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Wine and Speed: The Post-Soviet Holidays in the Republic of Moldova (2001–2009)

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In the context of the forceful dispute over national identity in Moldova, the Communist government of 2001–2009 aimed to articulate a project of “Moldovan identity” which was raised to the level of a state ideology. In the spirit of Soviet propaganda, this project was implemented through public holidays and celebrations. The following analysis examines two case studies—the Wine Festival and the Independence Cup—by discerning the performative practices designed as part of the nation-building project in Moldova between 2005 and 2009. Organized at the official level, but with the strong assistance of mass media, these public events were intended to win the support and attention of Moldovan society by employing rituals and performances similar to those of the Soviet period. The paper addresses the characteristics and mechanisms of these performative practices, and considers why this nation-building project did not achieve its goals, but instead caused tension and disputes. One of the main aims is to understand how the Communist government sought to redefine “the Moldovan nation”.
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Keywords: Communist Government; Nation-Building; Performance; Post-Soviet Holidays; Republic of Moldova

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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