Issue No. 1, Vol 102 (2015)

Studies

The Myth of the tower of babel and its consequences: the indigenous grammar of the mixed world. A contribution to the anthropology of bordelands (based on research in Belarusian-Lithuanian borderlands)
Abstract
The article is based on the results of ethnographic fi eld research which the author has conducted over the last 20 years in multi-lingual and multi-faith villages of Belarusian-Lithuanian borderlands in the Grodno region in Belarus. The residents of kolkhoz villages of the region turned out to be unfamiliar with the scholarly term “borderlands”. They describe their pluralistic social and cultural reality by means of an underlying metaphor (conceptual archetype) of a mixed world. This emic (subjective) category of describing the social world is subjected in the article to an anthropological analysis and interpretation. The author considers also the emic conceptualisation of the signifi cant differences between “ethnic” groups. Moreover, the article touches upon such aspect of the mixed world as a specifi c map of the faith-nations that function in the area, together with their associated languages, the local concept of the mixed speech and the phenomenon of the “new mixing”, that is, new changes which manifest in departing from the old rule of endogamy (mixed marriages) and shifting from religious categories to nation-state categories in terms of group identifi cation. It presents the mixed world of the residents of the borderlands as an inclusive and multipolar universe.
From the dialect map to the concept of bordeland speech. Remarks on research carried out in Polish-German borderlands.
Abstract
The author presents theoretical and practical problems related to research on linguistic diversity in the Lubuski region situated in the historic German- Polish borderland which up to 1945 belonged to Germany. After World War II, almost all of the population was replaced. Only few autochtons remained, and the area was repopulated with ethnically diverse groups of forced settlers from territories incorporated into the USSR and displaced from the Ukrainian-Polish borderland, as well as by voluntary settlers from various Polish regions. It led to creation of a complex linguistic situation characterised by, i.a., Polish-German bilingualism and the presence of the transferred East Slavic and Polish dialects. Four languages, Polish, German, Ukrainian and Belarusian, as well as their numerous dialects, remained here in linguistic contact. The aim of the authorʼs sociolinguistic-anthropological fi eld research (2009–2013) was to check if the linguistic diversity survived in the region to this day. The presence and longevity of the phenomena was indeed proven. The research results call into question the theses of the contemporary Polish dialectology which upholds the dialect map paradigm and still refers to the linguistic area in western Poland as the area of “new mixed dialects”.
The Kashubian language - a minority language spoken in borderlands as it was and as it is today
Abstract
The article presents in a diachronic and synchronic perspective a minority language (regional) which has existed for centuries on the borderland of cultures and languages – the ethnolect of Kashubians, indigenous, Slavic people living in Gdansk Pomerania – and the history of its contacts with German (unrelated language) and Polish (an example of a Slavic-Slavic borderland); in case of its contact with, foremost, the offi cial version of the German language there was a language confl ict. There exists a language continuum between the Kashubian language and the Polish dialects from Masovia and Wielkopolska. They coexisted and complemented each other functionally for a long time. For centuries, Kashubians remained trilingual, but after 1945, when the Kashubian-German borderland ceased to exist, they started to become bilingual (Kashubian-Polish bilingualism) or monolingual (Polish). The 1990s mark the beginning of a qualitative change in how the Kashubian language functions: a standard version of the language emerged, manifested through various communication channels. The Kashubian ethnolect became the object of a language policy at the regional, state and European level – in 2005 it offi cially became a regional language. Despite all this, the Kashubian language is endangered.
The Yamurluk of the sons of Hagar and the sultan's velvet coat. Borderlands between civilization: the Bulgarian perspective
Abstract
The article attempts to reconstruct the patterns of perception documented in Bulgarian cultural texts which conceptualised the Bulgarian land as borderlands of civilization. The author presents the historical and cultural conditions for the deliberate purifi cation of the image of the Bulgarian culture as resistant to Ottoman infl uences which took place in 19th and 20th century. Furthermore, the article demonstrates the ways in which Bulgarian artists and thinkers conceptualised the observations and intuitions inconsistent with this understanding of the national idea. The titular yamurluk of the sons of Hagar and the “Sultanʼs” velvet coat are metonyms refl ecting the pattern of adaptation to the Osman culture which was based on the principle of mimicry. The semantics of the fi rst one suggest stigmatisation of assimilation. The second one – the accepted (although at fi rst unwanted) prosperity of Pax Osmana. The article contains also some refl ection on the topic of contemporary strategies of Bulgarian researchers that aim to raise the status of folk survival philosophy, advantages of local everyday life and cultural diversity which constitutes the heritage of fi ve centuries of Ottoman rule.
Kurdish community in the Czech Republic
Abstract
In the Czech Republic are also foreign communities, which were not traditional in Central Europe, however became part of the Czech Republic ethnic spectrum and we can assume their further development. One of these communities is the Kurdish community; it is not very large (it has only about 200 members), but this community is certainly interesting. The Kurdish Community seeks to promote organized interests, they are linked to the wider Kurdish Diaspora in other countries and to their home countries as well, and therefore we are able to identify their transnational activities. The fi rst Kurdish students who were politically active came to former Czechoslovakia in the 60s of the 20th century. Most of them were Kurds from Syria and Iraq and were pivotal in infl uencing the work of the former Kurdish student union. After the revolutionary events of 1989, the Kurdish community composition changed – more Kurds from Turkey arrived. Members of the Union of Kurdish Students established in the 2003 Kurdish civil association, which represents the only functioning organization. The main task of the study is a description and analysis of the genesis of the Kurdish Diaspora in CR on the one hand and on the other hand the analysis of the promotion of their political interests.

News

Setkání národnostních menšin a konference "Praha a menšiny"
Hinterglas-Symposion Sandl, 19. - 21.6. 2014
Konference Krajiny snů a výstava Vltavské ostrovy v Praze, 28. ledna 2015

Reviews

Waldemar Kuligowski, ZŁE MIASTA. 23 SAMPLE Z RZECZYWISTOŚCI. Biblioteka Czasu kultury 42, Poznań 2014, 195 s
Marian Golka, SOCJOLOGIA KULTURY. Wydawnictwo Naukowe SCHOLAR, Warszawa 2013, 381 s.
Zdeněk R. Nešpor a kol., Dějiny české sociologie, Academia, Praha 2014, 668 s.