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Browsing by Subject "Baptism"

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  • Sallinen, Eveliina (2016)
    The christening of a child can be virtually considered to be the self-evident choice among the majority of the population in our country, for in 2014, 75,2% of were baptised into the evangelical lutheran church of Finland. The christening gown is a part of the singular and unique instance of the baptismal ritual, and it's roots go back 2000 years. According to previous studies, the modern usage of the gown is informed by social, aesthetic and economic values. When the gown is hand-made, it is considered an especially meaningful garment. There is not as much attention given in written research into the christening gown and what it represents, as the subject might deserve. Investigation into stories of their making and the associated traditions increases understanding of the cultural value and meaning of the christening gown. In this study, the focus of interest was on the process of how the gowns came to be made, and what kinds of craft- and christian traditions self-made gowns carry with them. In the study an investigation is made on why the gown is self-made, what the process of designing and making them was like, what craft- and christian traditions it represents, and how the process relates to each maker's life history. The material for the case-study was collected through interviews of six gown-makers, all women. At the time of the interviews. Their ages ranged from 62-90. The interviewees were reached through a christening gown exhibit held in the spring 2012 in Leppävaara church, organised by the Espoo diocese. Thematic interviews were conducted in the fall of 2012. Each interviewee was interviewed separately, and the interviews were taped. In addition, numerous gowns were photographed. Combined length of the interviews was 7 hours 13 minutes. Transcripted, the interview material came to 120 pages. The material was analyzed using methods of theory-based content analysis. Self-made christening gowns had been made out of desire to create something meaningful by hand. Each gown had been used multiple times. The gowns were revealed to evoke and represent strong emotions and memories, having become deeply intertwined in the family history of the makers. A strong motivation for the makers was a desire to demonstrate their love for the following generations. The gowns' christian symbolism and continuation of christian tradition were also important to the makers. The makers' personal tastes and preferences were expressed in the gowns' individual design. White was considered the self-evident colour of choice for the gowns.