Commemoration reconsidered: Second World War veterans reunion as a pilgrimage

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considering the materiality and environment of commemorative practices regarding the Second World War. I will illustrate this point using the Second World War veterans’ to experience of the reunion. Such reunion can be seen as pilgrimage to war graves and prison camps and veterans and family members do remembering—commemorate the war. It is a transformative, semiotic process of reorganisation of the war memory. I shall explain pilgrimage from a social anthropological perspective, namely the concept of communitas and liminality by Victor Turner. I shall discuss the concept using a case of the Burma veterans’ memorial ceremony and reunion drawing on my ethnographic field visit in Spring 2012. Lastly, I shall consider the future work for advancing the studies of social remembering in context, calling for an ecological perspective to the study of remembering in context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-354
JournalMemory Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • commemoration
  • social remembering
  • pilgrimage
  • transformation
  • liminality
  • communitas


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