Breaking the Ashes by Michele Ruth Gamburd
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Breaking the Ashes
By Michele Ruth Gamburd

Breaking the Ashes

The Culture of Illicit Liquor in Sri Lanka

By (author) See other recent books by Michele Ruth Gamburd
Format: Paperback

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Breaking the Ashes by Michele Ruth Gamburd

Book Description

"I'm going to break the ashes," yelled one daily drinker to another as their paths crossed early in the morning in the Sri Lankan village Michele Ruth Gamburd calls Naeaegama. The drinker's cryptic comment compared the warming power of alcohol-in the form of his first shot of kasippu, the local moonshine-with the rekindled heat of a kitchen fire. As the adverse effects of globalization have brought poverty to many areas of the world, more people, particularly men, have increased their use and abuse of alcohol. Despite Buddhist prohibitions against the consumption of mind-altering substances, men in Naeaegama are drinking more, at a younger age, and the number of problem drinkers has begun to grow. In Breaking the Ashes, Gamburd explores the changing role of alcohol. Her account is populated with lively characters, many of whom Gamburd has known since visiting the village for the first time as a child. In wonderfully clear prose Gamburd offers readers an understanding of the cultural context for social and antisocial alcohol consumption, insight into everyday and ceremonial drinking in Naeaegama, and an overview of the production of illicit alcohol. Breaking the Ashes includes a discussion of the key economic aspects that fuel conflicts between husbands and wives, moonshine-makers and police. Addressing Western and indigenous ways to conceptualize and treat alcohol dependence, Gamburd explores the repercussions-at the family as well as the community level-of alcohol's abuse.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780801474323
ISBN-10: 0801474329
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Pages: 280
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publish Date: 16-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Michele Ruth Gamburd

Golden Wave by Michele Ruth Gamburd Golden Wave, Paperback (December 2013)

In December 2004 the Indian Ocean tsunami devastated coastal regions of Sri Lanka. Six months later, the author returned to the village where she had been conducting research for many years and began collecting residents' stories of the disaster and its aftermath. This book describes how catastrophe changed social identities, economic dynamics.

Kitchen Spoon's Handle by Michele Ruth Gamburd Kitchen Spoon's Handle, Paperback (October 2000)

A common Sinhala proverb states, "A woman's understanding reaches only the length of the kitchen spoon's handle." In this beautifully written book on the effects of female migration from Sri Lanka, Michele Ruth Gamburd shows that the length of that...

» View all books by Michele Ruth Gamburd


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Golden Wave by Michele Ruth Gamburd
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