving parallels between the status of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, as a persecuted minority waging a war of liberation, and the migrant community in Norway as a displaced, marginalized and excluded refugee community, with only tenuous links to the “host country” and a fierce but often contradictory attachment to revolutionary politics and to Tamil customs and rituals. The text argues that in the process of displacement, aspects of Tamil culture, such as marriage, dowry, chastity and ritual, acquire a heightened significance: tradition in exile is bound up in the violent struggle for independence in Sri Lanka. The contradictions which characterise the Tamil refugee communities, and the success of revolutionary Tamil nationalism in exile, highlight the transnational nature of identity politics and demonstrate why the attempts by the state to integrate these communities are perhaps likely to end in failure. For the Tamils, displacement is not so much a question of geography as a state of mind.