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Hillsides as Part of the Socio-Cultural Capital and Development Potential of Villages/Regions (Example of Hrušov and Oravská Lesná)

Abstract

This study is based on an analysis of local economic, environmental, social and cultural activities in the municipalities which were awarded the “Village of the Year” title, with a special focus on the Hrušov hillsides and the settlements in Oravská Lesná.

The basic historical and ethnological features of these villages include dispersion of the population, since the development period until the establishment of collective farms was characterised mainly by self-employed farmers. In both cases, it happened with a delay – in the 1970s and the 1980s. Ever since, the hillsides and settlements have become depopulated, mainly as a result of the growing construction of family houses or municipal (cooperative) flats in the central parts of municipalities.

Inspired by the theoretical and methodological framework of the authors who have dealt with the transformation of hillsides/settlements (Priečko, 2003, 2015; Huba, 1989, 1990, 2009), four possible development processes influencing the hillsides/settlements over the past decades can be hypothetically assumed:

1. Strengthening the original residential and economic function through a set of incentives.

2. Complete functional transformation of the sites from residential to recreational areas.

3. Exclusion of the sites from the category of built-up areas and delimitation of agricultural land to forest land category;

4. Combination of two and more functions with a view to a rational use of the landscape potential and preservation of the genius loci, which, however, requires the ability and willingness of the original or new users to respect the natural and cultural values of places of habitation and of the country, traditional agro-technical processes as well as landscaping in connection with the local/regional cultural heritage.

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The Organisation of Cultural and Social Life in Selected Successful Villages

Abstract

This paper compares the methods of organisation of cultural and social life in three municipalities which were awarded the “Village of the Year” title, namely the municipalities of Oravská Lesná, Liptovská Teplička and Spišský Hrhov. The research in these three municipalities suggests several historical and socio-economic similarities between the villages of Oravská Lesná and Liptovská Teplička, which contrasts with the situation in Spišský Hrhov. These similarities and differences between the municipalities are also manifested at the level of their cultural and social life and development strategies. On one hand, we have the traditional mountainous villages with stable long-term and internally driven demography; on the other hand, a changing municipality with a high rate of immigration. In the former case, activities related to the identity of a traditional municipality are being developed, while in the latter case, the identity of the municipality is being actively created also through new cultural and social activities. The key factors of the municipalities’ cultural and social life in both cases are initiative inhabitants and proactive self-governments open to their initiatives.

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Our People in the World – Slovaks South of Slovakia’s Border I–III
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Participatory Observation of the Celebration of Czechoslovakia’s Centenary at the All-Sokol Rally (“Let’s Get Stronger!”)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to present the form of celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Czechoslovak Republic. The physical culture association Sokol played an important role in the foundation of the republic and became part of the Slovak civil associations scene in 1918. The XVIth All-Sokol Ralley (Všesokolský zlet) in 2018 was one of the official events dedicated to the celebration of Czechoslovakia’s anniversary. For this occasion, the Slovak-Czech piece of motion music „Spolu” (“Together”) was composed. Based on participatory observation of the rehearsals in the role of a trainee, as well as interviews with the author of the music and observations at the All-Sokol Ralley, I have explored the symbolism of the celebration and reflected on the participation of Slovak women in this event.

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Selected Concepts of Contemporary Rural Research: Inspirations and Challenges for Rural Anthropology

Abstract

The objective of the study is to offer an overview of selected concepts and approaches to the study of the contemporary rural environment and rurality from the perspective of disciplines close to social anthropology (mainly sociology and human geography) on the basis of scientific literature. The study builds on the objectives of the APVV project, introduced in the Editorial of this volume (Socio-cultural capital of successful villages as a source of sustainable development in the Slovak countryside). The selection of theories closely relates to the project and presents those concepts that might bring theoretical-methodological impulses for rural anthropology, but could also be useful for rural municipalities. For better understanding of contemporary theoretical approaches in rural studies, I pay closer attention to key terms “rural” and “rurality”, and further focus on concepts of rural resilience, sustainability, multifunctionality and peripherality.

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Socio-Cultural Aspects of Present-Day Internal Suburban Migration in Slovakia – in the Example of the Village Soblahov in the Trenčín District

Abstract

The present-day internal migration of people from larger or smaller towns to the countryside is characterised by suburbanisation tendencies that considerably transform the socio-cultural and spatial structure of suburban municipalities. The aim of this paper is to present, based on the ethnological research conducted in 2018–2019, selected socio-cultural aspects of present-day suburban migration with a view to the impacts of suburbanisation on the social and cultural environment in the municipality/village of Soblahov. The paper looks specifically at the inside of suburban communities, the daily-life reality of the suburban actors and on the manifestations of suburbanisation – the social and cultural aspects, as well as the time and spatial manifestations of suburban migration.

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The Use of the Socio-Cultural Potential of Local Societies through the Presentation of Cultural Specificities

Abstract

The study is based on the APVV project that focused on the socio-cultural capital of successful Slovak municipalities, bearers of the “Village of the Year” title, which can serve as a source of inspiration for other municipalities in improving the quality of life in the countryside. The aim of this study is to highlight the possibilities for the development of local communities in the context of geographical and economic determining factors and to observe the use of the socio-cultural capital as a source of sustainable growth also in the context of cultural and local identity. The study analyses two concrete examples aimed to increase the attractiveness of the sites through the presentation of their socio-cultural potential. The first case covers the municipality of Hrušov and its participation in the Hont Eco-Museum project, implemented within the wider micro-region. In the second case, we explore the municipality of Spišský Hrhov and its analogical example – the museum of music MuzikMuzeum.

The study was based mainly on the results of the pilot research and subsequent ethno logical field research in both municipalities, conducted predominantly by means of direct interviews with the locals, newcomers as well as leaders of the municipalities in 2018. The synthesis of the conclusions is based on a comparison of some determining factors of the development of both sites (the proximity and accessibility of urban centres, economic or confessional aspects in relation to the local community).

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