Journal of Ethnology 2/2020 deals with the theme “Ethnological Perspectives of Tourism”. Martin Klement and Renata Mauserová pay attention to the media image of the Lake Mácha area in northern Bohemia (The Image of the Town of Doksy in the First Half of the Twentieth Century). Dana Bittnerová investigates the memories of journeys to Romania in the era of Socialism, which were motivated by discovering the forest railways (Tourism of Czech Railfans – Remembering the Journeys to Romania in the 1980s). Sarah Scholl-Schneider focusses on two places where Germans who were forcibly displaced from Sudetenland and Silesia meet (“A Piece of Homeland”. Haus Schlesien and Heiligenhof as Contact Tourist Zones). Olga Radčenko deals with Soviet and post-Soviet politics of memory in Ukraine in relation to the Second World War (Memorials of the “Great Patriotic War“ in Soviet Ukraine as a Resource of Tourism). The study written by Martin Sítek, which is published out of the theme, deals with Shrovetide door-to-door processions (The Phenomenon of Revived Shrovetide Door-to-Door Processions in Selected Locations in the South-Moravian Region).
The Transforming Tradition column publishes an ethnological reflection by Petr Salner about celebrating the Jewish festival of Passover during the coronavirus crisis. In Review Section, Oldřich Kašpar presents a short essay “Alberto Vojtěch Frič, Čerwuiš Pišoád, and Jaroslav Hašek”. Jana Pospíšilová held an interview with the ethnologist Andrej Sulitka (born 1945) on the occasion of his life anniversary. Social Chronicle remembers the jubilee of the ethnologist Karel Altman (born 1960), and it publishes obituaries for the ethnologist Zuzana Marhoulová (1944–2020) and the ethnologist and traveller Miloslav Stingl (1930–2020). Further regular columns include reports on conferences and exhibitions, and review of new books.
The Image of the Town of Doksy in the First Half of the Twentieth Century
The north-Bohemian town of Doksy together with its hamlet called Staré Splavy and the adjacent Velký Rybník Big Pond – Lake Mácha today – changed into an important tourist region at the turn of the 20th century. In order to invite as many visitors as possible, promotional materials were issued in large quantities, whose authors constructed, through texts and pictures, a very attractive image of the town of Doksy. The focus of the study is to find out what the nature of the motifs that created this image was, and in what respect it distinguished from the everyday reality of the town. Based on an analysis of advertisements, guidebooks, leaflets, and postcards, it is possible to say that from the early 20th century until the 1940s, Doksy was promoted as a picturesque spa town, situated amidst clean nature with healing effects. According to data in chronicles and unpublished archival sources, however, the visitors to Doksy had to face numerous problems, such as high prices, noise, untidiness, non-functioning spa facilities, and low quality of offered services. The data and pictures from the former promotional materials are still uncritically used in memory and popular-educational texts even today. The media image from the first half of the 20th century continues to have a considerable influence on how the pre-war and interwar Doksy is perceived.
Tourism of Czech Railfans – Remembering the Journeys to Romania in the 1980s
The text investigates the nature of remembering the journeys of a selected group of railfans to Romanian forest railways in the 1980s. It interconnects the concepts of tourism and memory anthropology. The memories of historical railway tourism became a permanent part of travellers´ generational statements through which they not only negotiate their group identity, but also acknowledgement. Narrations about journeys for a visit to forest railway and their performance are situated in a mutual dialogue of the communicative and the cultural memory. From the perspective of the content, the shared memory refers beyond the frameworks which are relevant for contemporaries. The contemporaries associate their journeys to Romania with the categories of disappeared authenticity (“disappeared paradise” of steam traction), exotics, Balkanism, shortage in the realm of consumption, and criticism of limited motion and travelling in the era of socialism. The motif of the Iron Curtain contrasts with the globalized world imagination, which is established by technoscape. The memory frameworks are entered by travellers´ young age and adventures tied to it. The adventure and the experience of authenticity are able to maintain the memories of the journeys for forest railways in the communicative memory and to produce cultural memory.
“A Piece of Homeland” Haus Schlesien and Heiligenhof as Contact Tourist Zones
The study deals with two places intended for education and meeting of Germans forcibly displaced from Sudetenland and Silesia, meaning the houses Heiligenhof in Bad Kissingen and Haus Schlesien (Silesia House) in Königswinter. Both houses are important components in the wide field of the culture of remembrance of the past of Germans and German minorities in Eastern Europe, as well as of the flight and forcible displacement. Although the houses were established by two groups of those forcibly displaced for their own needs, their influence extends beyond their borders – not only due to their reminding and remembering nature, but mostly due to their tourist character, because today anyone can spend holiday there. The study investigates how both houses present themselves as tourist destinations towards various target groups – those forcibly displaced, the Polish and Czech visitors, as well as uninvolved travellers. The capturing of actors’ tourist practices (mainly the present treatment of the past), as these were observed during the field research, shows that both houses can be interpreted as contact zones formed both by consensus and by conflict. For this reason, they are able to provide (inter-cultural) mediation through their tourist function. Because likewise travels made by those forcibly displaced to their old homeland in Eastern Europe, which drew ethnologists´ attention several years ago, these houses are, from the perspective of tourism, an impulse to thematise the homeland / fatherland and affiliation.
Memorials of the “Great Patriotic War” in Soviet Ukraine as a Resource of Tourism
Since Ukraine achieved independence in 1991, the controversial politics of memory has influenced, in relation to heroes, accomplices, and victims, not only building of memorials but also different perception of them, which ranges from veneration to vandalism. This essay focusses on Soviet politics of memory in Ukraine with respect to the Second World War, and its influence on tourism. The project is aimed at analysing the role of Soviet discourse about the war, while presenting tragic historical events in museums and memorial sites which are important resources for tourism. Documents from archives of the Communist Party of Ukraine and the Soviet travel agency Intourist were assessed. In the case of this essay, determinant is the fact that tourism and commemorative practices as cultural and social phenomena related to the Second World War intertwine and influence each other.
The Phenomenon of Revived Shrovetide Door-to-Door Processions in Selected Locations in the South-Moravian Region
The article presents results of the research into selected revived Shrovetide door-to-door processions in the South-Moravian Region (Velké Pavlovice, Šakvice, Bzenec, Mutěnice, Poštorná, and Ladná). The research was conducted by the Strážnice National Institute of Folk Culture in the years 2018 and 2019. The research was based on the study on archival and contemporary media sources, interviews, and a questionnaire survey; it was supplemented with the method of participant observation. The objective of the research was to describe a typical form of the door-to-door processions, the transformation in their functions, and the motivation of the organizers to organize them. The revival of the Shrovetide door-to-door processions culminate in the observed region these days, and the processions quite progressively spread to new locations. Some of the above locations have organized the door-to-door processions for more than ten years. As shown by the answers of particular organizers, the Shrovetide door-to-door processions function as self-realization, conscious safeguarding and development of local traditions (or the formation thereof with the reference to the past), and sense of belonging to a community. Although many of them only hardly continue the former local folk tradition, which lost its function and continuity due to the influence of historical events, they include many elements typical for folk culture in a particular region or location.