Journal of Ethnology 5/2019

The Worker for the Peasant, the Peasant for the Worker: the Transformation of Harvest Festival from a Traditional Folk Feast into a Tool of the Politics of Normalization in Czechoslovakia (Daniel Drápala)
Dance Parties and the Symbolic Construction of Communities in the Era of Late Socialism in Czechoslovakia (Oto Polouček)
“Do Not Allow History and Memory to Be Forgotten!” Re-emigrants from Yugoslavia as a Memory Community of an Alternative Collective Memory (Michal Pavlásek)
Tailor’s Guilds and Their Influence on the Formation of Women’s Rural Dress in Central Europe in Early Modern Times (Martin Šimša)
Czech Prosaic Folkloristics after 2000: Between Continuity and Revitalization (Petr Janeček)

The Worker for the Peasant, the Peasant for the Worker: the Transformation of Harvest Festival from a Traditional Folk Feast into a Tool of the Politics of Normalization in Czechoslovakia

In the past, harvest festival was a distinctive custom in the life of rural communities. Its visual attractiveness and the social context of its organization meant that since the eighteenth century it was exploited as a representative element of rural culture on diverse public occasions. From the late nineteenth century onwards, harvest festival underwent several transformations, and harvest festivals in the Central European village were increasingly organized by the local government or by civic associations and were thus no longer strictly tied to a particular farmstead. While in some places local forms of harvest festival remained safeguarded even after the social changes of 1948, the mid-twentieth century also witnessed the beginning of harvest festivals organized by the political regime. It was mainly national harvest festivals in the 1970s that were large in scale, besides district and regional harvest festivals. Their organizers maintained some elements that linked these festivals to the traditional form of the feast (the harvest wreath, thanksgiving speeches by agricultural workers, the involvement of people dressed in folk costumes). The schedule of events included at such festivals, however, was subject to the ideological needs of state socialism, and harvest festival became an instrument to celebrate the successes of socialist agriculture (and the related processing industries). It was mainly the entertainment events that displayed the loosening of ties to agriculture, whereby harvest festivals became largely based on mass forms of popular culture and consumption. Agricultural workers thus became participants in a grand theatre performance with ideological outlines, and for playing a role in this spectacle they received cultural and material rewards.

Dance Parties and the Symbolic Construction of Communities in the Era of Late Socialism in Czechoslovakia

Dance parties constitute a field that concisely reflected the processes of modernization and urbanization of the Czech countryside in the 1970s and 1980s. Dance parties can also be perceived as places that have maintained their stable position in the hierarchy of values and ideas accepted by local inhabitants, which are, among other things, associated with the viability of their own community. This was possible due to the symbolic function of dance parties – phenomena with symbolic significance are endowed with high adaptability to changes. The stable significance of dance parties for a community can be exemplified by discussions conducted in the fields of space, generations, and power. These discussions understand dance parties as a subject based on which ideas about the ability of a community to function are communicated. The symbolic function of dance parties is the reason their existence is not called into question. This paper is based on doctoral field research, which was carried out in two different locations – in a small rural town facing more intensive processes of modernization and in two rural municipalities (everything though is set in a wider regional context).

“Do Not Allow History and Memory to Be Forgotten!” Re-emigrants from Yugoslavia as a Memory Community of an Alternative Collective Memory

The study follows the trajectory of a group of re-emigrants who took an active part in the partisan (antifascist, or Communist) resistance movement during the Second World War in Yugoslavia and who established their own partisan unit, the Czechoslovak Brigade of Jan Žižka. After the war, partisans with Czechoslovak citizenship decided to answer the call from Czechoslovakia, and they and their families settled the areas from which the old German residents had been expelled. After their arrival, the state welcomed them as antifascist heroes (freedom fighters), but at the local level, they were accepted as undesired “outlanders”, “other Czechs”, or “Yugoslavians”. After Cominform issued its first resolution, the regime of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia stigmatized them as being “unreliable for the state”. After the fall of the Communist regime in 1989, they found themselves in a position of memory bearers, a position that did not correspond to the contemporary hegemonic anti-Communist narrative. Due to this fact, the second generation of re-emigrants in particular feels that their ancestors have been unjustifiably erased from history, their legacy and imagined family honour unrecognized. At their own commemorative meetings, they clearly demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the contemporary exclusion of their partisan ancestors from the post-Communist national narrative. I argue in the text that the perceived non-ethnic otherness in the past alongside their historical experience and the contemporary post-Communist politics of memory led the re-emigrants to the formation of their own memory community (and thus identity).

Tailor’s Guilds and Their Influence on the Formation of Women’s Rural Dress in Central Europe in Early Modern Times

The aim of the study is to capture the process of the formation of women’s rural dress in Central Europe in the early Middle Ages. This period brought many new impulses to women’s clothing which resulted both in the emergence of national styles of clothing (Italian, German, and Hungarian), and the rapid adoption of pan-European fashion waves of Spanish and later French fashion clothing. This took root in the noble environment first, and then in the cities. The study tries to answer the question in what way these novelties were mediated to rural residents and who did this. The author shows how the field of competences of city tailor guilds spread from cities to adjacent manors, the residents in which were forced to have their garments made exclusively by guild tailors. Thanks to noble decrees, tailor pattern books served, among other things, as models for most garments made for subjected rural residents. The author analyses period depictions, inventories of estates, and estates to orphans. He shows that most hitherto written works fail when connecting the depictions and the terms for garments, the mutual relation of which is rather illustrative than comparative. The problem consists in little knowledge of cut constructions and their period terms. The solution can be brought about by the study of guild books with tailor’s patterns, which include cut constructions and period terms. From the 16th and 17th centuries, these books have survived from the various territories of contemporary Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, and Germany. Due to this we can conduct necessary comparative research into iconographic, constructional, and written sources in Central Europe, and to acquire new information about men’s and women’s clothing and basic garments.

Czech Prosaic Folkloristics after 2000: Between Continuity and Revitalization

The study deals with the principal tendencies in the development of Czech prosaic folkloristics after 2000, and it analyses the revitalization of folkloristics, which began after a period of certain instability in the discipline, uncertainty in research activities, and low productivity in the 1990s. The new millennium saw quite a vigorous increase in research on folklore within Czech ethnological and anthropological studies, which became evident mainly in the following research domains: research on collective and family memory; research in the field of contemporary legends, rumours, and contemporary folklore in general; research and indexing of “traditional” legends; and the revitalization of folktale studies. At the same time, new series began to be published, and publication activity itself experienced a significant increase (including the foundation of three folkloristic series, even by non-academic, commercial publishing houses), as did the number of international scholarly contacts. For this reason, prosaic folkloristics can be by rightly considered to be one of the most fruitful (sub)disciplines of the Czech ethnological and anthropological sciences.

Journal of Ethnology 4/2019 deals with the theme “Cultural Heritage and Everyday Life”. In her essay, Katarína Popelková presents results of the research into Easter in contemporary Slovakia (Easter and the Ways of Celebrating It in Slovakia in the 21st Century). Zuzana Beňušková introduces the role of cultural heritage in four villages which won the first place in the Village of the Year competition (Project “The Restoration of the Countryside“: Local strategies in the care of cultural heritage and their influence on the quality of everyday life in rural environment). Martin Štoll pays attention to everyday life in documentaries (Everyday Life as a Building Element of the Documentary Authenticity: about Scholars´ and Film Makers´ Common Paths). Marek Šebeš focusses on the research into watching the West-European TV programmes, which could be received in the vicinity of the borders with Austria and Germany in totalitarian Czechoslovakia (Foreign Television Watching in Everyday Life in the Period of Communism: South-Bohemian Experience). Helena Beránková explains how several constructions from the first third of the 20th century, which were built by one builder, have changed to date (Architecture Memory of a Location: Uherský Ostroh and the Builder Josef Šuta).   

The Transforming Tradition column publishes texts Observations from Renewed Kermesse in Bedřichov in the Blanensko Region (author Eva Večerková) and Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage on the Example of the Water Mill in Bohuslavice (author Eva Abramuszkinová Pavlíková). Review Section publishes a reminiscence of the Czech natural scientist, ethnographer, photographer, and traveller Josef Klvaňa (1857–1919) (author Helena Beránková). Interview Section is devoted to the ethnologist Václav Hubinger. Social Chronicle remembers the jubilee of the ethnologist and historian Helena Nosková (born 1948) and publishes an obituary for the museum ethnographer Eva Urbachová (1924–2019). Further regular columns include reports on conferences and review of new books.

Easter and the Ways of Celebrating It in Slovakia in the 21st Century

The text presents results of the research which was conducted in the form of a media search within the years 2001 – 2015. The blanket analysis of the press focusses on getting a transparent information about the ways how Easter is celebrated in Slovakia in the environment of global and information society. The material, which was subject to an ethnological content analysis, has generated data to monitor a wide spectrum of questions associated with the festive practice, its content and dynamics, parameters and themes of ongoing Easter social discourse. Surviving of that primarily religious Christian festival includes also two groups of secular elements in Slovakia, in addition to those spiritual. The one group includes family, community, and social activities, relax and entertainment, which the population enjoys on festive days off. The other group comprises symbolic activities that either spontaneously follow spring and Easter customs associated with traditional rural culture and phenomena termed as cultural heritage, or they symbolically refer to them. The spectrum of celebrating forms is influenced by the efforts of trade and business-oriented subjects to break through even in this sphere, meaning to increase consumption and adventure activities.

Project “The Restoration of the Countryside“: Local strategies in the care of cultural heritage and their influence on the quality of everyday life in rural environment.

The text presents result of ethnologic research, which has been conducted since 2017 in the villages that won the Village of the Year competition. Taking four villages as an example, the text shows how traditional culture can contribute to the mobilization of economic resources. In suburban villages, its intangible form contributes to bringing the incomers and the original inhabitants closer together, its tangible form strengthens the rural character of a village. In mountain villages, traditional culture partially completes leisure self-realization of local inhabitants and it strengthens local identity, and it is both tangible and intangible form that takes an important part in representation of the village. Two examples (the villages of Soblahov and Malé Dvorníky) show how the emphasis on and ways of approach to cultural traditions can be diverse; examples of multi-ethnic villages (Liptovská Teplička and Malé Dvorníky) indicate the preferred use of majority’s cultural heritage. Cultural heritage becomes a cultural capital when used for the local/regional development; its identification and involvement helps mobilize new resources of economic incomes (financial funds from the EU and the state and commercial institutions, promotion of a village/region, foundation of festivals and events, development of local tourism, production of local products).

Everyday Life as a Building Element of the Documentary Authenticity: about Scholars’ and Film Makers’ Common Paths

Everyday life is a natural subject-matter of historians’, philosophers’ and anthropologists’ research as well as a natural content of documentaries. Scholars’ and film-makers’ analytic methods are not identical, however their objectives are similar: to describe and to express what the world is and what it was. The study shows that the results of the research into everyday life can also be applied to the audio-visual material, and even to compact dramatic films and TV works. The author of the text proceeds mainly from Petr Sedlák’s approaches and he innovatively extends the terms “the scenery of everyday life”, introduced by Milena Lenderová, by the term “the props of everyday life”. He substantiates his arguments with three documentaries which are linked together by the theme and time of their origin (late 1960s). The films also represent three different approaches of their authors when working with the environment visualisation and with dynamics, rhythmisation, repetitiveness, and motivisation of their principal characters’ lives. With the films “Ztištění” by Rudolf Adler, “Císařští poddaní” by Jindřich Fairaizl, and “Respice Finem” by Jan Špáta, the author proves that everyday life and mainly its audio-visual presentation is used by documentary-makers as the basic ingredient of credibility, truth-resemblance, and building of their works’ authenticity.

Foreign Television Watching in Everyday Life in the Period of Socialism: South-Bohemian Experience

Before the year 1989, a part of Czechoslovak inhabitants had an opportunity to watch foreign televisions, the signal of which penetrated through the border into Czechoslovak inland. Although there are known data from public opinion survey, by means of which the then political system tried to find out how watching the foreign (especially the West-European) televisions is disseminated in the Czechoslovak society as well as the citizens´ opinions on the broadcasting, we have just a little information about how the everyday practice of that watching looked like. This study focuses on everyday experience with watching the Austrian and the German television in South Bohemia. It is based on the qualitative research among survivors who could watch the programmes in the 1960s – 1980s. In ten in-depth interviews and one group discussion we tried to find out which role the West-European television watching played in the everyday life of people, which different forms it gained, and in what social context it occurred. The research results pointed out, among other things, several typical ways of watching the West-European televisions and the importance that the respondents attributed to it.

Architecture Memory of a Location: Uherský Ostroh and the Builder Josef Šuta

The text deals with the work by Josef Šuta (1863–1941), a project architect and building company owner, who designed more than 160 houses and 60 farm and technical buildings in the Uherský Ostroh area (south-eastern Moravia) from the late 19th century until the 1930s. Although only several buildings have survived to date, archival sources adequately present the supra-regional importance of this builder. While his layouts respected the operation of farmsteads and craftsmen’s homesteads, he used Art-Nouveau elements to adorn the facades of those buildings already at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. In her study, the author summarizes, in terms of quality and quantity, Šuta’s building activity, which lasted more than fifty years, completing this with the emic perspective of current owners, and searching for their relationship to the building heritage. The field research, lasting for several years, in combination with heuristic investigation in archives and with interviews with respondents confirmed the great inertia of folk culture’s phenomena in everyday culture as well as the readiness to accept and fund aesthetic elements which seem to be superfluous from the perspective of functionality. In the conclusion, the author of the study states that the uniqueness of the location’s building image is a very brittle value: it is not only historic buildings but also associated archives and photo-documents that are irretrievably disappearing.

Journal of Ethnology 3/2019 deals with the theme “Diet as a Cultural Phenomenon”. Dragana Radojičić (Whose Dish Is This? Migrations and Food Culture in the 21st Century) contemplates the food at the time of globalization. Martin Soukup and Jan D. Bláha explain eating habits in Papua-New Guinea (PNG Made: Transformations of Papua-New Guinea Diet). Roman Doušek offers a view of the transformation of Czech diet through the chosen phenomenon of grilled chickens (Grilled Chicken in the Network of Cultural Significances. Innovations and transformations in Czech diet in the second half of the 20th century and in the early 21st century). Zdena Krišková deals with traditional diet in one of Slovak regions (The Determinants and Specific Features of Traditional Diet in the Context of Identity, with Selected Examples from Locations in the Upper Spiš Region). Markéta Slavková focusses on the diet at the time of the Balkans armed conflict (Cooking from Nothing: Cooking with Nothing: War Cuisine in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992-1995).
Review Section remembers the 100th anniversary of the birth of the folklorist Věra Šejvlová (author Sabrina Pasičnyková) and the ethnologist Václav Šolc (author Oldřich Kašpar). Interview Section introduces the ethnologist Alena Jeřábková. Social Chronicle remembers the anniversaries of the ethnologists Miloslava Turková (born 1949), Lenka Nováková (born 1949) and Zdeněk Uherek (born 1959), and it publishes an obituary for the folklorist Cecilie Havlíková (1927-2019). Further regular columns include reports on conferences, exhibitions, and festivals, and review of new disciplinary publications.

Whose dish is this? Migrations and food culture in the 21st century

Our planet has become an unsafe place where many upsetting incidents such as natural and ecological disasters as well as social, national, ideological and religious tensions and conflicts occur. Migrations, being seen as a link in the chain and through the relation of cause and effect, symbolize a consequential challenge of the development of society. Majority of migration paths were driven by the need of finding better food conditions. Food has gained the status of a world traveler. It comes in the variety of shapes, from seeds to cooked meals, and defines our identity on different levels. Food classifies not only different social identities such as national, local, class and religious but our own personal identity which includes our personal attitude and taste. In the same way that eating habits are at the same time a signal of differences and a means of connection they are also a guardian of the past and the area of creativity and innovation. The issues that the modern era of globalization, technocracy, economic crisis, internet and easy access to information that do not necessarily imply knowledge, pose to the mankind are also reflected in the way we treat food. The question `Whose dish is this?` has become quite common. Various recipes and national dishes serve as a communicative expression of culture and eating out, away from your family and surroundings, has the social function of bringing people closer. The smells and flavors we carry from the childhood are a part of our cultural identity where cooking and diet can be a way of expressing personal identity and a form of creative expression. It is well known today that food is one of the most important external factors influencing our health and the life expectancy. We need healthy environment in order to produce healthy food and this is something we lack today. Future cannot be predicted but the tendencies and movements that have been noticed can be a good indicator.

PNG Made: Transformations of Papua-New Guinea Diet

The study focusses on the theoretical and empirical analysis of food as a cultural phenomenon at the global, macro-regional, and local levels. The study is divided into three imaginary sections. In the first one, the authors focus on the first and the second level of the hierarchization, and they describe the regionalization of sustainable foods. In the second section, the authors focus on sustainable foods in Papua-New Guinea (PNG) and methods in which they are processed, as well as on the impacts of colonization and globalization on the transformations of traditional diet by that state´s population. Attention is paid mainly to biscuits, instant noodles, rice, tea, and coffee. The last section focusses on the local level, and it demonstrates, using the example of the Nungon ethnic group, how industrial foods penetrate the villagers´ diet. The last section is based on fieldwork conducted by the authors there. Special attention is also paid to the rhythm and ways of nourishment, the selection and procession of foods for special occasions, and to the tabooization of several foods. The conclusion of the study focusses on the PNG Made brand, which began to be applied on industrial foods and drinks that are not imported, but produced locally.

Grilled Chicken in the Network of Cultural Meanings. Innovations and transformations in Czech diet in the second half of the 20th century and in the early 21st century

The study follows the introduction of grilled chicken into Czech diet since the 1960s. The author considers the meanings, attributed to this dish at the social and individual levels, to be crucial. The political regime included the dish in the desired fast and public catering, whose positivity resulted from the consumers’ time savings. In general, it understood the poultry meat and the spread of its consummation as positive from the point of view of consumerism and modernization. Economic troubles of the Czechoslovak agriculture in producing the commodity long caused the dish to have a meaning of a festive meal at the individual level, and it also was understood as a practical and healthy dish. The political change in 1989 did not bring up a radical turn in the significance. The gradual decrease in poultry meat price, and the competition from other forms of fast and street foods led to the stagnation in the sale of grilled chicken only after the year 2000. These were no longer understood as an exceptional dish, and, on the contrary, they gained a significance of a cheap dish. Also the health benefits of the poultry meat began to be questioned. The symbolic tie to Andrej Babiš, the current Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, based on his entrepreneur activities, has only deepened the transformation in the dish meaning.

The Determinants and Specific Features of Traditional Diet in the Context of Identity, with Selected Examples from Locations in the Upper Spiš Region

The study focusses on the region of Upper Spiš in Slovakia, beneath the High Tatras. The mentioned data are primarily based on multi-year ethnologic field research. The results of diet monitoring confirm that the diet is conditioned by primarily geographic, economic, and ethnic determinants based on which a location within the defined area creates specific lines: a) locations with mining industry in addition to primary agriculture, in which inter-ethnic, mainly German-Slovak socio-cultural contexts oscillate; b) locations with dominating agrarian culture and pastoralism in connection with Wallachian colonization, where we can also find Polish and Slovak influences, c) Tatra locations with focus on the High Tatras and the associated development of tourism. In the above-mentioned context, several specific features with distinctive cultural and identification accent has been created in the diet (designation of society members according to typical dishes). The diet and the processes and products associated with it can be undoubtedly defined as an element of communities´ identity, and within those ties as an important part of cultural heritage in the perspectives of sustainable development. However, a corresponding way and extent of preservation and mediation under current conditions is unavoidable, considering the developed tourism in that Tatra region.

Cooking with Nothing: War Cuisine in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992-1995

This article elaborates the topic of food in the context of an armed conflict. It asks what happens to a social actor and his/her ”everyday bread“ in the conditions of extreme hunger and overall material scarcity? Using the example of eating practices during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s, the author explores the issue of everyday subsistence strategies during the radical structural changes. She develops a thesis that the ability of improvisation and the knowledge of the natural environment in the time of crises significantly increases the chance of survival. Moreover, she also argues that in certain situations food can be used as a tool of power and a marker of social exclusion. In extreme cases, targeted groups and individuals can be intentionally starved out. These research conclusions are based on author‘s long-term ethnographic and historical research in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the towns of Srebrenica and Sarajevo.

Journal of Ethnology 2/2019 deals with the theme “Tradition and Religion”. Jan Horský analyses the treatment of the category “tradition” in connection with the study on religion (Tradition, Experience, Innovation: a sketch of the possible specification of terms (not only) in relation to the study on European Christianity). Zdeněk R. Nešpor deals with modern Protestant churches and the development in their allegiance to the tradition of Bohemian reformation (Tradition and Construction of the Tradition of Bohemian Reformation in Modern Protestant Churches). Barbora Navrátilová focusses on the relationship of funerary rituals and religious tradition in the Balkans (Orthodox Church and Folk Religiosity in Bulgaria and Macedonia, an Example of Present-Day Funerary Rituals). Anna Grůzová explains individual adherence to church regulations focussing on believers’ nutrition and fast in the Czech Republic (Believers’ Approaches to Dietary Recommendations in Christian Churches and Religious Communities /an example of Three South-Moravian cities/). Olga Nešporová writes about present-day burying and its transformations in comparison with traditional customs (Religious Traditions and Their Absence in Present-Day Czech Funerary Practice). Peter Salner focusses on the Slovak environment and Passover – the Jewish festival (Passover – a Festival of Matzos, Memory and Identity: Transformation of a Religious Tradition in the Bratislava Jewish Community).
The Transforming Tradition column publishes a contribution devoted to the symbiosis of religion and folk magic on an example of folk female healers from the Moravian-Slovak borderland. Social Chronicle remembers the life anniversaries of the ethnologist Jiřina Langhammerová (born 1939), the ethnologist and the ethmusicologist Eva Krekovičová (born 1949), the ethnologist Pavel Popelka (born 1949), and the composer Jaroslav Krček (born 1939); it also publishes an obituary for the ethno-musicologist Jiří Traxler (1946–2019). Further regular columns publish reports on conferences, exhibitions, and new publications.

Tradition, Experience, Innovation: a sketch of the possible specification of terms (not only) in relation to the study on European Christianity

The study analyses, from the perspective of the theory of historical sciences, the way of working with the category “tradition”. It differs between the tradition at the noetic level (interpretative tradition) and the tradition at the ontic level (dogmatic, doctrinal, and cultural tradition on the example of European reformation). The “tradition” is analysed in relation to the “innovation” and “experience”. The idea of tradition’s “continuity” was subjected to criticism. It is not the wording or the form of tradition, but the kerygma, the understanding of the “substance” that are really valuable. However, this can be addressed solely by patient questioning while observing the critically tolerant respect for traditions. And also with the awareness that the struggle for innovations is legitimate and it can be even more beneficial when connected with the humbleness towards traditions, which we try to maintain, and with the respect for experience. Of course, both traditions and innovations can come into conflict with the experience. In ontic culture, the constitutive tension exists between the tradition and the innovation, while in researcher’s culture the constitutive tensions exists between moving within the tradition and the effort to break it.

Tradition and Construction of the Tradition of Bohemian Reformation in Modern Protestant Churches

Modern Protestant churches, approved by the Patent of Toleration issued by Joseph II, could not (and in many respects they did not want to) continue the heritage of Bohemian Reformation. However, such legacy appeared thorough the “long” 19th century, and at its end it was emphasized by national movement and political programmes of several political parties. At the beginning of the 20th century, the importance of the above legacy grew significantly, and culminated after the formation of Czechoslovakia: most Czech Protestant churches claimed their allegiance, explicitly and even confirmed by the change of their names, to the tradition of Bohemian Reformation. Besides the largest Protestant Church of Czech Brethren, these were: the Unity of Brethren, the Church of Czech Brethren, the Chelčický’s Unity of Brethren, as well as the Czechoslovak (Hussite) Church, the United Methodist Church, the Salvation Army, the Religious Society of Czechoslovak Unitarians, the Orthodox Church and some other communities. The aim of this article is to analyse historical and theological justification of that self-declaration, its importance for the work of each community, and its development in the 20th century to date.

Orthodoxy is the majority religion in Bulgaria and Macedonia. While the influence of the Orthodox Church fades away in the present-day society, the religion’s importance grows, among other things, as a symbol of ethno-identification. The current expressions of belief of Bulgarians and Macedonians can be understood as a kind of individual syncretism – the expressions of belief include, in everyday life, the canonical acts (lighting of candles at icons, prayers, making the sign of the cross, fasting) as well as acts which could be identified as being magic (use of a red thread against bewitching, belief in sorcery, and relating prophylactic rituals. etc.). As one of the contemporary belief’s expressions, the article depicts a memory feast forty days after death in the village of Bitovo in western Macedonia, which it puts in the context of funerary rituals. This micro-probe shows, using a real material, the symbiosis of religious and magic practices, and it points out the current functions of the ritual (the stabilization, integration, and religious ones) and the positions of the Orthodox Church representatives in these rituals.

Believers’ Approaches to Dietary Recommendations in Christian Churches and Religious Communities (an example of South-Moravian cities)

The study monitors individual approaches to dietary recommendations (consumption, addictive substances etc.) in various Christian churches and religious communities in the Czech Republic. Some religious groups define the dietary rules and recommendations officially, others do not – some churches adhere to the traditionalist concept (especially the Roman-Catholic church), some build on their own dogmatic principles (especially the non-conform churches) and some leave their believers more free to take their personal decision (especially traditional non-Catholic churches). The diversity in the features of these restrictions (terms, form, etc.) is also important, i.e. whether the church representatives and co-believers consider the recommendations to be binding, recommended, or expected. With regards to the nature thereof, the believers are offered a larger or smaller space for their own adaptations. Based on her interviews with particular believers, the author comes to a conclusion that despite obvious perception of circumscribed limits, the crucial aspect consists in an individual approach in dependence on personal piousness as well as every-day situations. However, it emerges that most believers understand a form of self-denial as an important part of religiosity (in the case that no restrictions are defined, or these restrictions are insufficient from the believer’s point of view). The demands for own discomfort or modesty are, however, very different in dependence on subjective limits (individual adaptations and believers’ approaches).

Religious Traditions and Their Absence in Present-Day Czech Funerary Practice

Funerary practices in the present-day Czech Republic are a very specific field that is worthy of special attention. High rate of cremations and especially the fifty-percent and still growing rate of cremations without a funerary ceremony are unique in the world. The article presents specific features of funerary practices, and tries to point out the reasons that gave rise to them. It uses data from several field researches conducted by the author in funeral services in 2003–2018, as well as historical and ethnological data and studies. The author refers to the interconnection between religious and secular traditions (cremation movement and civil funerals) and the present-day burials, cremations and funerary ceremonies in the Czech Republic. Cremations without ceremonies (direct cremations) are most usual in Prague, and central, northern and western Bohemia. The text interprets this phenomenon as a consequence of the absence of religious traditions and the massive spread of civil funerals during the reign of the Communist party in the second half of the 20th century.

Passover – a Festival of Matzos, Memory and Identity: Transformation of a Religious Tradition in the Bratislava Jewish Community

Based on the field and archival research into the Bratislava Jewish community, the author explains the transformation of the Passover (Pesach) traditional religious festival in the 20th and 21st centuries. The Festival commemorates the liberation of Israelites from Egyptian slavery and their forty-year long journey through the desert, during which Moses presented Torah to them. On Passover the Jewish believers have to pass down a message about these events to next generations. Passover is celebrated at two nights by Seder (ritual dinner) accompanied by reading of Haggadah. Beside this, the observing Jews are not allowed to possess and eat any leavened foods for the eight days of the Festival. They can eat only matzos which is a symbol of Passover and which has an identity-shaping meaning. The Jewish origin was a life-threatening factor during the Holocaust time. However, many members of the Bratislava Jewish community continued observing the religious rules, while some others gave up their faith, and chose various compromises. During the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia, Atheist ideology and repressions conducted by the regime dominated the country; this was strengthened by the fact that after 1948 there remained only one rabbi who decided to emigrate after August 1968 when the Soviet army occupied Czechoslovakia. Since November 1989 the Bratislava Jews have shown a selective attitude to Jewish holidays (including Passover). From a variety of options, they have chosen only a few traditional elements, namely those that are suitable to them. Some of Slovak Jews observe only a few regulations and bans of the Passover, and some others ignore this Festival entirely.

Journal of Ethnology 1/2019 deals with the theme “National Schools in Ethnography and Folkloristics”. Giuseppe Maiello focusses on the formation of those disciplines in Italy (On the Development of Italian Folkloristics and Ethnography: from Renaissance collections of folk literature to positivism), Jiří Woitsch submits an overview on the origin of ethnology in Switzerland (Going Their Own Way? The Swiss Ethnology in the 19th and the first half of the 20th Century). Alexandra Bitušíková pays attention to the research into city in Slovak ethnology (The Urban-Ethnological Research in Slovakia in the 21st Century: Reflections and Challenges). Jaroslav Šotola and Mario Rodríguez Polo explain discourses of Romani studies in the Czech environment after 1989 (The Representation of Roma Otherness: a Reflexion of Constructing a Subject-Matter of Czech Social Sciences). Ivan Murín and Gergely Agócs present the application of folkloristics in the realm of folklorism (Applied Folkloristics in Hungary: Case Táncház – Módszer). The methodological essay by Miroslav Vaněk (From One Hundred Student Revolutions to One Hundred Student Evolutions. On the Method of the First Longitudinal Project in Czech Oral History) has been involved out of the main theme.
The Transforming Tradition column publishes a record from the field research into Nicholas door-to-door procession in the village of Lužná in southern Wallachia (by Jana Poláková and Milada Fohlerová). Review Section includes a contribution Bernardino de Sahagún and Beginnings of Anthropology in Mexico (by Oldřich Kašpar) and a reminder on Václav Pletka´s life and work, an important person of Czech musical folkloristics. Social Chronicle publishes a greeting to the life anniversary of the ethnologist Soňa Švecová (born 1929), and obituaries for the Romist Eva Davidová (1932–1918) and the ethnologist Karel Pavlištík (1931–2018). Further regular columns publish reports on exhibitions, conferences, festivals, shows and new publications.

On the development of Italian folklore and ethnography: from Renaissance collections of folk literature to positivism

The study offers a description of the difficulty of describing the boundaries between various study disciplines such as ethnology, folklore and ethnography in the context of pre- and post-unitary Italy. In a specific paragraph are presented the oldest collections of fairy tales, collected by Giovanni Francesco Straparola (1480?-1557), Giambattista Basile (1566-1632) and Pompeo Sarnelli (1649-1724) and the first romantic attempts to comment on oral lore. Other paragraphs are devoted to the italian collectors of folk tales, with a particular attention on Niccolò Tommaseo (1802-1874), Vittorio Imbriani (1840-1886) and Costantino Nigra (1828-1907), and to the theorists of folklore studies Ermolao Rubieri (1818-1879) and Alessandro d'Ancona (1835-1914). The study describes where folklore studies in Italy met with ethnographic studies and where and when they moved away from themselves.

Going Their Own Way? The Swiss Ethnology in the 19th and the first half of the 20th Century

The article submits a chronologically explained development of the Swiss ethnology with an emphasis on the development in the 19th century through the 1960s, whereby the interest in cultural diversity as well as that defined in other ways in older periods is partially included as a theme. Great attention is paid to key personalities in the history of the Swiss ethnology, in particular to Eduard Hoffmann-Krayer and Richard Weiss, and to how they influenced the theoretical and methodological as well as thematic shifts in the orientation of the discipline. Further significant persons and important works of the Swiss ethnology are mentioned as well, and the institutional basis of the discipline is described. The author presents the Swiss ethnology as quite a peculiar and progressive research discourse. This was formed under a strong influence of the German Volkskunde, but evolving in a country featuring a specifically multi-ethnic composition of the population, a significantly different historical development, as compared to Germany, and special, even extreme natural and geographical conditions that contributed to the survival of many archaic elements of the so-called folk culture until the 20th century.

The Urban-Ethnological Research in Slovakia in the 21st Century: Reflections and Challenges

The paper brings an overview of the development of urban-ethnological research in Slovakia with a special focus on the first two decades of the 21st century. It also briefly defines key milestones, thematic areas and methodical approaches in the older periods, which are necessary for the understanding of further developments. It introduces key personalities who formed urban ethnology and who influenced the establishment of the sub-discipline within the ethnology and social anthropology development in Slovakia. The main objective is to focus on changes in the approach to the urban ethnological/anthropological research in Slovakia in the 21st century, particularly on changes in topics, theoretical concepts, and methodical approaches, and to propose new visions and opportunities in line with the global trends in urban anthropology.

The Representation of Roma Otherness: a Reflexion of Constructing a Subject-Matter of Czech Social Sciences

Since the year 1989, we can observe a significant development of the scholarly interest in Romani population in the Czech environment. We believe, however, that the way of constructing the research subject-matter after November 1989 did not bring a corresponding framework for the reduction of social marginalization of the Romani people. In the text, we analyse examples of three different approaches to the study of Romani people whereby we see a paradox in the fact that although these approaches hide behind the emphasis on “the support of understanding”, “the search for problems´ roots”, and “the proposal of solutions”, their way of otherness conceptualization in fact does not offer any alternative to the public discourse within which the Romani people are perceived as being “fundamentally different”. For this reason we suggest to move attention from the discussions searching for an explanation concerning the otherness of Romani people to the research into the logics of its reproduction within the science. In the text, we focus on the reflexion of the most significant expressions of Romani people´s exoticness and the related limits within the explanation potential for the understanding of social reality. The Romani people´s otherness, in our opinion, is irreplaceable as the theme for ethnographic research, but only providing the reflexivity of epistemological position, the understanding of otherness as (re)produced by social practice, and the thorough involvement of the broader all-society context in the entire analysis.

Applied Folkloristics in Hungary: Case Táncház – Módszer

The media success of the Hungarian and Slovak folklore show anew has opened up a discussion about the current forms of folklorism. Less known is the development of folkloristics that it has passed through - beginning with theoretical schools of historical and musical folklore to its application to public sphere. The contemporary folklorism boom in Hungary is associated with the attempt of Hungarian folklorists´ to renew the older forms of Hungarian traditional culture by means of scenic (art) and public presentations. These best practice methods (UNESCO) become theoretical and methodological concepts of Hungarian folklorists and ethnomusicologists. The aim of this study is to inform the readers with Hungarian schools of historic and music folklore research, which is directly related to the applied method, also called Táncház - módszer. The study is one of the reflections concerning discussions within folklorism - scenic art versus public spread, and creation versus citation of folklore contents.

From One Hundred Student Revolutions to One Hundred Student Evolutions. On the Method of the First Longitudinal Project in Czech Oral History

This contribution is based on two projects, twenty years apart, which are dedicated student activists of 1989. The project Students during the Fall of Communism in Czechoslovakia – Biographical Interviews (1997-1999) was a key to the development of oral history in the Czech Republic. The current follow-up longitudinal project The Student Generation of 1989 in Longitudinal Perspective has an ambition to capture the influence of the formative experience of the revolution of November 1989 on the life stories of the narrators, former student activists of 1989, in their personal, professional, and political dimensions. The longitudinal approach, which was applied for the first time in Czech oral history, is discussed in the paper also from the point of view of psychologists and documentary filmmakers, and a similar project of Czech ethnologists, focusing on the folklore movement in totalitarian Czechoslovakia, is also mentioned. The author describes the problems of the role of an insider in collecting interviews, as well as in conducting the interviews by individual younger interviewers. Special attention is paid to the phenomenon of “longitudinality within longitudinality”, i.e. a period between the realization of the first and the follow-up interviews, during which presidential and parliamentary elections took place, which the narrators reacted mostly negatively to. Changes in their personal lives – if mentioned by the respondents – were not vocalized as strongly as the country’s social situation.