In The Land of Weddings and Rain, Gediminas Lankauskas examines the components of the contemporary urban wedding - religious and civil ceremonies, "traditional" imagery and practices, and the conspicuous consumption of domestic and imported goods - in the context of the Western-style modernization of post-socialist Lithuania. Studying the tensions between "tradition" and "modernity" that surround this important ritual event, Lankauskas highlights the ways in which nationalism serves to negotiate the impact of modernity in the aftermath of state socialism's collapse. His analysis also shows the importance of consumption and commodification to Lithuania's ongoing "Westernization." Based on more than a decade of ethnographic research, The Land of Weddings and Rain is a fascinating account of the tensions - between national and transnational, East and West, and old and new - that shape life in post-socialist Eastern Europe.
Gediminas Lankauskas is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Regina.
Introduction 1. Soviet Propaganda and Nationalist Reappropriation 2. Exigencies of Tradition 3. Catholic Enchantment and Discontent 4. Time-Spaces of a Reordered City 5. "Until You Grope the Ground": Food, Drink, and Modern Things Post-Socialist Scriptum Glossary of Frequently Cited Words and Phrases