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Renáta Bozsó – Angelika Nagy – Edit Újvári: Intersections of Regional and Local Cultural Heritage and Local identity - Assessing the Functions of Local Repositories of Values in Vojvodina

2021. március 29. 12:03
Renáta Bozsó – Angelika Nagy – Edit Újvári: Intersections of Regional and Local Cultural Heritage and Local identity - Assessing the Functions of Local Repositories of Values in Vojvodina

Abstract: The paper analyzes the role of Hungarian cultural traditions in education, community building and the strengthening of local identity in the communities along the Tisza in Vojvodina, Serbia. Furthermore, it examines the operation and impact of a vital actor in this process, the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina. The paper wishes to illuminate the institutional framework within which the preservation and maintenance of local cultural traditions is promoted: what is the role of cultural institutions and local civil groups in this process? How does the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina, established in 2016, contribute to the endeavors of maintaining local traditions in the selected communities, where and how does this process being realized? Besides reviewing relevant literature, our methodology is based on website analysis and conducting interviews. Our interviewees are working in different capacities in the local cultural life of their communities, as leaders of cultural and educational institutions, who are all fulfilling vital roles in the preservation of Hungarian cultural values in the region.

 “…tradition is the warehouse of cultural
values repeatedly communicated between
generations. Tradition may be seen as a
cultural memory of the community (or
society).” (Hoppál 2010b. 12.)

Introduction

With the support of the Cultural Academic Research Program 2019-2020, launched by the National Cultural Institute, we set out to explore a topic related to public culture of Vojvodina. Szeged and the University of Szeged has multiple links to this border region, populated by Hungarian minorities in large numbers.[1] Researchers from the region have been participating in the work of our Institute Identity Research Workshop, established in 2007, and the current group[2] also has three members from the Vojvodina region.

Our region of inquiry was tied to the region along the river Tisza, the northern part of the Vojvodina Autonomous Region. Throughout our research, we have chosen cities and other settlements from both the Banat and Bačkaregions that have Hungarians as the majority of the population, or Hungarians are represented significantly, such as Kanjiža, Novi Kneževac, Senta, Ada, Čoka, Utrine, Tornjoš, Horgoš, Bačko Petrovo Selo, Novi Bečej, Bečej, Martonoš, all along the river Tisza.[3] From a folkloristic perspective, this regions encompasses the territory south of the Hungarian border, on the northern parts of Vojvodina, on the right bank of the lower Tisza, ranging from Horgoš to Titel, and “still the most characteristically Hungarian region of Bačka” (Ortutay 1982:297–298). The region is presented as a separate item in the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina as natural environment, because “the Tisza plays a major role on the lives of communities living here and used to be definitive for the whole manner of life in the past: it was a source of food supply, ensuring employment, being inspiring for folk poetry, keeping traditions alive, and being an ever-present theme for the arts. The following local saying is not without merit: those who drink from the Tisza, long to come back.”[4]

The purpose of our research was to analyze the connections between local values, local cultural heritage, community life and local identity. We were inclined to examine which traditional cultural practices prevailed and what sort of new cultural tendencies emerged in the cultural life of the communities? What is the institutional framework for preserving these traditions, what is the role of local institutions and local NGOs in this process? Furthermore, how does the Hungarian Repository of Values (established in 2016) contribute to this process, where and how does it aid the preservation and dissemination of cultural values?

Besides reviewing the relevant literature, the main part of our methodology consists on website analysis and interviews. Our interviewees are professionals working in the cultural life of the region, leaders of cultural institutions and associations, who are also leaders in their communities and the local Hungarian cultural sphere.

 

1. Intersections of Local Cultural Values and Communal Identity

 1.1. Basic Terms

 The historical heritage and the distinct cultural traditions of a given local territory provide sound foundations for the prevalence of local cultures and identity formation. Local clubs, groups and communities have a major role in the strengthening and preservation of the community’s identity, as highlighted by other researchers (Hoppál 2010a. :7., Csurgó – Szatmári 2014). The devotion to a given community by one of its members, and thus collective identity is never a phenomenon on its own, as expressed by Jan Assmann (Assmann 1992: 13.1). Identification with the community is realized in certain acts, vital connections, and thus active communal programs are of paramount importance.

Local tradition is defined within the terminological framework of cultural heritage adapted by UNESCO in 2003: “The intangible cultural heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.”[5] The Treaty encourages the identification and documentation of local cultural heritages, as well as providing access to these, taking related legislative action, and employing methods of dissemination via education and dissemination of knowledge. “In order to be able to manage a cultural heritage site and protect its values, for current and future generations, we need tools. The tools, each, separately and all together, should identify and solve problems defined thorough the above and other lists.” (Solar 2011:10.)

Identity, closely related to culture, is a phenomenon that is examined by multiple disciplines of the humanities and social sciences with their own methods. Social psychology, cultural history, folklore studies, sociology, and cultural anthropology are all devoted to the subject, albeit examining it from divergent perspectives. The established social psychological literature related to the issue designates self-identity and group identity to be necessary for the existence of the individual and the functioning of society. (Pataki 1997:514) The formation of this is greatly influenced by community culture and local traditions, since for both the individual and the community, “tradition is the cultural memory of the community, a repository of memories that holds the information necessary for its self-identification.” (Hoppál 2017: 6) Local cultural heritage, local traditions and local values are thus intertwined with the territory in which they emerge, being characteristic for the region. (Czene 2002)

Since our research is, as mentioned, concerned with the cultural life of the Hungarian population living along the Tisza in Northern Vojvodina, our point of departure consisted of analyzing the research conducted in the region. Róbert Badis highlights based on data gathered in the 2000s that locals have strong connection primarily to their local and regional identity, identifying with Vojvodina and their city, followed by their identification with their sub-region (Bačka, Banat, Srem). (Badis 2008:321–323) Our research has affirmed that out of the various forms of communal consciousness, the territorial connection proves the most relevant for Hungarians in Vojvodina.[6] Identifying with territory is intrinsically linked to identifying with the traditions that prevail in the regions, designated as intellectual heritage, consisting of the totality of accumulated and possessed intellectual goods, values, stances – and of course, identities themselves (Czene 2002).

 

1.2. Safeguarding Cultural Traditions and Local Identity in Vojvodina

Hungarians in Vojvodina have found themselves on the other end of the borders in 1921 as the result of the peace processes after the First World War, becoming part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, formed in 1918. It was Ágnes Ózer who analyzed the intellectual heritage and identity construction of Vojvodina Hungarians in 20th century historical contexts, highlighting that after gaining the status of “autonomous region”, local identity began to strengthen in the region. The rising levels of educational attainment in the region was also a contributing factor to this process. (Ózer 2008:593) Furthermore, local folklore traditions also had an immensely important role in preserving and maintaining cultural practices. Attila Pejin designates these traditions to be strengthening the realization of collective memory in Vojvodina, along with oral traditions, lifestyle characteristics, architecture, and the marking and annual celebration of anniversaries and other festive days, and the use of symbols attached to these. (Pejin 2008:111). The preservation, maintenance and dissemination of local Hungarian traditions and values is incumbent upon the cultural institutions and civil actors in the contemporary Hungarian communities in Vojvodina, rendering their role in the continuation of Hungarian culture in the region vital. Therefore, our research is concerned mainly with their efforts.

 

1.3. The Repository of Values

In the 2000s, a new movement was launched in Hungary concerned with the summation and systemization of Hungarian values, known as the “Hungaricum Movement”. The main aim was to collect and sort into repository of values the various forms of Hungarian treasures, providing an opportunity for ensuring their protection and preservation. The movement has been highlighting from its beginning that values are part of national identity, but their preservations and popularizing has additional touristic and economic benefits. The Hungarian Parliament has adapted a law on Hungarian national values and so-called “hungaricums”, based on the legislative framework of cultural heritage protection. As Árpád Töhötöm Szabó stressed: ”The concept of cultural heritage is a global one, while its interpretations might be, and indeed are, very specific, depending on the national context and also on the background of the scholars dealing with this concept” (Szabó – Szikaszai 2018:9) in a complex, bottom-up system. The discovery of values starts locally, as local values are known best by the inhabitants. The values of local repositories can develop into regional values or, eventually, hungaricums. Anyone can suggest a value into the local repository by filling in a certain form and sending it to the local repository committees.

In the Hungarian communities outside of our borders, similar repositories have to be formed, with a similar admission process adapted. The legal background for this was provided in Law LXXX. of 2015. Coordinated by the Department of Hungaricums of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Hungarian state has provided the opportunity for communities throughout the whole of the Carpathian Basin to enter into the repositories than forming. The Parliament has ruled that those associations participating in the Hungarian Constant Meeting (Magyar Állandó Értekezlet, MÁÉRT) can form a specific repository and a committee to oversee the processes. In 2015 and 2016, the Department launched funds (HUNG-15 and HUNG-16) to strengthen and support these processes.

 

2. Research results, analyses

In our research, the actual interviews with local cultural workers were definitive (see Appendix). We have asked the two members of our research group that work in Vojvodina media and cultural sphere to designate the interviewees based on their experience and local expertise, who were further assessed using the snow-ball method. There are young, middle-age, and older respondents, ones that are actively working, and also retirees, males and females, showcasing a diverse group. Some are working in smaller communities, others in bigger ones, there are some who work in predominantly Hungarian communities and those that are in more ethnically diverse communities. A common feature is that all of them are Hungarians born in Vojvodina, with the majority of them having some connection to folklore of folk art since childhood, and most of them pursue their activity on a voluntary basis, whether it is chairing a civil association or managing a country house museum. Some of them participate in/founded a local repository committees, some pursue their activities independently. All 25 of them[7] – to quote István Fodor[8] – are part of that sourdough that keeps the local communities and traditions together and alive.

 

2.1. Demographic and ethnic proportions

One of the leitmotifs of the research targeting Hungarians in Vojvodina in the past decades is the survival of this ethnic minority, their demographic situation, their decreasing number and their aging. The decrease in the number of Hungarians in the region can be attributed, besides their low birthrate, to the westward economic migration. These are not specific to Hungarians in the region, but the numbers are further decreased due to mixed marriages, resulting in assimilation. “In Čoka, if we go along the street, it is really sad, every third, fourth house is empty. (Erika Kiss Tóth, president of the Ferenc Móra Hungarian Cultural Association, Čoka)

I really don’t get it… When they were bombing us, shooting at us from every direction, there were a couple of young people leaving. But now, complete families are leaving, with two, three kids, every month. They leave and they sell their house.” (Frigyes Tóth Ugyonka, Endre Ady Cultural Association, Tornjoš)

The last census in Serbia was held in 2011, the communities examined by us were numbering a total of 150,000, 56% of them Hungarians.[9] It is lower than the number in the 2002 census. For instance, the decrease was by 11,5% in communities in and around Senta, and there has been an observable decrease ever since.[10] Our interviewees were talking about a tragic decrease in the number of children in their communities, especially when it comes to Hungarian children, endangering not only effective education, but also the Hungarian artistic youth groups. Even where there are children, they tend to go to high school in bigger cities, leaving the groups behind. Furthermore, higher education brings them even further away from their hometowns, and they come to visit only occasionally. The adults, if they happen to stay in the community, commute to work to Hungary every day. Therefore, their leisure time decreases and they cannot effectively participate in local happenings. Sadly, those concerned with the preservation of values come almost exclusively from these groups, subsequently taking over their leadership. “This demographic decay has decapitated us intellectually,” summarizes István Fodor in his interview, stating that those remaining behind tend not to be actively concerned with traditions and participating in the preservation of cultural values.

Local professionals are striving to make young people stay, applying for funds and redistributing these, but they do see that “national identity can never be stronger than their daily bread.”[11] Those leaving for a foreign country rarely ever move back to their former communities, with their identities switching from indigenous minority to voluntary minority. Although they may have the tendency to comment social media contents nostalgically, but they do not actively participate in the preservation of local cultural values. In more fortunate communities, we may still find a core, the aforementioned “sourdough”, someone to “lead the pack”,[12] but they tend to be older members of the community, worried that they will have no one to fill their seat. The average age in these communities is well above 40 years of age (Fodor 2016), which is even higher among those pursuing amateur artistic endeavors. Immigration and aging is threatening the preservation of Hungarian cultural values. On the one hand, as we have seen, there are not enough people to carry it forward, and on the other, this is due   not only to deaths in the community, but also immigration. There are a few examples, however, when traditions and their preservation is the main factor for remaining. “„…There is a family which has stayed here in Ada, because the children did not want to leave Vadvirág, our association.” (Lívia Varga, Vadvirág Traditional Circle, Ada)

To simplify, we may assert that on the right bank of the Tisza, in Bačka region, Hungarians are leaving in larger blocks, whereas on the left bank, in the Banat region, they are more scattered. The proportions differ in every community, due to the aforementioned factors of immigration and intermarriage. In general, the coexistence of Hungarians and Serbs are largely without conflict. Where Hungarians form the majority, Serbians tend to understand and even speak Hungarian (whereas Hungarians may not learn Serbian), they respect each other’s customs, but they form different groups, organize different events. Today, children do not tend to mix, do not learn each other’s language during play. Only those born in mixed marriages tend to speak both languages.

“Ada is a curious community, since even today, around 90% of the town is Hungarian, which presents difficulties to Serbians moving here. As the saying goes, they either get used to it, or they leave – they either learn the language, or move away.” (Éva Sóti, artistic leader of the Aranykapu Cultural Association, Ada)

“We live in an environment in which there is a Serbian neighbor here, a Serbian neighbor there, you must learn the language. Here in Banat, in Novi Kneževac, if there is a group of people, three Hungarians and one Serbian, they will speak in Serbian. (Magdaléna Kovás, president of the Tiszagyöngye Cultural Association, Novi Kneževac)

“Outside of mixed marriages, Hungarian children do not learn Serbian, and Serbian children do not learn Hungarian. They do not meet, there are no joint events, where they could meet.” (Erika Nadrjljanski Tornai, Cnesa Educational and Cultural Institution,Kanjiža)

In the ethnically mixed families, the festivities of both parties are held (maintaining one form of the formerly mentioned collective memory), but their children attend Serbian classes in school, especially if the father is Serbian, considering this to be a way to better advancement, should they decide to remain in the country. Within the Hungarian community, those interviewees living in scattered communities talked about a stronger sense of unity than those living in larger block communities, in which there is a marked fragmentation and disunity. An exception for this are the children and young people who attend local organizations, spending most of their leisure time there. Theirs is a more coherent community with life-long friendships, which signals the exceptional local significance of amateur artistic groups.

 

2.2. Community life, cultural traditions

From the interviews, we gain the image of a certain consciousness when it comes to maintaining local values, highlighting their power to create group coherence and a desire to stay in their homeland. Both institutional and civil actors maintain various forms of preserving intellectual cultural heritages: female choir, folk dance, zither, tambura, arts and crafts, literary endeavors, local history groups. Maintaining traditions is seen to be closely connected to everyday life, to community life and experiences, and the local professionals tend to highlight this. “We are concerned with the preservation of Hungarian cultural heritage, especially around Ada, with our motto being: to our children, the heritage of our parents. (Éva Sóti, artistic leader of the Aranykapu Cultural Association, Ada)

“…we will revive the traditions of the region along the Tisza. We can mention here folk traditions, our folk songs, folk dances […] and folk music. Having a good time here, unity, and remaining in our homeland, this is the point.. (Lívia Varga, Vadvirág Traditional Circle, Ada)

However, there are several factors that hinder the success of their mission. Transmitting traditions are quite difficult, it is not easy to involve younger generations, and they are key to preserving traditions. Immigration, as mentioned, is also a major factor.

There are a number of communities that try to capitalize on their touristic value. Of course, a proper institutional framework with professionals is very important for this: for instance, there is a Touristic Association in Senta, which relies on the promotion of local culture, as well as on commemorating (since its 300th anniversary in 1997) on the Battle of Senta[13], which not only strengthens local patriotism, but also became a touristic product.

“The point is to attract as many tourists as we can to Senta. Every region has had its own tradition and customs, and we can use this as a marketing tool, we can build on this brightly, to bring in local colors. (…) For instance, we have the Tisza Mayfly Festival, and also our Town’s Day. People like to come here, and locals invite their friends, showing them that we have this here. This is our event.” (Kornél Laskovity, Touristic Association of Senta)

In communities with a Hungarian majority, it is also a good opportunity to rely on coexistence with the Serbian population, maintaining cultural relations. Some of our interviewees also talked about their experiences and the importance of strengthening these ties of peaceful coexistence. This is especially important in the regional center of Senta, where there is a significant number of Serbians.

“We have large concerts in Hungarian and also Serbian. This has an entertainment aspect to it, but it is also important that these events create cohesion that can transcend possible antagonisms, bringing together Serbians and Hungarians. There is a commonality that transcends national differences. (Richárd Hugyik, Lajos Thurzó Cultural and Educational Center, Senta)

… not only in Hungarian, but also in Serbian… We try to pay equal attention to the festivities of both communities.” (Éva Kobrehel, Cultural and Educational Center, Čoka)

However, in smaller communities, it is not common for the two ethnic groups to visit each other’s events, except for famous performers.

 

2.3. Local identity

In accordance with prior research on identity, the local identity of our interviewees is strong and pronounced, and they also talked about the Banat regions relations with Szeged. They have also mentioned to fall of the Yugoslavia as a factor in strengthening local identity in Vojvodina. Besides family life and education, the third factor in strengthening Hungarian identity are the observing of traditions, folk dance, and personal example. In the region examined, the totality of these contribute greatly to the preservation of Vojvodina-Hungarian identity. Almost without exception, our interviewees mentioned the strong cultural ties that were formed in early childhood. Thus, they are especially worried about the aging of their communities and the aforementioned tendency to immigrate. Who will carry on with the traditions? What will happen to traditions and identity on the long run?

“I consider Vojvodina and the Tisza region to be my home (…) geographically, we belong to the Hungarian Great Plains. (Richárd Hugyik, Lajos Thurzó Cultural and Educational Center, Senta)

“…the Hungarian community is concentrated here, along the Tisza. This is where I feel good – along the Tisza. (…) Preserving Hungarian culture and identity depends greatly upon who or what we idolize or see as examples. (András Szerda, Sándor Petőfi Hungarian Cultural Circle, Botra Male Choir, Bečej)

 

2.4 The role and characteristics of the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina

The Vojvodina Hungarian Cultural Institute (Vajdasági Magyar Művelődési Intézet, VMMI), located in Senta, is responsible for providing an institutional framework for the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina. Directed by Martina Gondi, the Institution successfully applied for funds for the aforementioned HUNG-16 funding program. As a result, the Committee of Value Repository of Vojvodina (Vajdasági Magyar Értéktár Bizottság VMÉB) was established in June 2016, presided over by Tamás Varga, a theater professional and the culture referee of the VMMI. The main task of the committee is the identification, registration and the introduction of national values of Hungarians in Vojvodina into the repository of the abroad repository section, the national repository and into the section of hungaricums. They have used the funds to create a website for the Committee (ertektar.rs) and have launched a competition to explore and popularize the cultural values of Vojvodina with the name “All over this region” (“Kerek e vidéken”) for elementary and high school students, as well as publishing materials.

We have organized a roundtable discussion with the participation of the committee members about their work.[14] As a regional institution, the VMMI maintains contact with Hungarian minority institutions and associations that are concerned with public collections, education, and culture. The repository is only one element of the multifaceted work carried out by the Institute, but also a great opportunity to advise and aid their target groups that are mostly organized on a voluntary basis. Of the 11 colleagues at the VMMI, three of them are working with the repository. Besides Tamás Varga, Csilla Vázsonyi, the Institute’s librarian has been responsible for the communication since 2015. Viktor Fehér, a doctoral student in the field of folklore studies, has been working as an external colleague, but there are no funds for his full-time employment. Viktor and Csilla are editing the website jointly and handle the nominations they receive. Their task is mainly operative, handling the database. Furthermore, they go to the field quite often, trying to convince locals to participate in the program. They provide help to local leaders and volunteers to seek out local values.

This process has two basic tenets: either the VMMI starts contact with a local community, or the local committees are formed via personal correspondence, on behalf of the local community. The coordinators value these personal meetings as a way to strengthen the belief that everything that the locals see as a value is also a value in terms of the program. The main benefit of the repository is that it highlights the work of those concerned with maintaining traditions and preserving values. They feel that their work is important, not only for the repository, but also for their local community and sub-region. The platform for maintaining communication is the website and the Facebook page, with phone correspondence also being frequent. Despite the extensive communication system, there may still be communities that have not heard of the repository. Throughout our 25 interviews, there was only one person who has not heard of the repository, three mentioned that they have no contact with them, and one person stated that they know about the repository but they do not know about their operations. Therefore, their operational work can be considered successful, despite the lack of human resources that often hinder their work.

The National Cultural Institute provides professional help, organizing training courses for professionals working in Value Repositories abroad, but forming strategies and crafting methodology is incumbent upon the organizations abroad, as they are the ones possessing adequate local knowledge and connections. The support of the Institute encompasses help with strategic and methodological issues, as well.

Throughout our research, the interviewees confirmed the problems mentioned by members of the VMMI: there are two major negative factors, the lack of human resources and the lack of time.

… There would be so much material, for me and others, like, back at home, the Bethlehem-performances, the zither-culture, and so on, one would have only to sit down and write about this. But this is, well, difficult (laughs). (Balázs Szerda, leader of the Fokos band,Bečej)

According to actors within the repository movement in Vojvodina, a stable and permanent system of funding would help with the lack of funds and human resources, thus strengthening the effectivity of the local work of collecting sources and values. The adaptation of Hungarian models in Vojvodina can only function on the level of individual projects, for which funds are also needed. Monetary funds on their own could only solve problems on the short term – as was the case in the initial enthusiasm in 2016 –, but there would be a need for crafting a system that ensures constant work. The development of the website is among the long-term aims of the VMMI.

The long-term goal is a multilingual site on which the visitors can gain information on what to visit in different communities, where one can buy local products, and what are some of the major local events to visit.” (Viktor Fehér)

They plan to translate the Hungarian materials to English (currently only the landing page can be read in English: http://ertektar.rs/en), but they do not plan Serbian materials. Among the long-term plans are also a form of economic advancement of the collected materials, besides further utilizing them as a means to enhance local tourism.

 

3. Conclusion

The interviews conducted during the research activity exhibited a conscious devotion and emotional motivation towards preserving and maintaining traditions. It was proven that although the majority of the communities examined face one form of difficulty or another in their work of voluntary preservation of traditions and cultural organizing, and the subsequent administrative work that is related to admissions to the Repository, but this latter activity can also contribute greatly to the further preservation of local cultural heritages, their dissemination and the affirmation of their importance, as well as their use in the field of tourism.

Based on the interviews, it is safe to state that the annual search for funds hinders the work of local leaders greatly, rendering long-term planning very difficult. A more wide-ranging, simpler system of funding spanning over a period longer than annual funds would be beneficial. Furthermore, there is a need for a couple of professionals, employed full-time who could provide assistance for communities, local institutions and associations (either independently or within the framework of VMMI) in their attempts to collect, coordinate and systematize the different local values, value repositories, and events. This would further strengthen local identities and would contribute to encouraging locals to stay in their hometowns, moderating the worryingly high number of people leaving. The professionals working at the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina highlighted that the digitization of local traditions and values is useful and important, but cannot replace the lively, prevalent traditions and their values. The point is the human!

 

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Online Sources:

 

 

Appendix

 

 

[1] The new chapter of the common historical-regional relations and the preservation of identity of those moving from Vojvodina to Szeged (partly due to the 1991 outbreak of the Yugoslav Wars) is exhibited by the operation of the Szeged Chapter of the VMSZ since 1992.: http://www.vmdk-szeged.hu/ [2020.04.20.]

Recognizing the region’s historical and economic traditions, the Duna-Körös-Maros-Tisza European region was formed on 1997, with the involvement of Arad, Temes, Bács-Kiskun, Békés, Csongrád and Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok counties and the Vojvodina Autonomous Region: http://dkmt.net/hu/ [2020.07.30.]

[2] The members of the research groups: lecturers Dr. habil. Edit Újvári, (group director), Renáta Bozsó, Dr. Angelika Nagy, Dr. Norbert Szűcs; cultural professionals: Lívia Barát Tóth, Endre Máriás; students: Zsófia Székely, Valéria Balán, Viktória Kifut (Community Organizing BA, 2nd year).

[3] This municipal form encompasses a number of communities, including towns and villages.

[4]http://ertektar.rs/ertektar/ertek/A-Tisza-mente/116 [2020.03.25.]

[5] Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage https://ich.unesco.org/en/convention [2020.06.10]

[6]According to one of the classical forms of defining communities, it can be „defined based on geographic characteristics, on a geographical basis”. (Tóth G. 2002. 11).

[7] 23 individual and 1 coupled on-field interviews were conducted, along with a roundtable discussion, functioning as a focus group, with colleagues of the Vojvodina Hungarian Cultural Institute.

[8]István Fodor is the retired director of the Senta Archives, and the co-organizer of the Senta Collegium.

[9]http://media.popis2011.stat.rs/2012/Nacionalna%20pripadnost-Ethnicity.pdf p. 94. [2020.07.20]

[10] The center of the region is Senta (the town itself and the surrounding villages), with the population of 23,316, with 18,441 Hungarians.

[11] Source: Interview conducted with Nándor Újhelyi, the funder of the For Novi Kneževac Association.

[12] Source: Interview conducted with István Fodor, the retired director of the Senta Archives, and the co-organizer of the Senta Collegium.

[13]The Battle of Senta, fought on September 11, 1697, was one of the most important battles in the effort to recapture Hungarian territories from the Ottoman Empire, led by the Austrian Eugene of Savoy and the forces of the international Holy League.

[14] Senta, Vojvodina Hungarian Cultural Institute, January 17, 2020. Participants: Martina Gondi, director of the Vojvodina Hungarian Cultural Institute, Tamás Varga, president of the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina, Viktor Fehér, doctoral student, and Csilla Vázsonyi, colleague at the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina, and members of the research group: dr. Edit Újvári, dr. Angelika Nagy, Renáta Bozsó.

 

…tradition is the warehouse of cultural values repeatedly communicated between generations. Tradition may be seen as a cultural memory of the community (or society).” (Hoppál 2010b. 12.)

 

 

Introduction

 

With the support of the Cultural Academic Research Program 2019-2020, launched by the National Cultural Institute, we set out to explore a topic related to public culture of Vojvodina. Szeged and the University of Szeged has multiple links to this border region, populated by Hungarian minorities in large numbers.[1] Researchers from the region have been participating in the work of our Institute Identity Research Workshop, established in 2007, and the current group[2] also has three members from the Vojvodina region.

Our region of inquiry was tied to the region along the river Tisza, the northern part of the Vojvodina Autonomous Region. Throughout our research, we have chosen cities and other settlements from both the Banat and Bačkaregions that have Hungarians as the majority of the population, or Hungarians are represented significantly, such as Kanjiža, Novi Kneževac, Senta, Ada, Čoka, Utrine, Tornjoš, Horgoš, Bačko Petrovo Selo, Novi Bečej, Bečej, Martonoš, all along the river Tisza.[3] From a folkloristic perspective, this regions encompasses the territory south of the Hungarian border, on the northern parts of Vojvodina, on the right bank of the lower Tisza, ranging from Horgoš to Titel, and still the most characteristically Hungarian region of Bačka” (Ortutay 1982:297–298). The region is presented as a separate item in the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina as natural environment, because “the Tisza plays a major role on the lives of communities living here and used to be definitive for the whole manner of life in the past: it was a source of food supply, ensuring employment, being inspiring for folk poetry, keeping traditions alive, and being an ever-present theme for the arts. The following local saying is not without merit: those who drink from the Tisza, long to come back.”[4]

The purpose of our research was to analyze the connections between local values, local cultural heritage, community life and local identity. We were inclined to examine which traditional cultural practices prevailed and what sort of new cultural tendencies emerged in the cultural life of the communities? What is the institutional framework for preserving these traditions, what is the role of local institutions and local NGOs in this process? Furthermore, how does the Hungarian Repository of Values (established in 2016) contribute to this process, where and how does it aid the preservation and dissemination of cultural values?

Besides reviewing the relevant literature, the main part of our methodology consists on website analysis and interviews.  Our interviewees are professionals working in the cultural life of the region, leaders of cultural institutions and associations, who are also leaders in their communities and the local Hungarian cultural sphere.

 

 

1. Intersections of Local Cultural Values and Communal Identity

 

1.1.            Basic Terms

 

The historical heritage and the distinct cultural traditions of a given local territory provide sound foundations for the prevalence of local cultures and identity formation. Local clubs, groups and communities have a major role in the strengthening and preservation of the community’s identity, as highlighted by other researchers (Hoppál 2010a. :7., Csurgó – Szatmári 2014). The devotion to a given community by one of its members, and thus collective identity is never a phenomenon on its own, as expressed by Jan Assmann (Assmann 1992: 13.1). Identification with the community is realized in certain acts, vital connections, and thus active communal programs are of paramount importance.

Local tradition is defined within the terminological framework of cultural heritage adapted by UNESCO in 2003: “The intangible cultural heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.”[5] The Treaty encourages the identification and documentation of local cultural heritages, as well as providing access to these, taking related legislative action, and employing methods of dissemination via education and dissemination of knowledge. In order to be able to manage a cultural heritage site and protect its values, for current and future generations, we need tools. The tools, each, separately and all together, should identify and solve problems defined thorough the above and other lists.” (Solar 2011:10.)

Identity, closely related to culture, is a phenomenon that is examined by multiple disciplines of the humanities and social sciences with their own methods. Social psychology, cultural history, folklore studies, sociology, and cultural anthropology are all devoted to the subject, albeit examining it from divergent perspectives. The established social psychological literature related to the issue designates self-identity and group identity to be necessary for the existence of the individual and the functioning of society. (Pataki 1997:514) The formation of this is greatly influenced by community culture and local traditions, since for both the individual and the community, “tradition is the cultural memory of the community, a repository of memories that holds the information necessary for its self-identification.” (Hoppál 2017: 6) Local cultural heritage, local traditions and local values are thus intertwined with the territory in which they emerge, being characteristic for the region. (Czene 2002)

Since our research is, as mentioned, concerned with the cultural life of the Hungarian population living along the Tisza in Northern Vojvodina, our point of departure consisted of analyzing the research conducted in the region. Róbert Badis highlights based on data gathered in the 2000s that locals have strong connection primarily to their local and regional identity, identifying with Vojvodina and their city, followed by their identification with their sub-region (Bačka, Banat, Srem). (Badis 2008:321–323) Our research has affirmed that out of the various forms of communal consciousness, the territorial connection proves the most relevant for Hungarians in Vojvodina.[6] Identifying with territory is intrinsically linked to identifying with the traditions that prevail in the regions, designated as intellectual heritage, consisting of the totality of accumulated and possessed intellectual goods, values, stances – and of course, identities themselves (Czene 2002).

 

 

1.2. Safeguarding Cultural Traditions and Local Identity in Vojvodina

 

Hungarians in Vojvodina have found themselves on the other end of the borders in 1921 as the result of the peace processes after the First World War, becoming part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, formed in 1918. It was Ágnes Ózer who analyzed the intellectual heritage and identity construction of Vojvodina Hungarians in 20th century historical contexts, highlighting that after gaining the status of “autonomous region”, local identity began to strengthen in the region. The rising levels of educational attainment in the region was also a contributing factor to this process. (Ózer 2008:593) Furthermore, local folklore traditions also had an immensely important role in preserving and maintaining cultural practices. Attila Pejin designates these traditions to be strengthening the realization of collective memory in Vojvodina, along with oral traditions, lifestyle characteristics, architecture, and the marking and annual celebration of anniversaries and other festive days, and the use of symbols attached to these. (Pejin 2008:111). The preservation, maintenance and dissemination of local Hungarian traditions and values is incumbent upon the cultural institutions and civil actors in the contemporary Hungarian communities in Vojvodina, rendering their role in the continuation of Hungarian culture in the region vital. Therefore, our research is concerned mainly with their efforts.

 

 

1.3. The Repository of Values

 

In the 2000s, a new movement was launched in Hungary concerned with the summation and systemization of Hungarian values, known as the “Hungaricum Movement”. The main aim was to collect and sort into repository of values the various forms of Hungarian treasures, providing an opportunity for ensuring their protection and preservation. The movement has been highlighting from its beginning that values are part of national identity, but their preservations and popularizing has additional touristic and economic benefits. The Hungarian Parliament has adapted a law on Hungarian national values and so-called “hungaricums”, based on the legislative framework of cultural heritage protection. As Árpád Töhötöm Szabó stressed: ”The concept of cultural heritage is a global one, while its interpretations might be, and indeed are, very specific, depending on the national context and also on the background of the scholars dealing with this concept” (Szabó – Szikaszai 2018:9) in a complex, bottom-up system. The discovery of values starts locally, as local values are known best by the inhabitants. The values of local repositories can develop into regional values or, eventually, hungaricums. Anyone can suggest a value into the local repository by filling in a certain form and sending it to the local repository committees.

In the Hungarian communities outside of our borders, similar repositories have to be formed, with a similar admission process adapted. The legal background for this was provided in Law LXXX. of 2015. Coordinated by the Department of Hungaricums of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Hungarian state has provided the opportunity for communities throughout the whole of the Carpathian Basin to enter into the repositories than forming. The Parliament has ruled that those associations participating in the Hungarian Constant Meeting (Magyar Állandó Értekezlet, MÁÉRT) can form a specific repository and a committee to oversee the processes. In 2015 and 2016, the Department launched funds (HUNG-15 and HUNG-16) to strengthen and support these processes.

 

 

2. Research results, analyses

 

In our research, the actual interviews with local cultural workers were definitive (see Appendix). We have asked the two members of our research group that work in Vojvodina media and cultural sphere to designate the interviewees based on their experience and local expertise, who were further assessed using the snow-ball method. There are young, middle-age, and older respondents, ones that are actively working, and also retirees, males and females, showcasing a diverse group. Some are working in smaller communities, others in bigger ones, there are some who work in predominantly Hungarian communities and those that are in more ethnically diverse communities. A common feature is that all of them are Hungarians born in Vojvodina, with the majority of them having some connection to folklore of folk art since childhood, and most of them pursue their activity on a voluntary basis, whether it is chairing a civil association or managing a country house museum. Some of them participate in/founded a local repository committees, some pursue their activities independently. All 25 of them[7] – to quote István Fodor[8] – are part of that sourdough that keeps the local communities and traditions together and alive.

 

 

2.1. Demographic and ethnic proportions

 

One of the leitmotifs of the research targeting Hungarians in Vojvodina in the past decades is the survival of this ethnic minority, their demographic situation, their decreasing number and their aging. The decrease in the number of Hungarians in the region can be attributed, besides their low birthrate, to the westward economic migration. These are not specific to Hungarians in the region, but the numbers are further decreased due to mixed marriages, resulting in assimilation. In Čoka, if we go along the street, it is really sad, every third, fourth house is empty. (Erika Kiss Tóth, president of the Ferenc Móra Hungarian Cultural Association, Čoka)

I really don’t get it… When they were bombing us, shooting at us from every direction, there were a couple of young people leaving. But now, complete families are leaving, with two, three kids, every month. They leave and they sell their house.” (Frigyes Tóth Ugyonka, Endre Ady Cultural Association, Tornjoš)

The last census in Serbia was held in 2011, the communities examined by us were numbering a total of 150,000, 56% of them Hungarians.[9] It is lower than the number in the 2002 census. For instance, the decrease was by 11,5% in communities in and around Senta, and there has been an observable decrease ever since.[10] Our interviewees were talking about a tragic decrease in the number of children in their communities, especially when it comes to Hungarian children, endangering not only effective education, but also the Hungarian artistic youth groups. Even where there are children, they tend to go to high school in bigger cities, leaving the groups behind. Furthermore, higher education brings them even further away from their hometowns, and they come to visit only occasionally. The adults, if they happen to stay in the community, commute to work to Hungary every day. Therefore, their leisure time decreases and they cannot effectively participate in local happenings. Sadly, those concerned with the preservation of values come almost exclusively from these groups, subsequently taking over their leadership. “This demographic decay has decapitated us intellectually,” summarizes István Fodor in his interview, stating that those remaining behind tend not to be actively concerned with traditions and participating in the preservation of cultural values.

Local professionals are striving to make young people stay, applying for funds and redistributing these, but they do see that “national identity can never be stronger than their daily bread.”[11] Those leaving for a foreign country rarely ever move back to their former communities, with their identities switching from indigenous minority to voluntary minority. Although they may have the tendency to comment social media contents nostalgically, but they do not actively participate in the preservation of local cultural values. In more fortunate communities, we may still find a core, the aforementioned “sourdough”, someone to “lead the pack”,[12] but they tend to be older members of the community, worried that they will have no one to fill their seat. The average age in these communities is well above 40 years of age (Fodor 2016), which is even higher among those pursuing amateur artistic endeavors. Immigration and aging is threatening the preservation of Hungarian cultural values. On the one hand, as we have seen, there are not enough people to carry it forward, and on the other, this is due   not only to deaths in the community, but also immigration. There are a few examples, however, when traditions and their preservation is the main factor for remaining. „…There is a family which has stayed here in Ada, because the children did not want to leave Vadvirág, our association.” (Lívia Varga, Vadvirág Traditional Circle, Ada)

To simplify, we may assert that on the right bank of the Tisza, in Bačka region, Hungarians are leaving in larger blocks, whereas on the left bank, in the Banat region, they are more scattered. The proportions differ in every community, due to the aforementioned factors of immigration and intermarriage. In general, the coexistence of Hungarians and Serbs are largely without conflict. Where Hungarians form the majority, Serbians tend to understand and even speak Hungarian (whereas Hungarians may not learn Serbian), they respect each other’s customs, but they form different groups, organize different events. Today, children do not tend to mix, do not learn each other’s language during play. Only those born in mixed marriages tend to speak both languages.

 “Ada is a curious community, since even today, around 90% of the town is Hungarian, which presents difficulties to Serbians moving here. As the saying goes, they either get used to it, or they leave – they either learn the language, or move away.” (Éva Sóti, artistic leader of the Aranykapu Cultural Association, Ada)

“We live in an environment in which there is a Serbian neighbor here, a Serbian neighbor there, you must learn the language. Here in Banat, in Novi Kneževac, if there is a group of people, three Hungarians and one Serbian, they will speak in Serbian. (Magdaléna Kovás, president of the Tiszagyöngye Cultural Association, Novi Kneževac)

 “Outside of mixed marriages, Hungarian children do not learn Serbian, and Serbian children do not learn Hungarian. They do not meet, there are no joint events, where they could meet.” (Erika Nadrjljanski Tornai, Cnesa Educational and Cultural Institution,Kanjiža)

In the ethnically mixed families, the festivities of both parties are held (maintaining one form of the formerly mentioned collective memory), but their children attend Serbian classes in school, especially if the father is Serbian, considering this to be a way to better advancement, should they decide to remain in the country. Within the Hungarian community, those interviewees living in scattered communities talked about a stronger sense of unity than those living in larger block communities, in which there is a marked fragmentation and disunity. An exception for this are the children and young people who attend local organizations, spending most of their leisure time there. Theirs is a more coherent community with life-long friendships, which signals the exceptional local significance of amateur artistic groups.

 

 

2.2. Community life, cultural traditions

 

From the interviews, we gain the image of a certain consciousness when it comes to maintaining local values, highlighting their power to create group coherence and a desire to stay in their homeland. Both institutional and civil actors maintain various forms of preserving intellectual cultural heritages: female choir, folk dance, zither, tambura, arts and crafts, literary endeavors, local history groups. Maintaining traditions is seen to be closely connected to everyday life, to community life and experiences, and the local professionals tend to highlight this. “We are concerned with the preservation of Hungarian cultural heritage, especially around Ada, with our motto being: to our children, the heritage of our parents. (Éva Sóti, artistic leader of the Aranykapu Cultural Association, Ada)

 “…we will revive the traditions of the region along the Tisza. We can mention here folk traditions, our folk songs, folk dances […] and folk music. Having a good time here, unity, and remaining in our homeland, this is the point.. (Lívia Varga, Vadvirág Traditional Circle, Ada)

However, there are several factors that hinder the success of their mission. Transmitting traditions are quite difficult, it is not easy to involve younger generations, and they are key to preserving traditions. Immigration, as mentioned, is also a major factor.

There are a number of communities that try to capitalize on their touristic value. Of course, a proper institutional framework with professionals is very important for this: for instance, there is a Touristic Association in Senta, which relies on the promotion of local culture, as well as on commemorating (since its 300th anniversary in 1997) on the Battle of Senta[13], which not only strengthens local patriotism, but also became a touristic product.

“The point is to attract as many tourists as we can to Senta. Every region has had its own tradition and customs, and we can use this as a marketing tool, we can build on this brightly, to bring in local colors. (…) For instance, we have the Tisza Mayfly Festival, and also our Town’s Day. People like to come here, and locals invite their friends, showing them that we have this here. This is our event.” (Kornél Laskovity, Touristic Association of Senta)

In communities with a Hungarian majority, it is also a good opportunity to rely on coexistence with the Serbian population, maintaining cultural relations. Some of our interviewees also talked about their experiences and the importance of strengthening these ties of peaceful coexistence. This is especially important in the regional center of Senta, where there is a significant number of Serbians.

“We have large concerts in Hungarian and also Serbian. This has an entertainment aspect to it, but it is also important that these events create cohesion that can transcend possible antagonisms, bringing together Serbians and Hungarians. There is a commonality that transcends national differences. (Richárd Hugyik, Lajos Thurzó Cultural and Educational Center, Senta)

 … not only in Hungarian, but also in Serbian… We try to pay equal attention to the festivities of both communities.” (Éva Kobrehel, Cultural and Educational Center, Čoka)

 However, in smaller communities, it is not common for the two ethnic groups to visit each other’s events, except for famous performers.

 

 

2.3. Local identity

 

In accordance with prior research on identity, the local identity of our interviewees is strong and pronounced, and they also talked about the Banat regions relations with Szeged. They have also mentioned to fall of the Yugoslavia as a factor in strengthening local identity in Vojvodina. Besides family life and education, the third factor in strengthening Hungarian identity are the observing of traditions, folk dance, and personal example. In the region examined, the totality of these contribute greatly to the preservation of Vojvodina-Hungarian identity. Almost without exception, our interviewees mentioned the strong cultural ties that were formed in early childhood. Thus, they are especially worried about the aging of their communities and the aforementioned tendency to immigrate. Who will carry on with the traditions? What will happen to traditions and identity on the long run?

“I consider Vojvodina and the Tisza region to be my home (…) geographically, we belong to the Hungarian Great Plains. (Richárd Hugyik, Lajos Thurzó Cultural and Educational Center, Senta)

“…the Hungarian community is concentrated here, along the Tisza. This is where I feel good – along the Tisza. (…) Preserving Hungarian culture and identity depends greatly upon who or what we idolize or see as examples. (András Szerda, Sándor Petőfi Hungarian Cultural Circle, Botra Male Choir, Bečej)

 

 

2.4 The role and characteristics of the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina

 

The Vojvodina Hungarian Cultural Institute (Vajdasági Magyar Művelődési Intézet, VMMI), located in Senta, is responsible for providing an institutional framework for the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina. Directed by Martina Gondi, the Institution successfully applied for funds for the aforementioned HUNG-16 funding program. As a result, the Committee of Value Repository of Vojvodina (Vajdasági Magyar Értéktár Bizottság VMÉB) was established in June 2016, presided over by Tamás Varga, a theater professional and the culture referee of the VMMI. The main task of the committee is the identification, registration and the introduction of national values of Hungarians in Vojvodina into the repository of the abroad repository section, the national repository and into the section of hungaricums. They have used the funds to create a website for the Committee (ertektar.rs) and have launched a competition to explore and popularize the cultural values of Vojvodina with the name “All over this region” (“Kerek e vidéken”) for elementary and high school students, as well as publishing materials.

We have organized a roundtable discussion with the participation of the committee members about their work.[14] As a regional institution, the VMMI maintains contact with Hungarian minority institutions and associations that are concerned with public collections, education, and culture. The repository is only one element of the multifaceted work carried out by the Institute, but also a great opportunity to advise and aid their target groups that are mostly organized on a voluntary basis. Of the 11 colleagues at the VMMI, three of them are working with the repository. Besides Tamás Varga, Csilla Vázsonyi, the Institute’s librarian has been responsible for the communication since 2015. Viktor Fehér, a doctoral student in the field of folklore studies, has been working as an external colleague, but there are no funds for his full-time employment. Viktor and Csilla are editing the website jointly and handle the nominations they receive. Their task is mainly operative, handling the database. Furthermore, they go to the field quite often, trying to convince locals to participate in the program. They provide help to local leaders and volunteers to seek out local values.

This process has two basic tenets: either the VMMI starts contact with a local community, or the local committees are formed via personal correspondence, on behalf of the local community. The coordinators value these personal meetings as a way to strengthen the belief that everything that the locals see as a value is also a value in terms of the program. The main benefit of the repository is that it highlights the work of those concerned with maintaining traditions and preserving values. They feel that their work is important, not only for the repository, but also for their local community and sub-region. The platform for maintaining communication is the website and the Facebook page, with phone correspondence also being frequent. Despite the extensive communication system, there may still be communities that have not heard of the repository.  Throughout our 25 interviews, there was only one person who has not heard of the repository, three mentioned that they have no contact with them, and one person stated that they know about the repository but they do not know about their operations. Therefore, their operational work can be considered successful, despite the lack of human resources that often hinder their work.

The National Cultural Institute provides professional help, organizing training courses for professionals working in Value Repositories abroad, but forming strategies and crafting methodology is incumbent upon the organizations abroad, as they are the ones possessing adequate local knowledge and connections. The support of the Institute encompasses help with strategic and methodological issues, as well.

Throughout our research, the interviewees confirmed the problems mentioned by members of the VMMI: there are two major negative factors, the lack of human resources and the lack of time.

… There would be so much material, for me and others, like, back at home, the Bethlehem-performances, the zither-culture, and so on, one would have only to sit down and write about this. But this is, well, difficult (laughs). (Balázs Szerda, leader of the Fokos band,Bečej)

According to actors within the repository movement in Vojvodina, a stable and permanent system of funding would help with the lack of funds and human resources, thus strengthening the effectivity of the local work of collecting sources and values. The adaptation of Hungarian models in Vojvodina can only function on the level of individual projects, for which funds are also needed. Monetary funds on their own could only solve problems on the short term – as was the case in the initial enthusiasm in 2016 –, but there would be a need for crafting a system that ensures constant work. The development of the website is among the long-term aims of the VMMI.

The long-term goal is a multilingual site on which the visitors can gain information on what to visit in different communities, where one can buy local products, and what are some of the major local events to visit.” (Viktor Fehér)

They plan to translate the Hungarian materials to English (currently only the landing page can be read in English: http://ertektar.rs/en), but they do not plan Serbian materials. Among the long-term plans are also a form of economic advancement of the collected materials, besides further utilizing them as a means to enhance local tourism.

 

 

3. Conclusion

 

The interviews conducted during the research activity exhibited a conscious devotion and emotional motivation towards preserving and maintaining traditions. It was proven that although the majority of the communities examined face one form of difficulty or another in their work of voluntary preservation of traditions and cultural organizing, and the subsequent administrative work that is related to admissions to the Repository, but this latter activity can also contribute greatly to the further preservation of local cultural heritages, their dissemination and the affirmation of their importance, as well as their use in the field of tourism.

Based on the interviews, it is safe to state that the annual search for funds hinders the work of local leaders greatly, rendering long-term planning very difficult. A more wide-ranging, simpler system of funding spanning over a period longer than annual funds would be beneficial. Furthermore, there is a need for a couple of professionals, employed full-time who could provide assistance for communities, local institutions and associations (either independently or within the framework of VMMI) in their attempts to collect, coordinate and systematize the different local values, value repositories, and events. This would further strengthen local identities and would contribute to encouraging locals to stay in their hometowns, moderating the worryingly high number of people leaving. The professionals working at the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina highlighted that the digitization of local traditions and values is useful and important, but cannot replace the lively, prevalent traditions and their values. The point is the human!

 

 

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·            Ózer Ágnes (2008): A vajdasági magyarság szellemi örökségének szerepéről [On the Role of the Intellectual Heritage of Hungarians in Vojvodina]. In: Papp Richárd, Szarka László (szerk.): Bennünk élő múltjaink. Történelmi tudat – kulturális emlékezet. Zenta, Vajdasági Magyar Művelődési Intézet, 587–595. p.

·            Pataki Ferenc (1997): Identitás – személyiség – társadalom [Identity – Personality – Society]. In: Szociálpszichológia. Szöveggyűjtemény. Válogatta: Lengyel Zsuzsanna. Budapest, Osiris, 512–523. p.

·            Pejin Attila (2008): Lokális és/vagy nemzeti? [Local and/or National?] In: Papp Richárd, Szarka László (szerk.): Bennünk élő múltjaink. Történelmi tudat – kulturális emlékezet. Zenta, Vajdasági Magyar Művelődési Intézet, 107–139. p.

·            Solar, Giora (2011): Managemenet Plans and Managemenet Planning. In: Bassa, Lia (szerk.) Tanulmányok az örökségmenedzsmentről 2. Kulturális örökségek kezelése. Budapest, Információs Társadalomért Alapítvány. pp. 5–12.

·            Szabó, Árpád Töhötöm – Szikszai, Mária (eds.) (2018): Cultural heritage and cultural politics in minority conditions. Cluj-Napoca, Aarhus. http://kjnt.ro/szovegtar/pdf/2018_SzaboAT-SzikszaiM_eds_Cultural-Heritage [2020.07.25.]

·            Tóth G. Péter (2002): A „közösség”. Egy fogalom megalkotása, kiteljesedése, széthullása és felszámolása [„Community” – The Crafting, Fulfillment, Fall and Destruction of a Term]. In: Pócs Éva (szerk.): Közösség és identitás [Community and Identity]. Budapest -Pécs, L’Harmattan – PTE Néprajz Tanszék. 9–32. p.

 

Online Sources:

 

·                     Law XXX. of 2012 on Hungarian National Values and Hungaricums https://net.jogtar.hu/jogszabaly?docid=a1200030.tv

·                     Law LXXX of 2015 on Law XXX. of 2012 on Hungarian National Values and Hungaricums https://mkogy.jogtar.hu/jogszabaly?docid=A1500080.TV

·                     Hungarian Repository of Values http://www.hungarikum.hu

·                     Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina –Treasures of Vojvodina http://ertektar.rs/en

·                     Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina –Treasures of Vojvodina https://www.facebook.com/vajdasag.kincsei

 

Appendix

Novi Bečej

       Local chapter of Rákóczi Szövetség

       Mór Jókai Hungarian Cultural Association

Bačko Petrovo Selo

       Tisza Region Cultural and Folklore Association

Utrine

       Százszorszép Cultural Association

Martonoš

       Mortinus Village Protection Association 

Ada

       Gábor Szarvas Library

       Aranykapu Cultural Association

       Vadvirág Traditional Circle  

Bečej

       Sándor Petőfi Hungarian Cultural Association

       Ricsaj Folklore Festival

       Fokos band

Senta

       Lajos Thurzó Cultural and Educational Center

       Touristic Association of Senta Zenta

       City Museum, Rozetta Arts and Crafts Association

       Artistic Competitions for High Schools

Čoka

       Csóka Cultural and Educational Center – Ferenc Móra Hungarian Cultural Association

       Csalogány Female Choir

       Ferenc Móra Hungarian Cultural Association

        

Novi Knežvac

       Tiszagyöngye Cultural Association

       Country House, Kéknefelejcs Traditonal Circle

       Ricze House, Firigyháza

Kanjiža

       Cnesa Educational and Cultural Institution

       Tisza Folklore Dance Troupe

 

Tornjoš

       Endre Ady Cultural Association

       Magda-lak” Country House Association

Horgoš

       Béla Bartók Hungarian Cultural Association

The cultural and communal institutions and civil cultural groups involved in the research project



[1] The new chapter of the common historical-regional relations and the preservation of identity of those moving from Vojvodina to Szeged (partly due to the 1991 outbreak of the Yugoslav Wars) is exhibited by the operation of the Szeged Chapter of the VMSZ since 1992.: http://www.vmdk-szeged.hu/ [2020.04.20.]

Recognizing the region’s historical and economic traditions, the Duna-Körös-Maros-Tisza European region was formed on 1997, with the involvement of Arad, Temes, Bács-Kiskun, Békés, Csongrád and Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok counties and the Vojvodina Autonomous Region: http://dkmt.net/hu/ [2020.07.30.]

[2] The members of the research groups: lecturers Dr. habil. Edit Újvári, (group director), Renáta Bozsó, Dr. Angelika Nagy, Dr. Norbert Szűcs; cultural professionals: Lívia Barát Tóth, Endre Máriás; students: Zsófia Székely, Valéria Balán, Viktória Kifut (Community Organizing BA, 2nd year).

[3] This municipal form encompasses a number of communities, including towns and villages.

[5] Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage https://ich.unesco.org/en/convention [2020.06.10]

[6] According to one of the classical forms of defining communities, it can be „defined based on geographic characteristics, on a geographical basis”. (Tóth G. 2002. 11).

[7] 23 individual and 1 coupled on-field interviews were conducted, along with a roundtable discussion, functioning as a focus group, with colleagues of the Vojvodina Hungarian Cultural Institute.

[8] István Fodor is the retired director of the Senta Archives, and the co-organizer of the Senta Collegium.

[10] The center of the region is Senta (the town itself and the surrounding villages), with the population of 23,316, with 18,441 Hungarians.

[11] Source: Interview conducted with Nándor Újhelyi, the funder of the For Novi Kneževac Association.

[12] Source: Interview conducted with István Fodor, the retired director of the Senta Archives, and the co-organizer of the Senta Collegium.

[13] The Battle of Senta, fought on September 11, 1697, was one of the most important battles in the effort to recapture Hungarian territories from the Ottoman Empire, led by the Austrian Eugene of Savoy and the forces of the international Holy League.

[14] Senta, Vojvodina Hungarian Cultural Institute, January 17, 2020. Participants: Martina Gondi, director of the Vojvodina Hungarian Cultural Institute, Tamás Varga, president of the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina, Viktor Fehér, doctoral student, and Csilla Vázsonyi, colleague at the Hungarian Repository of Values in Vojvodina, and members of the research group: dr. Edit Újvári, dr. Angelika Nagy, Renáta Bozsó.