Accepted paper:

Pilgrimage and/or tourism in a Bosnian Croat shrine of Kondžilo

Author:

Mario Katić (University of Zadar)

Paper short abstract:

The ethnographic case problematizes the relationship and boundary between the concepts of tourism and pilgrimage and illustrates how the context in which we observe them can have a significant influence on how we define the participants as pilgrims, tourist or pilgrims and tourist.

Paper long abstract:

Kondžilo is a Bosnian Croat pilgrimage place in Northeast Bosnia established in the 18th century. Before the 1990s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina pilgrimage to Kondžilo was just another pilgrimage place in BiH. After the war ended the shrine's importance has rapidly increased. The pilgrimage to Kondžilo today is almost the only reason why Bosnian Croats from Usora region, at least, once a year come to their homeland and homes. In my paper I will discuss the nature of this travel/pilgrimage, its meaning to pilgrims and its connection to religious tourism. To date most researchers have focused on the pilgrim/tourist dichotomy while the place of pilgrimage, is somewhat neglected. The place of pilgrimage/ tourism itself exerts of shaping influence on its visitors which is clearly illustrated with the Kondžilo sacred site. I will discuss how different pilgrimages, or different context can, and does influence pilgrims, and/or our interpretation of the same pilgrims. It seems that this journey/pilgrimage consist of the "secular" journey and the "religious" pilgrimage. It fulfils two main functions that are mixed and complementing each other; on one side it is a gathering of displaced community accompanied with leisure time and festivities, and on the other it is a religious pilgrimage of the individual in need of spiritual comfort. It seems that religious pilgrimage to Kondžilo is not the only motive for the travel, but it is a good reason to go back to old home - to roots.

panel P004
Tourism in (post)socialist Eastern Europe (Anthromob; IUAES-TOURISM; EASA Europeanist Network)