Paper Title
Syncretism and Intertextuality in Punjabi Folk Religion

This paper attempts to present an overview of folk religious practices prevalent in the Indian state of Punjab, with a focus on elements of syncretism and intertextuality in their narrative traditions. I first define some key terms and concepts related to folk religion, before presenting practices of Punjabi folk religion, focusing on three most prevalent forms of folk religious practices - Guga Pir Jatheras, and Khwaja Khizr. I draw attention to the syncretic nature of folk religious practices and demonstrate how the practitioners of folk religious practices inhabit multiple devotional landscapes, while borrowing from different sources to construct elaborate mythologies, in a process of dialogic intertextuality with the larger Indian folkloric tradition. This endows folk religious practices with vitality, and enables them to flourish even in the twentieth century. Folk Religion – Definition, Debates, and Dichotomies