Diasporic Homeland, Rise of Identity and New Traditionalism: The Case of the British Alevi Festival
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Historically, amongst Alevis traditional festivals have not been widespread and deep-rooted but this has changed over the last fifty years as a result of migration, urbanisation and the reconstruction of identity. By taking the Ninth British Alevi Festival as an example, this study looks at the building and functioning of Alevi identity in the diaspora through such a public event using mainly participant observation data collected at the festival in 2019. The festival functions to reflect the historical roots of the community by projecting a conception of the homeland in the diaspora that mirrors the perceived traditions, values and desires of the homeland. It also provides a means for Alevis to gain a footing, recognition and public visibility in their new homeland while mobilising local relationship networks, strengthening political connections and consolidating bonds within the community. It can be seen as an “invented tradition” within the new diasporic homeland.
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