RYBLOVA M.A., ARKHIPOVA E.V. Tradition in Conditions of Military Extremeness: Folk Ways of Understanding and “Overcoming” the Great Patriotic War

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.1.19 

Marina A. Ryblova

Doctor of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Leading Researcher,

Kazachestvo Laboratory, Federal Research Center Southern Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

Chekhova St, 41, 344006 Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation;

Professor,

Department of Traditional Culture and Folk Instrumental Performance, Volgograd State Institute of Arts and Culture,

Tsiolkovskogo St, 4, 400001 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1451-2579

Ekaterina V. Arkhipova

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of International Relations, Political Science and Area Studies, Volgograd State University,

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1891-5586 


Аbstract. Introduction. In the study the authors consider the ways of understanding and overcoming the extreme conditions of the Great Patriotic The task is to define the forms and ways of “overcoming” the war conditions and its traumatizing consequences developed by Russians and to identify their connection with traditional types of worldview and folk ritual practices.

Methods and materials. The analysis of folk stories recorded among different generations and rural Russian areas as well as memories about the wartime and the period after the Great Patriotic War compose the base of the article. According to the main task the authors use the method widely used in the Russian Ethnography which is called the “inside the tradition” view, or analysis from the position of its bearers.

Analysis. The natural alternation of periods of prosperity and crises explains the inevitability of war, but according to popular beliefs, the impoverishment of the sacred sphere of life is the main factor of a tragedy. On the contrary, human turning to God and his / her repentance determine the possibility of overcoming a tragedy. The concept of “a rule” (and its violation) as well as the concept of “a destiny” (a shared fate) which must be restored and redistributed under the crisis according to popular beliefs play an important role in the mechanism of developing ways to “overcome” the war among the Russians during the wartime. Wartime ritual practices including baking and cutting bread, redistributing it to the front line, organizing joint meals, etc. confirm the statement. The process of the revival of religious (Orthodox) practices, and the formation of a collective memory of the war and the fallen heroes was inspired from below, from the masses. This initiative included folk forms of veneration and remembrance of the dead, the creation of sacred places associated with the war and the memory about it. Women, who became the main keepers of the tradition, who took upon themselves the functions of harmonizing the socio-psychological situation in rural areas during the difficult war and postwar years, were especially active in these processes.

Results. The authors confirm the particular role of traditional types of worldview influencing the modern collective memory as well as social practices during both extreme conditions and everyday life. Ordinary people preferred to turn to centuries-old spiritual traditions of overcoming war traumas and to use the experience of preserving collective memory of them formed in the pre-revolutionary time within the peasant and Cossack communities.

Key words: tradition, collective memory of the war, folk, ways of “overcoming” the war, understanding the war, Great Patriotic War.

Citation. Ryblova M.A., Arkhipova E.V. Tradition in Conditions of Military Extremeness: Folk Ways of Understanding and “Overcoming” the Great Patriotic War. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 216-228. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.1.19.

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Tradition in Conditions of Military Extremeness: Folk Ways of Understanding and “Overcoming” the Great Patriotic War by Ryblova M.A., Arkhipova E.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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