Woohoo my final blog! Although i was a bit daunted by it at the start, blogging has actually been a really good way of sharing ideas and i think it has helped me with the class far more than tutorials as the information is always here for us to access.

Anyway, between writing essays, i have studied for the test, ive also watched the video clips again so hopefully, fingers crossed its not too bad 🙂 The main points that i have studied are the differences between the weddings eg traditional vs non traditional, i have also looked at the religious aspects of each and then also the private and public aspects of each.

Hopefully this will be enough to see me through, good luck everyone!!!

I thought both these funeral rites were really interesting to look at in class, they were both so different and it was also good to look at a well known NZer next to someone else famous that we didn’t know anything about (i didn’t anyway)

The way that Andre Hazes family organised both a public and private ceremony and they way that they changed what would be considered a ‘traditional’ funeral into something new to suit the kind of person that Andre was, was really cool.

This was a huge contrast to the state funeral of Sir Edmund Hillary. Firstly it was not what he had wanted, it was a hugely public event, broadcast on tv. And unlike Andre Hazes it was not Sir Eds wish, also unlike Andre, the family did not get their own private ceremony, they had to take part in the state funeral, whether they wanted to or not.

Anyway, i think this is my second to last blog, yay!

Going back to the ritual of marriage, I was lucky enough to attend a traditional Iraqi Christian wedding reception a few weeks ago here in Wellington. After watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding in class the other day, I realised how similar these two events were. Both the movie and the wedding I attended, involved a different culture in a different country, trying to continue their traditions as they were in their home country. My partner (who is Iraqi), explained to me that the bride and groom had gotten engaged 3 years ago in Iraq and were now getting married here. They would have had little choice in the wedding arrangements, just as Toula did in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Also similar to the movie is the massive influence and symbolic power of family in the Iraqi culture. Things like honour and respect are of the utmost importance and not maintaining these would bring shame on the family. So even though this couple were New Zealand citizens, getting married in New Zealand, their culture and the symbolic power of their family played a huge role.
Just thought that was a bit of a different view on things 

I found this weeks readings, about weddings as a rite of passage, one of the most interesting. ‘The weddings of the 1930s’ article by Vassos Argyrou was particularly interesting as he looked at the ‘modernisation’ of the traditional Cypriot weddings and how they have changed since the 1930s, from rites of passage to displays of social order and class.

Weddings were the most important rite of passage and the author explained that those who didn’t marry were ‘not simply an oddity. They are liminal entities, almost not quite human.’ This quote shows the immense importance of marriage. A girl did not become a woman until she got married, as a boy did not become a man until he too was married.

Modernsation has affected the Cypriot wedding, it is generally now only a day long ceremony, instead of the traditional Friday to Tuesday celebration, however the general idea and importance of marriage still seems to be a very significant part of Cypriot culture. I think this is quite a feat, as around the world today, marriage seems to have lost a lot of its importance. This is a bit of a generalisation, however, here in NZ many people are now choosing not to get married and have children showing that marriage does not hold the same level of importance in our culture.

This s my first blog in a little while, i forgot to do one in the lats week before mid trimester break and then almost forgot again this week.

Anyway, the ANZAC assignment. So far i have attended the dawn parade in Wellington city, written my field notes and a few brief notes with ideas for the essay. Although i am struggling to decide what exactly to focus my essay on. I have had a few ideas, and i like the idea of looking at the history of ANZAC day and its changing meaning. I would also like to look at the links between ANZAC day and the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One thing that did confuse me at the dawn ceremony was the presence of the Chaplain. I was under the impression that ANZAC day was supposed to be a non religious ritual but how can it be with not only the Chaplain acting as the main speech maker, but also the numerous prayers an hymns that were said.

Anyway, back to the essay 🙂

I found this reading really interesting, and thought it showed well the depth of the hold the Nazi government had over the German people. The government used Christmas and other public holidays and turned them into political rituals. They did this to control and calm the masses in times that reminded them of their loved ones lost to the war effort.

The other thing i learnt which i found particularly interesting was that as these rituals became increasingly controlled by propaganda from the Third Reich, they lost their links to Christianity.” What was true of many elements of the National Socialist Christmas: the formal adoption of Christian ritual combined with a complete change in content”. Normal Christmas festivities were distorted in the recommendations from the govt. essentially, Christ was replaced by Hitler. I found these ideas very hard to imagine, and also found it hard to believe that people could agree with them and change their way of thinking to such a degree.

Hey everyone, i don’t have too much time to blog this week, am busy doing the assignment 🙂 Hence i haven’t done the readings… yet haha. However i’m just letting you know that i changed my mind about the ritual that i am observing. Originally i started off observing the Wellington city New World but secretly always thought it was a bit of an over used, boring idea. So when i went to the hair dresser last week i had a brainwave and immediately started looking at what was going on around me. So i have now changed my assignment to the ritual of going to the hairdresser. So far it is going well, hope everyone else’s assignments are going ok, ciao!

Ok, have finally started the assignment and did my first bit of field work yesterday. I have decided to observe the ritualistic behaviour of supermarket shoppers at the Wellington city New World. So far it has been interesting, although I am finding it difficult to observe as an outsider who has never seen the goings on of a supermarket before.
In regards to this week’s reading about Secular Ritual by Sally Moore and Barbara Myerhoff, I am only part way through it but so far I am seeing that secular ritual occurs often in our everyday lives without us realising it, in something as simple as a meeting for example. I also found it interesting that rather than ritual being used to show the beliefs and morals of a group it can also be used to fabricate the image that a group wants. Instead of giving an accurate picture of the group, ritual can actually be used to construct an image rather than a reality.

Hey everyone, here are my thoughts on the first weeks readings. The thing that struck me as interesting in the 1st reading, by van Gennep was that he spoke of rites of passage as a very physical thing. He used the example of people moving between different territories, countries and villages, and the actions required to leave ones social group and enter another. While in my mind, rites of passage had been limited to more spiritual forms in one’s mind rather than physical movement. After reading van Gennep’s article I can now see that rites of passage don’t have to be complicated cultural and social acts, they can be as simple as walking through a doorway.
In regards to the second reading, by Victor Turner, I found the first part of it a bit wordy, but once I got into it I was able to understand most of it….I think . I thought that the idea of using cultural performance, including rites and ceremonies, festivals and dances, as a way of observing and learning about a culture was a really good way to learn not only how that culture functions and the things it sees as significant, but also the way in which these things change.

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