Non-places as sacred places: conflict, contradiction or adaptation
Reet Hiiemäe

French anthropologist Marc Auge invented the term non-places, which means urban spaces of circulation, consumption and communication that exist beyond historical, symbolic and identity-related ties. The focus of my paper is on the question, in which cases and to what extent can such non-places temporarily become sacred places or spiritual spaces and therefore obtain spiritual, symbolic and identity-related content. In my paper I try to find out how far is the (temporary) shifting of sacred space into cities a feature that is characteristic to the ongoing urbanisation and mobility trends, and changes in spirituality and perception of space connected with it. I argue that non-places are not necessarily indicators of alienation from spirituality and tradition (as several authors have claimed); quite the contrary, their temporary functioning as sacred places can be rather seen as a sign of adaptation and in certain conditions (migration, refugee life) they can become the life buoys of the spiritual needs of groups and individuals.

Names and rituals for pets: zoofolkloristics 4
Mare Kõiva

Changes in contemporary urban society concern humans and animals both on macro and micro levels. Tim Ingold has characterised in many of his papers the evolution of complex relations between human animals and non-human animals (cf. Ingold 2011). In daily life the relations are even more multifaceted, and the value of any specific animals as well as their significance to people varies by culture. The paper shows a pattern of pet names, introduces the new database (Lemmikloomad ja nende nimed), and discusses rituals organized for the pets.

The Effect of Immigration on Religious Belief and Practice
Mila Maeva

The paper is focused on religious changes in among Bulgarians who have moved to the Great Britain. The research is based on ethnographic fieldwork in the UK (2007-2013). The materials show that after settlement in the new country many Orthodox Christians became protestants or followers of new spiritual movements such as "White Brotherhood". The paper will explore reasons for the conversion and results from acceptation of new religion and religious behavior through the eyes of Bulgarian migrants. Attention will also be paid to continuation of different magical practices such as lead casting or carrying amulets against the evil eye.

Mani Rimdu - the Sacred Dances of the Himalayas
(The Festival in Tengboche and the Sherpa Community in Nepal)
Svetoslava Toncheva

The presentation is dedicated to the region of the Himalayas (Nepal) and the Sherpa ethnic community. It examines the community’s lifestyle and beliefs through one important religious phenomenon - the Mani Rimdu festival in Tengboche monastery, Khumbu valley, Northeastern Nepal. Sherpa is the group in whose territory tourism attains huge dimensions, being situated in the region of Mount Everest, and bringing cultural and religious transformations. The presentation concerns one of the most sacred rituals of Nepali Buddhism and its functions for the local community in the processes of modernization and cultural interaction in the contemporary world.

    Balkan and Baltic Holiness – Modern Religiosity and National Identity - Supported by IRG 22-5