You know Émile Durkheim, right? Well, you should know him… Important stuff! Concerning ritual actions he argued that “rites are means by which the social group reaffirms itself periodically. […] Men who feel themselves united, partially by bonds of blood, but still more by a community of interest and tradition, assemble and become conscious of their moral unity” (1915:287).
At the beginning of each and every semester we gather in our sacred halls to perform our bi-annual “Ritual of Reception”. All members of the group, as well as soon-to-be adepts, are present and patiently waiting for the elders to arrive. Once they have entered the hall, the ritual begins. The elders introduce themselves, stating their names and titles, sometimes tell some glorious stories as a means to emphasize their standing within the group’s social structure. Through their introduction, the elders reaffirm the social hierarchy of the group. The procedure follows are clear pattern: They are sitting in a straight line in front of the others who, then, start to introduce themselves in a circular motion. This circular motion represents the cycle of the semester, the ongoing movement, the changes the group will go through, whereas the straight line of the elders symbolically stands for the unalterability of their position, which is stable for longer periods of time.
Okay, enough! We ❤ anthropology… and so will you. Trust me! We are going to meet on October 15 at 3 p.m. at the institute to say “Hi” and talk about how this semester is going down. Besides other organizational things, the freshmen will be told which courses to choose and which courses there are to choose from. They will also be introduced to our grading system, which to the most of us seemed a little awkward at first, and there will probably be some words about the research semester as well. It is also a very nice opportunity to ask questions before the lectures start to be well-prepared for everything that comes. A word of advice to our first-timers: We really recommend you to go there!
Alrighty then, enjoy the Orientation Week, stay healthy, be safe!
For the sake of completeness:
Durkheim, Émile (1915): The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. London: George Allan & Unwin LTD.