It is with great pleasure and pride that Vilnius University’s Centre of Oriental Studies presents the latest special issue of Acta Orientalia Vilnensia, featuring a collection of peer-reviewed articles on the religious and linguistic diversity of Turkic-speaking peoples in Eastern Europe. [...]
This study explores two issues. The first topic, as the title suggests, deals with the appearance of the Franciscan Order and its expansion at the expense of the Dominicans on the southern Russian steppe in the second half of the thirteenth century. The second question is tied to one of the successes of the Franciscans: the conversion to Christianity of one of the wives of Nogay, the khanmaker, the powerful lord of the western regions of the Golden Horde. I will reconstruct what can be ascertained about this khatun, based on Latin, Muslim and Byzantine sources.
The aim of the article is to point out the lack of research on palaeography and orthography of the Codex Cumanicus. The article deals with the use of symbols used to denote the consonants /š/ and /ŋ/ of the religious texts in the “German part” of the manuscript. The texts can be divided into two sections: the first being on folios 61r–63r, while the second on folios 69r–76r and 80r. This difference in use of the symbols may show that there were two different methods of writing consonants, which were foreign to the orthography of Medieval Latin writing, in the above-mentioned two sections of the text. The article stresses the importance of the palaeographical and orthographical analysis on the Codex Cumanicus, in order to be able to draw valid linguistic information from the codex.
In this article the semantic field of the Armeno-Kipchak word arï/ari “holy, sacred” is examined on the basis of Töre Bitigi (Wrocław version), which is an Armeno-Kipchak version of the Old Armenian law code Datastanagirk’. This magistrative-juridical text was based in a large part on ecclesiastical prescriptions. Accordingly it is possible to see a group of religious terms in the text and the word of arï/ari is one of them. This significant term shows parallelism with other historical Turkic texts, which have been translated from the Holy Book.Daγï da ne üčün emdi klädik yazmaga törälärni, ya ne säbäptän teprändi esimiz bu iškä [...] bu vaχtlarda erinčekliktän üvrämägä klämäslär Eski u Yäŋï Törälärni ne markarẹlardan, ne Awedarandan, ki bolgaylar edi ari bitiklerniŋ küčündän bilmägä könü töräni. Anïŋ üčün klädik bu Törä bitiki bilä oyatmaga alarnï, nečik kimsäni yuχudan.Töre Bitigi/Ekinči, ne üčün yazdïq ya kimniŋ pričinasïndan 5r/160r
The ten principles of Karaite faith were originally compiled by medieval Byzantine Karaite scholars to sum up the basics of the Karaite Jewish creed. Early modern Karaites wrote poetic interpretations on the principles. This article provides an analysis and an English translation of a seventeenth-century Hebrew poem by the Lithuanian Karaite, Yehuda ben Aharon. In this didactic poem, Yehuda ben Aharon discusses the essence of divinity and the status of the People of Israel, the heavenly origin of the Torah, and future redemption. The popularity of Karaite commentaries and poems on the principles during the early modern period shows that dogma―and how to understand it correctly―had become central for the theological considerations of Karaite scholars. The source for this attentiveness is traced to the Byzantine Karaite literature written on the principles and to the treatment of the Maimonidean principles in late medieval rabbinic literature.
Conversion to a religion usually has a positive impact on the written culture of a given community. The conversion may or may not result in the adoption of a new writing system. In the Turkic world, we find examples for both cases. The Karaims, by their conversion into Karaitism, adopted the Hebrew script. They used the Hebrew alphabet up till the beginning of the 20th century in their everyday life for writing; for example, private letters and secular and religious texts in Karaim.Another Turkic speaking group, the heterogeneous Rabbanite community of Krimchaks (whose majority is of Sephardic origin) also used the Hebrew script to write their vernacular.Some characteristics of the writing systems of the Karaim and of the Krimchaks have been described, but no comparative research has thus far been carried out. In this study, the peculiarities of the Hebrew alphabet used by both Turkic speaking peoples will be discussed and illustrated. For instance, the new characters, which were introduced in order to indicate specific Turkic phonetic values, and the ways the same Hebrew vowel sign or letter is used in the different Krimchak and Karaim manuscripts.
Vytautas Magnus UniversityKorea, with insufficient natural resources and a limited consumer market, began to take notice of the cultural content industry in the 21st century. This means that the cultivation of this industry has not taken place for a long time compared to Japan, the USA or Hong Kong. Yet Korea has obtained an astonishing outcome in a short time. The popular culture of South Korea, with the appellation of hallyu, boasted of an enormous strength initially in the Asian market and subsequently stretched to markets in other countries, too. Seeing that Korean cultural archetypes do not play a successful role in the cultural content business of Korea in general, the position of shamanism is truly trivial among the others. I would like to analyse and discuss the meaning, function and potential of Korean shamanism in the field of the Korean cultural content industry.
University of DelhiUnlike the werewolf myth, on which there is a significant corpus of takes in Hollywood cinema, Indian horror films abound in snake-, tiger- and gorillatransformations. Most of these shape-shifting monsters represent aberrant subjectivities that set in motion a cycle of destruction and redemption within these narratives. This article will explore how the male body in Indian horror films acts as a site of different bodily discourses that permits a reading of socio-cultural crises within the societal framework. Although there are almost a dozen Indian horror films to date that deal with such shape-shifting monsters, this article will limit itself to studying one Hindi film Jaani Dushman (1979, dir. Raj Kumar Kohli) and one Telugu film Punnami Naagu (1980, dir. A. Rajasekhar). The following core questions will be explored: do these narratives challenge the constructions of hegemonic masculinity? What departures from normative masculinity, if such a thing exists at all, take place? How do these narratives use horror codes and conventions to map the emergence of different types of masculinities? How can these bodily discourses be correlated with various contemporary socio-political issues of India?
Queen’s UniversityIn the early 1980s the Ramsay Brothers gave Bollywood a new genre of monster flicks with blockbusters like Purana Mandir, Hotel, and Veerana. Following the work of the Ramsay Brothers, low-budget horror films that were made exclusively for the small towns and rural market increased in the decades of 1980s and 1990s. These films are primarily known for their unintentional humor owing to poor production and acting, but they have never been acknowledged for their actual content. This article argues that Bollywood low-budget films fulfilled the basic function of horror movies—that is, they subverted mainstream moral order and sexual morality. These films opened up space for dialogues that the mainstream cinema had totally neglected; particularly, in the areas of incest, female lust, ‘othering’ of male sexuality, and transgendered identities. On a different register, the relationship between low-budget horror films and mainstream Bollywood can be compared to folklore and canonical literature, where folklore repeatedly resists the conformities endorsed by the mainstream prescriptive texts.
Vytautas Magnus UniversitySouth Korea’s experience wielding soft power is usually associated with the Korean Wave, which swept the Asian region off its feet predominantly during the first decade of this century. In this article I will however argue that the phenomenon of the Korean Wave has never been intended as a calculated attempt on the part of the South Korean government to enhance the overall South Korean image worldwide and thus increase South Korean international might and prestige. To prove the validity of this hypothesis, I will provide a concise historical overview of the inception, development and spread of South Korean popular culture, while at the same time tracing its underlying soft power implications. I will likewise attempt to discuss the popular reception of the Korean Wave in three East Asian countries, i.e. Mainland China, Taiwan and Japan, and one European country, i.e. Lithuania. The scope of the endeavour has been largely restricted to the cinematic aspect of the Korean Wave, for I consider the creation of motion pictures and drama serials to be by far the most precious, influential and revealing form of art.