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“Nature” and “Nation” in the Republic of Moldova: Rebirth and Rebuilding Through the International Festival of Music “Mărţişor”

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This article examines the political–pedagogical performance of the spring holiday “Mărţişor” in the Republic of Moldova, as part of Moldova's official nation-building project in the period 2001–2009. By analysing the International Festival of Music “Mărţişor”, we examine symbolic allegories between the celebration of the rebirth of nature—known in folklore as “the holiday of mărţişor”—and the (re)creation of “the Moldovan nation”. We argue that Moldova's official policies of the management of collective memory are based on an ideology that has a direct impact on symbols which are meant to be a source of enthusiasm and cohesion. During the Communist governments (2001–2005 and 2005–2009), the International Festival of Music “Mărţişor” was transformed into a symbolic space in which the Moldovan nation-building project was supposed to be implemented, and “Moldovenism” as a state ideology was intended to be promoted.
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Keywords: Cultural Emblem; Invented/Secular Tradition; Nation-Building; Political Performance; mărţişor

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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