The Legitimization of a Regional Folk Cult: The Transmigration of Baba Balaknath from Rural Punjab to Urban Europe

Geaves, Ron ; Geaves, Catherine

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Abstract

The article explores the regional folk cult of Baba Balaknath as it moves from its major centre of worship in the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh down to the plains of the Punjab and then to on to several cities of the West Midlands in Britain. At each location the cult picks up practices and beliefs which are dominant in the religion of the new locality. On its arrival in Britain, the priests of the cult have adopted a variety of strategies which legitimise the folk tradition and aid it in adapting to the new environment. These strategies fall into the category of universalisation. Study of the transmigration of the worship of Baba Balaknath from the Punjab to Britain provides a unique insight into the transformation of a regional Hindu folk cult as it attempts to legitimise itself through moving closer to the 'Great Tradition' in Hinduism or adopting an eclectic universalism.

Document type: Article
Date: 2003
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 16 February 2009
Faculties / Institutes: Organisations / Associations / Foundations > Centre for Applied South Asian Studies (CASAS)
DDC-classification: Other and comparative religions
Controlled Subjects: Pandschab, Großbritannien, Volksreligion, Kult, Migration
Uncontrolled Keywords: Punjab , Einwanderer , Baba Balaknath, Punjab , Great Britain , Folk Religion , Cult , Migration , Immigrant , Baba Balaknath
Subject (classification): Religion and Philosophy
Countries/Regions: India
other countries
Series: Subjects > CASAS Online Papers: Religion
Volume: 10