The End of a Custom: A Social Necessity or a Lust for “Modernisation”? The Case of Sergiani in Megala Kalyvia (Trikala, Greece)
AbstractThe custom as an act inherently includes the concept of compulsory repetition and expresses the community as a whole. Through custom and ritual, every local or wider community discovers its own identity, but also the ritual is the vehicle through which the inhabitants of the local community give shape to that identity and are influenced by it . The custom of sergiani was a cultural act performed by the inhabitants of the Megala Kalyvia municipality, as the latter forms part of the wider Karagkounides group. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the custom of sergiani performed in Megala Kalyvia (Trikala, Greece), as well as to emphasise on the reasons why the custom stopped being performed. The collection and processing of data is based on the principles of ethnographic study. The new socioeconomic, historical and cultural facts that prevailed let to the discontinuance of the custom and the accompanying dances, as it occurred with other cultural and dance practices, and it was sealed by the historical structure a dependent – in a broader sense – local social and cultural identity. The president of the municipality, as an expression of the occidental perception with foreign cultural influences contrary to the perceptions of its inhabitants, contributed, with his actions, to the alienation of the local cultural identity.
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