Tuesday, October 24, at 6 PM, Maison de l’Asie, 22 avenue du Président Wilson, 75016 Paris.
Conference by Grégory Delaplace, Director of Studies in Anthropology of Religions and Religious Facts, EPHE.
There is no social occasion in the small towns of the far northwest of Mongolia that is not accompanied by card games. A simple neighborhood visit, like a wedding or New Year’s celebrations, inevitably gives rise to at least a few games, sometimes to a succession of rounds played for several hours. Far from constituting substitutable pastimes that everyone would indulge in for lack of something better, card games compete with severe competitors, such as television since the early 2000s and smartphones for ten years. Card games can be accompanied by betting, but the financial commitment is not essential to the excitement that they really generate every time. The aim here will be to describe these different games, their rules, their typical course and the type of strategy and relational involvement that they require from the participants. Trying to take advantage of the hours spent playing cards myself, when I already could not tolerate them in France and cannot stand them any more in Mongolia, I will try to understand what makes them so exciting for those who love them .