The Fereydani Georgians are Shi'a Muslims, while the Georgians of Georgia are predominantly Orthodox Christians. This article deals with the mechanism by which Fereydani Georgians reaffirm their Shi'a identity in harmony with the Iranian Georgians' role in the Iranian history. After discussing the theoretical foundation of the relationship between history and ethnic (and national) self-identification, the article describes how Fereydani Georgian identity is represented today and how important historical events are narrated in order to create a cohesive and coherent image of self - an outcome that is called 'emic coherence'. The concept of historical peak experience is introduced on an ethnic level.
A Case of Emic Coherence
This article discusses the ethno-political and immaterial cultural representations of Russia's and Georgia's Muslim minorities as reflected in their anthroponyms, toponyms, flags and coats of arms. It is obvious that Such representations reflect cultural expressions, as they may depict ethnic or religious symbols. Both Russia's and Georgia's attitudes towards Islamic cultural expressions are rather liberal. Symbols and names tell a lot about a people's cultural freedom and orientation. However, it appears from research that religious practice and freedom do not necessarily correlate perfectly with representation of symbols. In accordance with the legacy of the Soviet nationalities policy, by which certain ethnic groups were afforded privileges in an autonomous region, the current representations of immaterial culture and ethno-political culture seem to have a territorial rationale.
The violence between the Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan in 2010 has shocked many who thought of Kyrgyzstan as the most liberal country and the strongest democracy in Central Asia. That conflict, still, has not been explained and understood very well. Opposing and rival explanations often accuse one or other party, or certain obscure and even foreign forces. Many analysts, on the other hand, rely only on the internal Kyrgyzstani affairs in order to explain that conflict. This article tries to find explanations and offer an understanding of the Uzbek–Kyrgyz interethnic conflict. Its aim is beyond a mere description and understanding of a single case. It will use different kinds of data in order to offer analytic explanations of the events. The legacy of the Soviet nationalities policy, in combination with regional peculiarities – particularly its ethno-demographic features – were the ultimate causes of the eruption of the Uzbek–Kyrgyz conflicts in southern Kyrgyzstan in 1990 and 2010.
Shahla Haeri, Sophie Accolas and Babak Rezvani
Nadjmabadi, Shahnaz R. (ed.) (2009), Conceptualizing Iranian Anthropology: Past and Present Perspectives (Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books). viii + 278 pp. ISBN 978-1-84545-626-9.
Kamal, Mariam Nabil (2009), Le Bruit des pas, Afghanistan, vidéo couleur, 24 minutes, Ateliers Varan, avec le soutien des Service culturel de l’Ambassade de France, du Centre culturel français, du Goethe Institut et la Direction des Relations Internationales d’Arte France, en partenariat avec Afghan films, la Faculté des Beaux Arts, Kabul University, Radio Television Afghanistan, the Foundation for Culture and Civil Society.
‘Central Eurasia: Islam, Culture and Conflict’, May 2010, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Babak Rezvani, Sophie Accolas, Mary Elaine Hegland and Clemence Scalbert Yucel
Steppe Magazine: A Central Asian Panorama (Nettlebed, Oxfordshire: Steppe International), £10/$20.
Omidvari, Mohammad Mehdi (2006), La plainte des bateaux enchaînés, Iran, vidéo, couleur, 38 minutes.
‘Kinship in Iran and Neighbouring Countries’, 20–22 June 2008, Tehran, Iran