Agia (Saint) Paraskevi’s Feast as a Means of Shaping the Native Collective Identity in Dimitra, Prefecture of Serres, Greece

Styliani Kagianni, Aikaterini Koupani, Filippou Dafni-Anastasia


The formation of dancing identity is a constant between cultural elements' exchange, especially in areas where different ethnic groups are living. Dimitra, is a village where locals are living with refugees from Pontus, Asia Minor Eastern Thrace as well as Sarakatsans and Vlachs. On the 26th of July’s evening, a feast, where all the villagers are taking part, is organized by the local cultural club. The purpose of this study was to examine the formation of Dimitra’s people’s collective identity as this it occurs during the fair-dance of Agia Paraskevi (Saint Paraskevi). The survey took place in the village “Dimitra”, prefecture of Serres, on July 2012. Collection’s data was based on the ethnographic method, the participatory observation, from the part of the researchers, and also on the use of primary and secondary sources. The information were, mainly, taken from oral testimonies of people who took part in the feast and it consists a response to open-ended questions for a semi-structured interview. In this paper, the theory of performance theory is combined with the theory of the formation of collective identities in contemporary postmodern Greek society in order to analyze and interpret the way in which individuals represent their collective-social identity through a dance performance. The analysis shows that the people of Dimitra are between two levels of awareness of their identity: the local identity and in the refugees’ culture which creates cultural identity. The feast is a great opportunity for the villagers to dance and, through their dance, to display both their particular cultural identity, by dancing dances from their particular cultural group, and to make well known that they are now part of the same community, participating in public dances.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n5s1p252

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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