RESEARCH INTO THE VOCAL FOLKLORE OF THE POLISH MINORITY IN ZAOLZIE (CZECH REPUBLIC) (Z badan nad folklorem wokalnym mniejszosci polskiej na Zaolziu (Republika Czeska))
The Cieszyn Silesia has been, and still is, a political, cultural and linguistic borderland. This area, because of its geographical location and historical-political turbulence over the years, has for a long time been part of the Polish and Czech states, as well as having belonged to the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. In spite of the division of Cieszyn Silesia in 1920, ethnic Poles left outside the boundary of the Polish state succeeded in preserving many elements of Polish culture (dialect, costumes, music folklore). For these people, singing has been a particularly distinctive mark of national identity, because of its link to the Polish language and the dialect used in Zaolzie. After 1920, the Polish minority was under the influence of the cultures of the bordering states. After the WW II this population was given the citizenship of the Czech state, but the people did not identify with it. This led to the minority adopting a defensive attitude against denationalisation, and as part of that reaction the Polish inhabitants of Zaolzie began to organise their cultural life.
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