In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Millennial Transitions
  • Irene Stengs (bio), Hylton White (bio), Caitrin Lynch (bio), and Jeffrey A. Zimmermann (bio)

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mon•ey \ 'mə-nē \ n

In the steady repertoire of auspicious Thai New Year cards that carry portraits of royalty and holy monks, a new type of card appeared in 1998. The images on these cards are 100-, 500-, or 1000-baht banknotes complete with the currency's small portrait of the present king. The accompanying texts plainly wish the receiver "a lot of wealth" (kho haj ruaj). The 1997 collapse of the Asian economies has boosted the hope of many Thai that the king's moral and spiritual powers can lead them into a new period of prosperity.

—Irene Stengs

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bride•wealth \ 'brīd-welth \ n

Using money to purchase cattle, or even to stand for them in the context of bridewealth exchange, made it possible for marriage to proceed in the southern African countryside despite the collapse of pastoral autonomy under colonialism. But it also meant that social reproduction came to depend on the wages remitted by migrant workers. In order to make her more marriageable, this man adorns his only daughter with money and clothes that represent her value as a future wife and mother.

—Hylton White

Mfanefile, KwaZulu Natal Province
South Africa
1997

1lot•tery \ 'lä-t-rē \ n

The globalization of the Christian holiday of Christmas has accompanied economic liberalization. In Sri Lanka, this global capitalist holiday has been appropriated by non-Christians: The Christmas season has become the buying season, with the main icon Santa Claus, not Jesus Christ. When the government introduced its economic liberalization package in 1977, it also introduced Sevana, the nation's first lottery. Twenty years later, many of the numerous lotteries are run by the state, which has "refigured wagering as an act of charity"—proceeds are directed toward government projects for housing, development, and education.* Nearly two millennia after Jesus's birth, when hopeful consumers purchased these Sevana Christmas lottery tickets in 1995, their money would also go toward building houses for the poor—the Christmas season of charity refigured in the act of wagering.

—Caitrin Lynch

A Christmas Bonanza
Kandy, Sri Lanka
December 1995 [End Page 3]


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© Hylton White


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© Caitrin Lynch

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2lot•tery \ 'lä-t-rē \ n

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Paid Programming
a mural by Jeffrey A. Zimmermann
Honore Street at North Avenue
Bucktown, Chicago 1999

© Jeffrey A. Zimmermann

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Hylton White
Mfanefile, KwaZulu Natal Province
South Africa
1997
Caitrin Lynch
A Christmas Bonanza
Kandy, Sri Lanka
December 1995
Irene Stengs

Irene Stengs is a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, working on a dissertation entitled "Worshipping the Great Modernizer: King Chulalongkorn, Patron Saint of the Thai Middle Class."

Hylton White

Hylton White is a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Chicago, working on sacrifice, social value, and problems of domestic reproduction in Zululand, South Africa.

Caitrin Lynch

Caitrin Lynch is a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Chicago. She is the author of "The 'Good Girls' of Sri Lankan Modernity: Moral Orders of Nationalism and Capitalism" (Identities, summer 1999).

Jeffrey A. Zimmermann

Jeffrey A. Zimmermann is an artist in Chicago. He has painted numerous murals, many of which address Latino influences and experiences in the city.

Footnotes

* Steven Kemper, "The Nation Consumed: Buying and Believing in Sri Lanka," Public Culture 5 (1993): 386.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8018
Print ISSN
0899-2363
Pages
pp. 344-350
Launched on MUSE
2000-05-01
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2004
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