Dear friends, I welcome you to the International Organization of Folk Art’s (IOV’s) World Youth Congress in Krakow, a beautiful city that reminds me of love and friendship. You are in one of the European Union’s leading countries in terms of heritage, civilization, and contributions to heritage, and its people are among the most peace-loving in the world. I am pleased to convey the greetings of IOV’s Executive Board, and their pride in the successful organization of this Congress. We have great hopes for young people and their efforts to bring change. The slogan ‘Time to Change’ was launched at the General Assembly with the support of all members. It signifies that the next four years will be a time of comprehensive change, a time to recommit to our vision and achieve our goals in light of the challenging circumstances in the world around us.
This paper addresses folk rituals and beliefs in the state of Tébessa by applying a scientific approach to the linguistic and theoretical concepts of marriage, circumcision and death rituals and their history. We then go on to study Tébessa's culture and to monitor the doctrinal practices and their relevance to ancient religions; some are still prevalent while others have died out. Primitive man embraced these rituals and tried to preserve them. The principle objective of this study is to track some of these folk beliefs through history in an attempt to identify their origins and their significance to society.
The sample for this study consisted of 422 words and idiomatic expressions from selected traditional terms. The lexical field for ‘foods, beverages, medicines and old kitchen utensils’ included 88 words and structural patterns (21% of the total researched), with 36 words and idiomatic expressions of Persian origin, 25 of English origin, 15 of Indian origin, and 12 of Turkish origin. The selected words automatically reflect the field and its intercultural heritage as represented in the diversity of food, traditional methods of preparation and cooking, and the customs with which it is served, especially at specific religious and social events in Bahrain such as celebrations for weddings, circumcisions, farewell ceremonies, visits to shrines and the making of vows, and picnics.
In ancient Egyptian tradition, ‘easier than a proverb’ was a common saying. People still say ‘the proverb is to speech as proof is to a court case’. This indicates the value of proverbs and their importance in communication and debate, because a proverb serves as convincing proof when an issue is being disputed. Proverbs (eloquent, witty and short phrases with multiple meanings) capture the essence of peoples’ experiences. They form folk philosophy and reflect social values of all kinds. In all languages, people agree that the proverb is associated with an origin and an occasion. The origin is the statement that was first uttered; the occasion is the event at which the statement was first uttered. So a proverb is a common saying that brings to mind the original event. In Arabic, the word ‘mathal’ (proverb) has many other meanings, including news, talk, simile, lesson, proof, the highest, the majority, an example, and an ideal.
The inherited structure of proverbs and traditional sayings contained in the present discourse dates back to an indefinite past, which lends them a sort of authority based on the notion of the Wisdom of the Elders. The ancient nature of such proverbs makes them timeless and seemingly absolute; they are guiding truths. Many anecdotes and myths begin with the phrase ‘once upon a time’, which guides the reader through the story to events involving Gods and heroes. The use of the present tense and the imperative clearly contradicts what we have just said, which reveals more about the anomaly of the proverb or traditional saying when it is used within our discourse.
The concepts of culture in general and of folk culture in particular have established differences between social classes. Undoubtedly, each cultural pattern has its symbolic meaning, which proves its cultural peculiarity and its belonging to a certain group, so it cannot be considered as general. It is, instead, a network of cultural patterns in harmony with the social reality from which it emerges. These patterns are relevant to the collective conscience. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the social and the cultural, and any attempt to do so may result in misleading conclusions about human behaviour.
Folk dance is influenced by geography and the environment. Its performance has often been determined by the type of work that people do. The performance relates to customs and traditions, and this is evident in the performers’ emotions. Sea oases differ from place to place. Some are agricultural, while others are deserts. The dry weather of the desert has a considerable impact on the inhabitants of these oases; they seem to move more slowly and to be more lethargic than people in the cities. The climate also affects their lifestyles; shops, cafes and other businesses close between noon and 4 pm.
Researchers of Kerala’s classical arts often refer to Kathakali, a classical theatrical dance with a variety of characters and colourful costumes. Various musical instruments accompany the dance, which involves mime and body language. This classical art dates back to the seventeenth century, and the costumes, movements, mime, themes, melodies and musical instruments came later. Fine art, music, poetry, prose, architecture, painting, sculpture, dance, singing and acting seek to convey beauty. Dance and music were means of expression for primitive peoples. People have used dance to express their thoughts and emotions – including hope, despair, cruelty, tenderness, sadness and joy – since the beginning of history. Dance has existed for as long as people have existed.
There are many theoretical concepts related to tattoos, and these concepts differ from one region to another and from one people to another. Tattooing is an ancient custom that has been practiced in many different ways. In ancient civilisations, there were common reasons for tattooing; tattoos seemed to reflect the communities’ beliefs, views on nature and existence, the relationships between individuals, people’s destinies and their relationships with the metaphysical world. A tattoo can serve as a way to commemorate a particular time and place.
In this study, the researcher attempted to track the various changes that affected traditional ways of working with copper. He also tried to identify the most important socio-economic and aesthetic factors that led to the modernisation of traditional craftsmanship and to the loss of copper-work’s characteristics and traditional character. A field study revealed that copper-work was affected by capitalist concepts such as freedom of production and new principles such as making a profit in the simplest and cheapest way, because imported foreign products were distinguished by their lower price and quality. A group of copper craftsmen bought modern machines and introduced them into the production cycle.