Category Archives: religie

‘What if they were really extreme’

Hayate Ait Bouzid is a Master student Anthropology at the VU who did her research about the environmental behaviour of middle-class people in Brunei Darussalam. A country that is often not known by the large public or at best misconceived. She is sharing her story about how the preconceived view of Brunei made her question her trip to this Southeast Asian country.

BruneiBeing back from my three months fieldwork in Brunei Darussalam, it feels like I have never been there really, it all seems like a dream. With emphasis on the word dream, not nightmare. To be honest, in the beginning I was quite afraid of this country, afraid of the unknown. Especially with having very few people in my surroundings knowing about this country and if they knew about it, the first two things they would say were: ‘Oh yes, it’s located on the Island of Borneo, I have been to Sabah you know’ or ‘Oh.. do you know they have the Sharia there..?’.

The latter really made me question my trip to Brunei. In one way or another I was afraid it would limit my research. So a few weeks before going there I really had this thought: ‘Sh*t, what did I get myself into, by going to this country…?.’ I was searching on YouTube for a few minutes of reassurance, but I couldn’t find much. The feeling got worse, with every news article I read about the restriction of the Sharia law in the country, the negative stories about the Sultan and how Christmas was totally banned in Brunei. Continue reading

Living with the End

Black Hole sunBy Peter Versteeg          Recently Chris Cornell, singer of the bands Soundgarden and Audio-slave, died. Soundgarden is probably best known for their early nineties song ‘Black Hole Sun’, which is the invocation of a sort of natural disaster which will swallow everything that is ugly and false. It is a cry to be released from a depression that is caused by an awareness that life has become hollow and that the earth has been delivered into the hands of frauds, crooks and idiots. Cornell took his own life. Announcing his tragic death, news shows showed exactly this song as he played it during the last earthly gig he ever played. It is not difficult to feel its ominousness. Continue reading

Ayahuasca teaches Europe

Igreja Céu de Maria, na Holanda (Foto de arquivo: Santo Daime)

By Barbara Arisi      The ancient drink ayahuasca or daime is one of the powerful forces that connects the seemingly distant worlds of Amazon and Europe, ‘indigenous’ and ‘metropolitan’. It is born from the encounter and circulation of many traditions such as popular Catholicism, local shamanism and the Afro-Brazilian  pantheon. Forest beings such as the snake, the jaguar and the humming bird coexist in rituals with saints, gods and spirits. The result is a unique and powerful experience for those who humbly surrender to learn what ayahuasca, a beverage prepared with the jagube vine and the leaves of the chacrona, has to teach. Continue reading

Een stukje culturele privacy

Door Ferdous Arachid     Rituelen en tradities zijn zaken die van essentieel belang zijn voor een samenleving, en de daarbij horende ‘cultuur’. Ik las op 14 april een opiniestuk in het NRC over de wijze waarop de Nederlandse (lees ‘wit-Hollandse’ cultuur) lijdt onder de verschuiving van religieus gewortelde tradities en rituelen, naar het seculier-commerciële domein. Los van de vraag of ik als moslim wel of niet vind dat dit vanuit een min of meer theologisch perspectief in mijn voordeel zou werken, wil ik mijn mening hierover geven vanuit een academisch-antropologisch perspectief. Continue reading

Die andere moslims

© Omair Haq, via Creative Commons

Deze blog staat ook op Zaman Vandaag

Thijl Sunier          Bij al het mediageweld rond de lange arm van Erdogan, Turkse parallelle structuren, en Marokkaanse radicale jongeren zou je haast vergeten dat er nog meer moslims in Nederland wonen. Moslims met een andere achtergrond. Natuurlijk, Turkse en Marok-kaanse moslims, die bijna 75% van alle moslims in Nederland uitmaken staan het meest in de schijnwerpers. Maar de overige ruim 25% is er ook en niet minder relevant voor het islamitische landschap in Nederland. We vinden onder hen bewegingen die in de media nauwelijks genoemd worden, maar die voor de islam wel degelijk belangrijk zijn en die wereldwijd oneindig veel meer aanhang hebben dan veel bewegingen uit het Midden-Oosten. Ik wil er twee bespreken. Continue reading

Islam Nusantara: Conferentie over een vreedzame Islam.

WhatsApp Image 2017-03-28 at 00.14.59Door Freek Colombijn. Van 27-29 maart vond in Nederland de “1st Biennial International Conference on Moderate Islam in Indonesia” plaats. De conferentie was georganiseerd door de Nederlandse afdeling van Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). NU is een traditionele, Soennitische beweging in Indonesië, die claimt 40-90 miljoen leden te hebben (de cijfers verschillen nogal). De eerste dag vond plaats op de Vrije Universiteit, waarna de conferentie zich verplaatste naar Den Haag, Leiden en Badhoevedorp.

De conferentie was deels een interne NU aangelegenheid, maar had vooral op de eerste dag een duidelijke boodschap aan de buitenwereld. De Islam is groter dan het Midden-Oosten en, sterker, de meeste Moslims komen niet uit de Arabische wereld. De Indonesische Islam, of Islam Nusantara, is een tolerante, niet-gewelddadige Islam. Continue reading

In memory of a shaman: Tëpi Pajé

Tëpi Pajé (Photo: Barbara Arisi)

 

 

By Barbara Arisi

Tëpi Pajé was a powerful shaman of the Matis people. He was called xó’xókit, a word that names the one who cooks , the one who carries, owns or works with too much xó. The is the shamanic substance of power for the Matis. Tëpi was the only matis to be called xó‘xókit. On March 7th, Tëpi died. Continue reading

7 December: VU Amsterdam Ethnographic Film Day

aefd_bannerWhat is the value of film as medium for ethnographic fieldwork? With which dilemmas are film-making anthropologists confronted? What is the relationship between visual methods and other methods? What do visual methods contribute to research?

The Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam presents the Amsterdam Ethnographic Film Day during which we will screen ethnographic films and discuss the various theories and methods of visual anthropology. We aim to provide a platform for anthropologists and documentary makers engaging in visual anthropology to show their films and communicate their experiences with, and thoughts on, ethnographic film-making. For more information, visit our Facebook page or website. Continue reading

Van wie is Nederland?

ieder1Door Thijl Sunier    Vorige week zondag 25 september organiseerde #ieder1 – een initiatief van acteur Nasrdin Dchar – een demonstratieve tocht in Amsterdam met als motto dat de Nederlandse samenleving wel degelijk een eenheid is, maar dan in al haar verscheidenheid en diversiteit. Eenheid in verscheidenheid, zoals de Amerikanen dat noemen. Een paar duizend mensen liepen mee in de tocht en namen deel aan de manifestatie achteraf. ‘Goed dat dit gebeurt’, ‘blij dat ik er bij was’, ‘eindelijk ook eens een positief geluid’, was zo de algemene indruk van de deelnemers. Was dit naïef, niet effectief, wegkijken en vrijblijvend, zoals sommige azijnpissers meenden? Continue reading

"I belong in Africa": African-Americans going ‘home’

Sankofa. Image: Damiyr Saleem Studios

Sankofa. Image: Damiyr Saleem Studios

By Marije Maliepaard        The Ghanaian ethnic group of Akan is (among other aspects) known for their Adinkra symbols. Symbols that represent concepts and are often connected to proverbs. They are used in African fabrics, clothes and pottery and nowadays also in logo’s, advertisements and wall paintings. One of their symbols of a bird stretching back to get an egg, named Sankofa, has become an important representation for Africans in the diaspora. The combination of the symbol and the associated proverb ‘se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi’, which translates to ‘it is not wrong to go back for something you have forgotten’ embodies precisely what returned African-Americans feel: a desire to return home, to the soil of where their ancestors were taken from.

Continue reading