Ceremonial Crying: The Colonial Projection

Pradhan, Anasuya Priyadarshini (2013) Ceremonial Crying: The Colonial Projection. MA thesis.



Crying is a social phenomenon. It is highly romanticized, gendered and contested. In some cases it is perceived as a psychological syndrome. Sometimes it highly personal and at numerous other times it acts as a social necessity. In the Indian context, it is an essential part in many social occasions. Deaths, marriages and several other ceremonies are often accompanied by social crying and weeping, which depict our culture’s understanding towards multiple sociological phenomena. Social crying has its implications over several cultures, religions and cults that need to be addressed in academic pedagogy. This thesis explores that colonial travellers were greeted with an episode of social crying at multiple geographical spaces that housed indigenous communities, such as the Andamanese. In the modern times, however, due to lack of documentation and rapid modernization, the discourse does not have the strictest continuity in our traditions. What we have instead is a forgotten episode of Occidental documentation of the Orient. The thesis evaluates a variety of colonial texts, travelogues, journal entries and letters and maps the way colonial travellers were greeted with an episode of crying—yet another act of discourse—which was chiefly interpreted as a cultural endeavour to document the native. Focusing on narratives on such indigenous communities, while we argue that such documents have shaped the Oriental World, we also suggest that the documentation of it has shaped ‘Indian culture’ in framing the idea of Other in Western imagination.

Item Type:Thesis ( MA)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ceremonial Crying, Colonial travelogues, Indian Culture
Subjects:Humanities & Social Sciences > Sociology
Humanities & Social Sciences > Literary and Cultural studies
Divisions: Social Sciences > Department of Humanities & Social Sciences
ID Code:4732
Deposited By:Hemanta Biswal
Deposited On:30 Oct 2013 11:13
Last Modified:20 Dec 2013 11:34
Supervisor(s):Rath, A K

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