Journal of Ethnology 4/2018 deals with the theme “The Professions and Their Social Positions”. In her study, Petra Košťálová submits a historical analysis of Armenian diaspora with the emphasis on the role of Armenian merchants who, mainly in the 19th century, began to go beyond their trading activities and acted as benefactors, philanthropists, and bearers of education and national ideas (Armenian Diaspora and Its Identitary Strategies: Khodjas, Amiras, Guilds). Katarína Koštialová pays attention to the formation of the social-professional group of foresters in relation to the city of Zvolen, and to the creation of a city symbol containing the forestry tradition (An Interaction of the Socio-Professional Group and the City (based on the example of the town of Zvolen, a Slovak Forestry Town)). Daniela Machová focusses on the profession of a dance instructor (Knowledge Transfer among Czech Dance Instructors), and Josef Bartoš writes about the profession of a dancer (The Motivation to Carry On the “Freelance” Dance Profession in the Contemporary Czech Society). The study by Jörgen Torp, which does not relate to the main topic, deals with the dissemination of popular music in urban settings (Popular Music in the Network of Cities).
Review Section publishes treatises about anniversaries of two significant persons of the Czech National Revival – Václav Matěj Kramerius (an article by Oldřich Kašpar about Kramerius’s contribution to the beginnings of the Czech non-European ethnography) and Václav Bolemír Nebeský (an article by Dalibor Dobiáš, presenting the reflection of writer’s output). Social Chronicle remembers the anniversaries of the ethnologist Judita Hrdá (born 1958), the ethnologist and archaeologist Jiří Pajer (born 1948), the ethnologist Kateřina Klápšťová (born 1948), the ethnologist Bohuslav Šalanda (born 1948), and the ethnologist Vanda Jiřikovská (born 1933). Further regular columns inform about exhibitions, conferences, concerts and new books.
The article focusses on the analysis of crafts and professions that occurred in particular Armenian communities and diaspora centres in modern history. In this respect, it is possible to discover a certain trend to carry out some types of professions, which then determined the social status and the social position. Influential Armenian merchants (khodjas) acted not only as mediators who connected several cultures due to their minority position, but also as benefactors and philanthropists who supported the Armenian Apostolic Church first, and then even the first generations of Armenian revivalists. Their virtual monopoly for trading in silk, gold and jewellery helped them create international trade networks the effect of which became evident both in West-European cities and in the Far East. Judging from period travellers´ reports, the share of Armenian city elite was quite distinct in Ottoman and Persian cities; (according to European authors) they represented the “visible minority” which most reference works from that time refer to and whose image became, due to frequent descriptions, an integral part of the European discourse concerning Orient, or Christian Orient by extension. Armenian merchant dynasties of amiras became the main motor for Ottoman industrialization; the Armenians in the role of sarrafs (bankers) guaranteed both sultans´ and European banks´ loans.
The study focuses on the socio-professional group of foresters in Zvolen, with the emphasis on the interaction between the group and the town. It works on the assumption that the group is involved in creating the image of the town image in a specific way. The introduction to the study focuses on the transformation in professions within the social and urban context, which had happened in connection with the changes in the nature of work, the changing socio-political climate, and the introduction of modern technologies and innovative processes. The main section highlights the geographical, natural, historical, cultural and social determinants, state and political decisions, as well as support initiatives of town´s representatives, which affected the formation of the researched group. The group presents itself by means of an established network of forestry institutions, buildings and specific spaces, which complete the overall architectural and urban image of the town. The research illustrated that the socio-professional group influences the educational as well as the employment structure of inhabitants and by means of educational, cultural and social activities it is becoming a creator and co-shaper of town´s/municipal specifics. The interaction between the group and the town also includes the creation of policy and development projects, which resulted in fulfilling the visions and image of the town of Zvolen as a forestry town.
Ballroom dance and etiquette lessons are considered to be a unique phenomenon with more than one-hundred-year long tradition in the Czech lands. It is the young people´s sustained interest in the education in ballroom couple dances as well as the sufficient number of dance instructors leading the lessons that are necessary for the dance lessons to survive. Based on the investigation of archive sources and the analysis of qualitative interviews with twenty active dance instructors, the author of the study reveals the mechanisms of how the dance knowledge is acquired and passed down from generation to generation of ballroom dance instructors. From the year 1836, dance instructors were allowed to perform their professional activity only based on the license; beginning with the year 1924 this licence was conditional on passing an examination before the examination board. In the 1940s, the requirement of professional qualification resulted in the introduction of mass education of the applicants. In 1992, the profession of dance instructor was declared an unqualified trade, and in 1998 the subject “ballroom dance” ceased to exist in the only institution supposed to educate dance instructors. The study brings up different models of the path to becoming a dance instructor within the context of the afore-mentioned changes in legislation and the perception of the social status and prestige of these professionals.
The study deals with the motivation of Czech dancers to carry on their profession. The author focuses on contemporary dance, meaning on the environment outside ballet ensembles, and in particular on the entities founded after the “Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution” in 1989. An exploration about artists’ thinking is based on the qualitative analysis of interviews with the leading representatives in that realm, and on the analysis of already published texts dealing with important aspects of researched persons’ working life. As resulting from the research, the major motivation factor for the dancers is their personal and strong tie to the dance; the drive to carry on the professions comes solely and exclusively from the inner mental world of artists. The dance is considered to be an embodied life philosophy for the respondents; to them, it is a paraphrase of the meaning of life. The investigated materials also point out key personal characteristics which can influence the quality of their lives directly: flexibility, assimilation, self-reliance, self-discipline, and liability.
The article describes the historical development of growing transcultural connections in the modern human world. Cities played a special historical role in the development of “popular music”. (Modern) cities are interconnected with each other. The city as a place is by that way not an isolated place. The city has undergone a “heterogeneous cultural process”, and currently it is producing “hybrid” musical genres that often lead to similarities with parallel emerged genres of other cities. The genres are becoming to a certain degree more “uniform”. The article is focusing on the interlinking of cities rather than on music in or of urban areas. For the popularization of musical genres (mass) media (man media, print media, electronic media, digital media) are of considerable importance. Finally transnational music industry and translocal networks are forcing global effects. With the digitally based internet a new digitally based force overshadows the dominant role the cities played in the development of “popular music”.
Journal of Ethnology 3/2018 opens the theme “Transformation of Society and Culture after Formation of the New State”. Within a broader historical context, Michal Pavlásek focusses on the research into the adaption of Czech immigrants to Banat, particularly in the Serbian location of Veliké Srediště (From the Czech Lands to South-Eastern Europe: A Case Study to Overcome the Discontinuity). Jana Nosková deals with the theme of homeland at the inhabitants of German origin and their descendants who have remained in the Czech borderland even after the forced expatriation – displacement – of German ethic group after World War II (Heimat is Heimat?: “Homeland” As a Theme in the Memory of German Inhabitants who Have Remained in the Czech Lands). In his study, Martin Soukup presents Papua-New Guinea in its development from a colonial state to its official independence (“Let’s Rise Up, Sons of this Country“: Social Transformations in Papua-New Guinea after Independence). Martin Štoll submits an evaluation of essential societal themes at the time of dissolution of Czechoslovakia and formation of the Czech Republic (1992–1996) based on a documentary series produced by the FEBIO movie company (The EYE – the Look at the (Then) Present. Thirty-two hours of author´s witness to the Czech society in the new state). Out of the principal theme, the study by Serbian ethnologist Miroslava Lukić Krstanović is included, which deals with humanitarian actions in Serbia and the role that mass media played in the formation of public opinion in the realms of perception and value systems (Humanitarian Action, Solidarity and the Market of Interest in Serbia: The media discourse).
The Transforming Tradition column publishes a feuilleton The Force of Tradition, which is contemplation about cultural heritage in present-day society (written by Josef Holcman). Review Section remembers seventy years from the death of the reporter Egon Erwin Kisch (written by Oldřich Kašpar) and the formation of the Czech and Slovak CIOFF Section (written by Josef Jančář). Interview Section writes about the anniversary of the ethnologist Hana Dvořáková (born 1948). Social Chronicle remembers the anniversaries of the ethnomusicologist Dušan Holý (born 1933) and ethnologist Vlasta Ondrušová (born 1948), and it publishes an obituary for the Slovak ethnologist Zuzana Profantová (1953–2018). Further regular columns inform about exhibitions, festivals and new books.
The study reflects adaptation and economical working mechanisms of a selected religious community of expatriates (reformed Evangelists who came from south-eastern Moravia) that in the mid-19th century settled in the multiethnic village of Velké Srediště in current Serbian Banat. The migration of monitored colonists from Central Europe was associated with the process of overcoming the moment of discontinuity (leaving the place of origin) through their adaptation in the new settings. The text presents institutional mechanisms that were used by the newcomers to overcome the stage of discontinuity, which brought doubts on the future life in the new settings. Based on written sources we assume a thesis that this social group brought a functioning social organization from Moravia to southern Hungary – an autonomous congregation community with own standards, forms of farming, confessional school and family religious education. The follow-up to the pre-migration model of a religious organization translocated by migration participants was based on the fact that it was time-honoured, tested and functioning. Through examples of several practices of this adopted model I argue that this was a social practice which significantly facilitated and accelerated the process of gradual adaptation in the new settings.
The Czech lands‘ borderland underwent an essential social and cultural transformation between 1945–1946, which was determined by expatriation of most inhabitants of the German origin, as well as by new arrivals, formation of the “Iron Curtain”, and socialization of agriculture. In the public discourse, an image about uprooted borderland was created after 1989. The study deals with how the homeland is thematised by inhabitants of the German origin and their descendants, who were allowed to stay in the Czech lands‘ borderland after 1945/1946 but whose all lived world significantly changed after 1945. The empiric materials includes interviews with eight persons, made using the method of oral history. The author divides the narration about homeland into three groups (according to the time, space, and social and cultural sphere), and as an independent category she sorts out the narrations in which the relation to homeland is compared between those who have remained, and those who had to leave. The author also asks whether it is possible to use the narration about homeland, the “Heimat” concept, for an analysis, which she confirms. The analysis of the material shows that the “homeland” is mostly thematised in connection with its social and cultural components, and that it is most suitable to use the term “displacement” to interpret the narratives.
The study focuses on the analysis of social political and economical transformations in connection with the decolonization of the former Territory of Papua and New Guinea. The study core includes an analysis of colonial arrangements and its influence on the transformation of society at the time before the independence and after the formation of the independent state of Papua-New Guinea. Special attention is paid to the analysis of the formation of elites and working classes within the former equalitarian communities, the blending of original, i.e. Big-Man systems with politics, and the influence of monetary economics on the former systems of socio-political ceremonial exchanges. The author documents how the colonial arrangement influenced the segmented ethnic identity of the inhabitants in the state of Papua-New Guinea, which the author understands as a vertical scale of ethnic consciousness. In the case of Papua- New Guinea the author shows that ethnic identity is divided into four levels: the country, the provincial, the territorial and the national one. Simultaneously, the author documents that in addition to the vertical division, also the horizontal division developed in the new state, which is result of the commencement of monetary economics.
Between 4th April 1992 and 17th December 1996, Czech Television presented 112 parts of the documentary series called The EYE – a Look at the Present-Day. It was made by the then newly established FEBIO production company owned by Fero Fenič. This project was the first systematic activity after 1989 to map the situation of the transforming Czech society and to catch its ongoing state, using audio-visual means. If each of the part was 20 minutes long, the total series amounted to 2 240 minutes, i.e. more than 37 hours of a pure author´s reflexion of the then social phenomena; it is not only a “bank” including the phenomena themselves, but even possible approaches to them. The study verifies whether and by which means the series reached the level of complexity in the thematic realm, and which dimension the author´s creative approaches and selected processes of expression brought to this unit, which is part of archive materials today. The author researches that part using a new concept of “key situation”, which help define the “form of authorship” that is essential for the impression of the theme.
The codification of humanitarian action and humanitarian aid in Serbia belongs to the broader area of social politics and the civil sector, which are shaped under the influence of social, economic and political circumstances. The main analytical vein in this paper was focused on decyphering the ambivalent face of humanitarianism or rather humanitarian practices, which stem from concrete social, economic and political circumstances in Serbia. One of the social playgrounds of humanitarianism is the media, which is an important transmitter of the message and shapes public opinion in the zones of perception and value systems. This is why humanitarianism is placed in the narrative discourse of the media as a case study. The analysis is based on a fundamental question – how do personal stories of poverty and illness get constructed as humanitarian stories as social problems? The research is based on the analysis of newspaper articles shaped into narrative mechanisms in order to construct “subsequent” realities with which people identify.
Journal of Ethnology 2/2018 deals with the theme “Free Time as a Subject-Matter of Ethnological Studies”. Lidija Vujačić analyses free time from the perspective of a newly evolving “culture of needs”, conditioned by the present-day influence of mass-media (The Phenomenology of Free Time and Homo Consumens). Ľubica Voľanská focusses on free time related to the retirement and on new social roles which are caused by this milestone in people’s lives ("We Are Getting Old Whilst Always Doing Something...": Retirement as Free Time?). Joanna Maurer writes about leisure time of Polish migrants as a factor reflecting the level of their integration (Migrants’ Leisure with the Example of Poles in Brno). From the perspective of anthropology and its understanding of music as a social act, Anežka Hrbáčková presents research among participants in meetings aimed at music and dance folklore (Folklore Party: “Folklorists” in Prague as a Cultural Cohort). Kateřina Černíčková focussed on the development of competitive shows within the Czechoslovak and Czech folklore movement as a specific leisure activity (Czechoslovak Shows and Contests of Folk Ensembles in the Second Half of the 20th Century: a Mirror of an Era and Creative Approaches).
The Transforming Tradition column publishes an article by Alena Schauerová, which analyses the results of a multi-annual project “Here We Are at Home – Regional Folklore to Schools”. Review Section remembers two hundred years from the death of the collector Jan Bohumír Prač (also Ivan Práč), and one hundred years from the death of the Czech ethnologist Karel Fojtík. In Interview Section, Marta Šrámková introduces the prominent Polish folklorist Dorota Simonides. Social Chronicle remembers the anniversaries of the ethnologists Irena Štěpánová (born 1948) and Jarmila Pechová (born 1958), and it publishes an obituary for the collector of folk songs and dances Milada Bimková (1926-2018). The Journal also includes reports from shows and concerts, and reviews of new books.
The free time (leisure) phenomenon is an increasingly inspiring theme in anthropological discourse, especially in the so-called anthropology of everyday life. First of all, free time fills media content, creating a new "culture of needs" represented, mostly, through consumeristic (materialistic) values, since consumption is embedded in everyday patterns of behavior and is in constant interaction with technology and new types of media. And our identity, through the mentioned spheres, is "defined" first within the (daily) free time. It is shaped by rest, fun, creative processes, but also leisure, consumption. In the postmodern era, Z. Lipovetsky observes, and "a kind of democratization of hedonism", in the sense that new spaces are opened without prior exclusivity, and the boundaries between styles, purposes, values become relative, in everyday life both in the sphere of art, in the economy, politics, etc. Thus, the usual daily dynamics, as a kind of practical policy, becomes an anthropological interest, especially through cultural studies, which emphasize topics from the popular, media and consumer culture, at the local and global level, maintaining an active attitude towards reality.
The paper focuses on the phenomenon of free time or leisure time in retirement, as these phrases are often perceived as equivalents in public discourse in European space. Research shows, however, that in reality, the life of people in retirement is filled with various activities that usually do not have to be classified as leisure activities. In line with the concept of third age as an age of fulfilment, the concept of active or successful ageing and the concept of busy ethics, the paper deals with the way how people obtain different roles when they do not have to, but they still do. The choices or decisions about retirement are undoubtedly influenced by the discussion of the right to leisure, the increasing value of leisure time and the re-evaluation of the value of work in personal and social life, on the one hand, and some pressure to continue to be beneficial to society and active on the other. The author concentrates on how the sketched discussion is reflected by a group of people who, especially in the European environment, are becoming due to the demographic development more and more numerous – the oldest generation in society. They are confronted with two different attitudes at the opposite end of the value spectrum. The empirical basis for the study is qualitative research based on ethnographic interviews with pre-retirement and retired people in nowadays Slovakia, with a specific theme on preparing for retirement and living in retirement, as well as the results of several focus groups with this group of people..
The article focusses on the analysis of migrants’ leisure activities with the example of Polish minority in Brno. Based on participant observation and interviews with Polish migrants who spent at least one year in Brno, it is possible to reveal the diversity in leisure activities as well as common trends occurring during free time. Migrants’ understanding of free time in their new destination is encumbered by the context of the place of origin and the customs formed there. The analysis of migrants’ leisure activities shows the level of migrants’ integration and their interest in active participation in the life in their new environment. During their free time, they maintain contacts with their country of origin – family, friends, and cultural background. Migrants’ specific habitus is created, which can be implemented due to their stay “here” and “there” (most migrants use their free time to travel home), and the trans-national identity is constructed. Free time also becomes a space for more or less official meetings of Poles within their own language and ethnic group.
The study focusses on the community of people who deal with musical and dance folklore. The author builds on the musical-anthropological conception of music as a social act, and she applies the concepts of Caroline Bithell´s and Jennifer Hill´s music revivals and Thomas Turin´s cultural cohort on the researched field. She defined the field by a musical-dance event which currently takes place regularly in Prague and which has been called “Folklore Party” by its organizers. She specifies the event as an interconnection between the world of modernity, which the life in the Czech metropolis offers, and the world of folk traditions (folklore). Through participant observation and semi-structured interviews, she studies the way of bargaining the concepts of authenticity and legitimacy, their granting to particular participants and entities, and in general how the event´s participants construct the folklore and what the resulting construct looks like. Prague as a fluid musical environment makes it possible to create and bargain traditions (in Henry Glassie´s concept) running in different directions. One of the traditions which are of recursive nature and which serve the participants to construct meanings and to implement a socio-cultural change relates to the concept of folklore. As understood by my informers, folklore music has a potential to be confronted with the pressure of modernity, thanks to other levels which are also described in the study and which the folklore music includes.
The study deals with staged folk dances in the Czech cultural context. The main goal is to observe the development of the national and state-wide contest/show of folklore ensembles as an important phenomenon associated with the development of artistic values of the specific Czechoslovak staged genre in the second half of the 20th century. The author explains the history of this phenomenon, which is unique in many respects, with all its positions of thinking, internal discrepancies and transformations in deliberations. Especially in the 1950s and in connection with the staged presentation of folk dances, matters relating to the period cultural-political tendencies were brought to the forefront; these, however, weakened in the 1960s, and it was folk ensembles´ own production that became the major preoccupation at that time. This broad platform appears to have been the basis for a significant stream of thinking within folklore movement, which over time has brought the staged folk dance to the form that essentially differs from how the staged folk dance is understood in other countries.
Journal of Ethnology 1/2018 deals with city festivities. Jolana Darulová focuses on modern-day festivities in the Slovak town of Banská Bystrica (Festivities in Urban Environment with Focus on Mineworkers’ Traditions in the City of Banská Bystrica). Jana Lochmanová explains contemporary historicizing festivities in three Moravian towns (City Festivals in Jemnice, Brtnice and Jihlava). Marta Ulrychová deals with the development of an urban festival in the German location of Furth im Wald, and especially with a part of it, which consists of scenes depicting the fight between Saint George and the Dragon (Slaying of the Dragon – Traditional Summer Festival in the City of Furth im Wald in Upper Palatinate). Barbora Půtová describes and analyses urban festivities in Morocco, which intend to strengthen national identity and legitimacy of the local monarchy (Moussems: Moroccan Urban Festivals). Helena Nosková submits the theme of the Russians in Czech environment and the development of its festivities in the course of the 20th century (Festivities and Everyday Life of Russian “White” Émigrés in Prague Exile in Blending of History and Memories).
Social Chronicle remembers the anniversaries of the ethnologist Alena Plessingerová (born 1928) and the script editor and script writer Naděžda Urbášková (born 1938); obituaries are written for the Czech historians Josef Petráň (1930–2017) and Ctibor Nečas (1933–2017) and also for the Slovak choreographer Štefan Nosáľ (1927–2017). Other regular columns include information about exhibitions, conferences, as well as reviews of new books.
The study focuses on modern-day festivities in the city environment. In its first section, it deals with theoretical definition of feast and celebration with two concepts - the epidemiology of representations by D. Sperber, and the invented tradition by E. Hobsbawm. In terms of space, the research is based on the city of Banská Bystrica in Central Slovakia, which tries to present the oldest and most significant events through selected historical events integrated in festivities. This concerns mainly mining industry, even though the development of Banská Bystrica has not been associated with the mining industry for several decades. Initiated by mineworkers’ associations and supported by the city, Emperor’s Visitations were held for three years. The festivity, at which representatives from different mining regions in Slovakia and abroad presented themselves, comprised several elements of ceremony, ritualized behaviour, dramatization, and mineworkers’ symbols. It was an attempt to establish a new tradition that was to remember the Emperor’s visits with the aim to complete the city’s image, to support tourism, and to reach economic benefits. It is the local self-government and the citizen’s interest that decide about its periodicity and cyclic repetition.
The study deals with modern-day city festivals in three Moravian cities (Jemnice, Brtnice and Jihlava). Those historicizing festivals emphasize specific features of their development and the history of the venue; they are based on self-identification, local pride and specificity. Although their origin reflects different geographic and historical circumstances, they share many common elements (long tradition; particular opportunity – a historical milestone to which the festivity´s development relates; very good support by local inhabitants who are organizers, parade participants and visitors). In the past, the festivals were strongly associated with Christianity. From the mid-20th century, the religious part was suppressed, however, it was at least partially renewed in all three cities after 1989. During the festivals, the cities experience a festive and extraordinary time and space separated from the everyday life. The organizing supports the perception of local identity, and it welds the community together. The residents of the cities feel compelled to organize the festivity. The festivals are important in terms of representation, economics and tourism, which is more and more emphasized. This puts stress on theatrics and rich accompanying programme.
The article deals with the development of a city festival in the Bavarian city of Furth im Wald, whose part also the Drachenstich (Slaying of the Dragon) play is. The play has evolved based on tableaus depicting the fight between Saint George and the Dragon, which used to be part of liturgical Corpus Christi procession. The first mentions come from the 16th century. In the 19th century, it was the German writers Alexander Schöppner and Maximilian Schmidt, and the Czech writer Božena Němcová who paid attention to the Slaying of the Dragon play. After repeated restrictions by the Church, which accumulated more and more from the 18th century, the scene got profane in 1887 – local amateur actors performed a new and longer text written by the teacher Heinrich Schmidt. He extended dialogs significantly and brought new characters to the play. His version survived until 1953 when Josef Martin Bauer replaced it by a new one, the story of which was set in the period of Hussite wars. The latest version, which was put on the stage in 2007 for the first time, was written by the professional theatre person Alexander Etzel-Ragusa, who also directs the play. The article observes the play’s development from a simple dramatic start to the present 80-minute-long performance, which is the principal axis of the two-week-long city festival. It pays attention to accompanying events, and – by means of a common characteristic of the location – it tries to find out the social conditions that have allowed this traditional phenomenon to be maintained for many years.
The subject of the paper is a description and analysis of the phenomenon called moussems – urban festivals that take place in Morocco from April to August. The current moussems, in comparison to their traditional sacral form, represent an international, secular and institutionalized festivity that is systematically modified and supported by the Moroccan king in order to develop tourism and to preserve local cultural traditions. The objective of the paper is to describe the creation of moussems, which originally celebrated the birth or death of saints in the rural environment and which offered an opportunity for nomadic tribes from the mountains to meet. Most importantly, it describes the transformation of moussems into an urban festivity whose current form and functions serve to enhance the national identity, the legitimacy and the power of the monarchy as well as to emphasize the diversity of Morocco´s tangible and intangible heritage. At the end of the paper, the transformation of moussems and the possibilities of how they could be used are exemplified by the Festival des Musiques Sacrées du Monde in Fez.
The study focuses on the history of the Russian white émigrés in the then Czechoslovakia. The author shows that the white émigrés were perceived by the then Czechoslovak government as the future intelligentsia for new free Russia and for independent and free Ukraine. The emigrants were offered the opportunity of completing their studies, continuing their creative activities, or extending their education. The emigrants founded their own professional institutions, organized social life even for the Czech majority to make it familiar with the Russian culture. To the Czech environment, they translocated some of their festivals associated with Orthodoxy and folk tradition. After the Czechoslovak-Soviet Treaty of Alliance was signed (1935), the emigrants´ position got worse. The activity of domestic communists introduced Soviet festivities to Czechoslovakia. After 1945, new Soviet citizens arrived in Czechoslovakia, and the white émigrés became a persecuted group. Some of them were abducted to Soviet forced labour camps (Gulag) by Russian bodies. The domestic communists implanted new Soviet festivals, feasts and ceremonies – Great October Socialist Revolution celebrations, Grandfather Frost and others – with the help of the Association of Czechoslovak-Soviet Friendship in Czechoslovakia. In 2001, the Czech Republic officially acknowledged the Russian national minority that got its historical rights as a minority thanks to the Russian white émigrés in the 1920s. Several associations within the minority try to renew original Russian traditions and feasts in the Czech environment.