Hajj and Distinction in Iran

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:36
Location: Hörsaal 13 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Seddigheh MIRZAMOSTAFA, University of Mazandaran, Iran
This article introduces represent of Hajj in Tehran. Hajj is the most important religious ritual for Muslim's society and is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mekka, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during that time. In this ritual, in specific days of a year, Muslims should gather in Mecca and do their rituals and worship there.

     Every year about sixty thousands of Iranians attend in Hajj. When they return, there is a special ceremony to welcome them that include installing banners and posters and illuminate in the streets.  A person who has returned from Mecca should invite the whole family and friends to dinner party called "Valimeh".

    In fact, the event was going to be a ritual that in a symbolic manner helps people to liberate from material and financial attachments, and decrease the distinction and differentiation from other Muslims, as soon as they come back to their countries, the ritual itself becomes a mean for social and economic distinction and ostentation.

    Bourdieu’s work on status distinctions suggests the need to examine the ways cultural capital operates in the intimate realm of social reproduction to reproduce stratified class societies; his classic work, Distinction, opens with a call to examine the culture and status distinctions of everyday life (Bourdieu 1984, p. 1). In this article, we use Bourdieu’s notion to explain this rituals in Tehran.

    Using visual analysis, this study investigated banners and ceremonies of returning hajjis. Our investigations reveal that how socio- economic status of hajjis represent and reproduce by observable religious symbols in Iran.