Traditional Festivities in North Istria in Terms of Authenticity and (Dis)Continuity

Petra Kavrečič, Katja Hrobat Virloget

Abstract


This article is derived from the project Turizmo Ištriano (Programme las Istre), the main aim of which was to observe the intangible heritage of North Istria  from an ethnological point of view, within which our focus was on traditional festivities. Instead of a tourist valorisation ‘from above,’ the focus of this  ethnologic research was directed towards the perceptions ‘from below,’ on how people perceive the local intangible heritage. Questions were raised about the so-called ‘authenticity,’ continuity, or discontinuity of the traditions and their relation to tourism. The research has shown that a significate element of the break of tradition of šagre can be found in the massive migrations after wwii in the rural part of Istria, which is related to the consequences of the so-called ‘Istrian exodus.’ It has also been shown how vital it is for the tradition to survive is its adaptation to the needs of the present. It was shown that people do differentiate between šagra (local character, no tourist promotion), and the ‘massive’ events that are attempting to attract tourists by selling products, presentation of ‘old days’ customs, traditional dresses, etc. that represent a ‘staged authenticity.’


Keywords: festivities, šagra, tradition, (dis)continuity, North Istria


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