Public male circumcision: medical and religious stages in Muslim Satun.: Conference “Embodiment and the State” – University of Southern Denmark, 27-28 October.
2006 (English)Conference paper (Other scientific)
This paper investigates the new dimensions accompanying the introduction of a public collective ritual for the male circumcision in Satun, Southern Thailand, organized since five years ago by the central provincial mosque, with the financial support of the municipality. The occasion gives possibility to Muslim families to circumcise their male children completely free of charge. The intersection of the medical system into the religious ritual has modified the way the male body is displayed and managed, passing from the privacy, and almost secluded intimacy of the circumcision as performed by the Tok mudeng to the open air staging of intimacy as observable today. There is a shift from the traditional mastering of pain to a modern mastering of nudity, where the performing of all medical and hygienic procedures is coupled with a feeling of ‘anatomic theatre.’ This includes the participation of female medical personnel, adding an important reflection on gender and change in an Islamic community. To the ethnographer, the possibility to film the event is an important opportunity not only to record the ritual but also to experience the difficulties of including a technological eye where already to observe with the nude eye can be intrusive. The ethnographer’s embodiment in this situation is associated to people’s perceptions of the filming and of the event as political dimensions and technologies meet in one place.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Male circumcision, visual anthropology, embodiment, ethnic identity
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-19189OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-19189DiVA: diva2:46961