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Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 2.100
Performing Peace in a Multiethnic Village in Georgia
Performing peace in a Multi-Ethnic Village in Georgia Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Georgia, this paper analyzes how the mundane peace is continuously reaffirmed in the tradition to invite Muslim godparents to baptize Christian children. In the ritual of the Christening, the Muslim godparents perform the roles of the chosen Christians while at the same time remaining Muslim. The contextual meanings arising out of this ritual help maintain peace. The paper analyzes the dual nature of the ritual: the constant, theological meaning and the indexical meanings attached to it. The ritual of Christening is analyzed from the perspective of larger cultural semiotics allowing for reciprocity of perspectives. It looks at what the ritual communicates besides its strict theological meaning and how it is acted out in everyday life. The peace, negotiated through this ritual, is seen not as a solid structure but as an everyday achievement.