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.