Minority languages in Europe in the context of revitalizing activities
[Mensinove jazyky v Europe v kontexte revitalizacnych aktivit]
Katarina Slobodova Novakova – Katarina Kostialova – Daniela Kusnierova – Lukas Kurajda
The paper focuses on the analysis and presentation of the rescue research of unique German minority of mountain woodcutters called Huncokars. They live in western Slovakia, isolated in a mountainous environment, with a preserved culture and their own language. Due to the political situation and the unregulated rights of minorities in Slovakia in the 2nd half of the 20th century this group has not been the subject of systematic research and scientific interest yet. Because of their isolation and specific socio-professional inclusion, they have preserved unique manifestations of material, spiritual and social culture, and their own unique language. This language belongs to the German Central Bavarian dialects and its occurrence outside the compact German speaking territories is unique in the territory of Slovakia. The main goal is to promote the efforts and activities aimed at language and culture revitalization, and then popularizing them. The expected benefit of revitalizing activities is a more visible reflection of local traditions today, and supporting values of bilingualism and multiculturalism. Huncokars represent a specific form of adaptation and group acclimatization in a different ethnic environment in the Small Carpathians. Therefore, we consider them as an important part of European and world cultural heritage. The ethnic group of Huncokars is a proof of the cultural diversity and multiculturalism of the ethnic and linguistic environment not only of Slovakia but also the entire Europe.
Key words: German minority, language, revitalization, cultural heritage, identity