Accepted Paper:

Authenticating traditionality as a part of the social process  


Mateja Habinc (University of Ljubljana)

Paper short abstract:

Since 1950s the Tourist association of Bohinj has organized three events, presented as traditional. What the association has conceptualised with that expression and how this was influenced by social processes will be presented through strategies of authenticating traditionality of the events.

Paper long abstract:

Tourist association of Bohinj is an organizer of The Cows' ball, the Village serenade and the Country wedding, the three events considered as presenting traditions of the area and thus contributing an important share to its cultural identity, the way it is presented to the tourists. However, the organizers' perception of tradition changed in time which happened also because an association tried to take into account broader, professional understandings of heritage, tradition and traditionality. This transmission of concepts can best be identified when analysing organizers' strategies of authenticating traditionality. Since the beginnings of the events in the 1950s the traditionality of the events was ascribed to their (imagined) persistence as well as to the (in)tangible culture they present. Back then the most authentic presentation of the traditional (in)tangible culture was conceived as mostly staged performance, designed also with a help of a (semi-)professional, while in time a nationally widespread event model was also adopted, having included a "real" civil and religious wedding ceremony as a part of an event. Nevertheless the texts of the plays were also shortened in time and made more amusing, mostly textual aspects of the events were considered as those which contribute most to the authenticity of the events. Only lately temporal and spatial contexts of the (in)tangible culture were also taken into account while social aspects of (in)tangible culture, the performance of the events itself and their staged mode are still left aside.

Panel P032
Exploring the complexity of heritage practices through cooperation