Since 2002, when Chinese New Year became a national holiday in Indonesia, spirit medium parades on the fifteen day of the New Year (called Cap Go Meh) have been growing in size in certain West Kalimantan towns, especially Singkawang. This parade in particular has become a major tourist draw-card. Referring to local history, Chinese popular religion and Hakka culture, this article applies a performance analysis methodology to dissect this contemporary phenomenon from religious, historical and inter-ethnic perspectives. It shows how the parades have become enmeshed in current inter-ethnic politics in West Kalimantan, as well as revealing the way that adaptations by the spirit-mediums involved demonstrate their spiritual commitment to their Indonesian homeland.
Indonesia, Chinese New Year, social customs, rituals, parades, ethnic relations
Asian Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Religion
Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies
Australian National University
CHAN, Margaret.(2009). Chinese New Year in West Kalimantan: Ritual Theatre and Political Circus. Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies, 3, 106-142.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/708
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