In touch with local tradition and culture at Myjava Hillside Farms

An EU-funded project designed to support rural festivities on the Czech-Slovak border has enabled a new generation to enjoy shared cultural traditions.

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Taking part in a traditional harvest, Myjava, Slovakia  © Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic Taking part in a traditional harvest, Myjava, Slovakia © Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic

" A key aim of this project has been to preserve our folk traditions and recover our local and regional culture, so that the legacy of our ancestors will not be forgotten. By promoting traditions, we can increase the number of visitors in the cross border region. Tourism is a viable source of social and economic development for the region, while at the same time helping to sustain our shared cultural heritage. "

Denisa Bernatova, Project Manager from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic

The initiative, part-funded by the ERDF, has helped to renew a long-held tradition of holding joint cultural events and partnerships, and encouraged greater movement between the villages of Myjava in Slovakia and Dolní Němčí in the Czech Republic.

The project has also helped promote the cultural richness of the region, bringing in tourists and boosting the local economy. Since the project was completed in 2009, cross-border folk activities have taken place every year, proving extremely popular among locals and visitors alike. 

Reviving agricultural traditions

Old farming traditions were promoted through organising cultural events and demonstrations of traditional ways of working in both Myjava and Dolní Němčí. Exhibitions of sowing and harvesting were held, while seasonal fruit tasting offered locals and tourists a pleasant way of experiencing local produce.  

Lessons in preparing local recipes from local produce were also given and, unsurprisingly, proved highly popular. The cooking of sloe berries in Dolní Němčí, for example, took place in an old mill and was carried out in the traditional manner.

Locals from both regions were invited to take part. Demonstrations of traditional agriculture and examples of local food preparation revealed that the traditions in both regions are very much related.

Preserving culture

By supporting cultural activities through first-hand experience and bringing the agrarian past to life, the project helped to connect the local community to traditional ways of life. Old folk customs were promoted through performances of dance and songs.

These events helped to engage the local community, actively involving locals in reviving the traditions of their own ancestors.

Project manager Denisa Bernatova believes that one lasting legacy of the project will be the revitalisation of cross-border folk traditions that provide the border region with its distinctive identity.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Development of Tourism in Myjava Hillside Farms” is EUR 29 986, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 24 652 through the Operational Programme “Slovak Republic – Czech Republic” for the 2007- 2013 programming period.  

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