2020 | 4 | 275 - 284
Article title

Modern Cultural Tradition of the Germans in Silesia: Towards Folklorism

Title variants
Současná kulturní tradice Němců ve Slezsku: vstříc folklorismu
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The authoress focuses her research on the spontaneous development of specific cultural events among the Germans in Upper Silesia, which testifies to the increase in their sense of value of their own culture and to changes in their manifestation of national awareness and identity. They try to reconstruct many forms of German cultural heritage in this region that serve already different functions in the contemporary culture and, therefore, they are typical of folklorism, i.e. popular culture. The revival of ‘German folk tradition’ after the political transformation in Poland in 1989 is stimulated not only by artistic folk groups but also by individuals who copy selected parts of traditional middle-class culture in Germany, e.g. Martinfest, Oktoberfest, Weihnachtsmarkt, Rosenmontag, and popularise their trivialised forms in which ludic and integrative functions prevail. The Easter Bunny (Osterhase) deserves a special mention in post-war Upper Silesia. Searching for gifts brought by the Easter Bunny, so popular among the indigenous inhabitants of this region, may be regarded as a regional ‘lesson’ to be learnt but it lacks, however, the place for remembrance of old spring rites and magic rituals associated with them. Having only a superficial nature and serving a ludic function, the reconstruction meets all the criteria of folklorism, which shows that consumerist culture exerts an overwhelming influence. Amongst the parties fashionable recently that are organised by young women in several towns in Opole Silesia, where German minorities tend to predominate, the authoress points to Rosenmontag, i.e. a costume ‘ball’ aspiring – despite little similarity – to traditional carnival parades in German cities (Köln, Mainz, Düsseldorf). Both examples selected from the German heritage (Rosenmontag) and presented against other forms of German tradition preserved in Silesia accurately represent the folklorisation of the tradition.
275 - 284
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