Ayurvedic politics in the Czech Republic: Negotiating Legitimity, Authenticity and Expertise

Based on ethnographic field-work within one Ayurvedic community in the Czech Republic I look at three different types of Ayurveda. These types are illustrated by case studies of three Ayurvedic lecturers and practitioners. Exploring ways of presenting, teaching, studying and practising Ayurveda, I examine the multiple ways of its construction within a specific environment. Building upon heterogeneous interpretations of Ayurveda in Euro-American regions which are usually based on the assumption of the existence of some authentic Indian version of it I look at the construction and role of authenticity in Ayurveda constitution. How is authentic Ayurveda defined by its lectures and practitioners and how these interpretations influence the success of treatment and expertise building of  Ayurveda(s) under study. I interpret mutual dynamics of these forms or strategies considering to what extent are these options between different versions of reality (Mol 1999) looking at good and bad passages (Moser & Law 1999) in the process of its constitution. Furthermore, in the time of expectation of inevitable statutory regulation and integration of traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) into official health care system across different countries in the world, the aim is to explore how one kind of TCM could be diverse even conceptually within one locality and a community of this particular (medical) knowledge system and what actors are mobilised in the negotiation of its form.