Report on the "Łambinowice Museum Meeting"

The September meeting’s them was related to the European Heritage Days slogan: "Living Heritage - Traditions from Generations". Its subject matter revolved around the intangible cultural heritage question, and precisely: national traditions, customs, practices and rituals characteristic of various ethnically distinct prisoner-of-war groups.

The title of the meeting, "Rugby, pétanque, tiramisù: the thing about cultivation of tradition in captivity" only hinted what was awaiting the large audience. Dr. Anna Wickiewicz, head of the Department of Education and Exhibitions, and Regina Chojna from the Archives, showed, in a detailed and at the same time voluble way, a complex and very variegated, despite the wartime context, picture of the cultural and social life of prisoners-of-war from various countries; the first speaker focused especially on customs of the British and Poles, and the other on the facts related to the Italians and French.

Individual topics helped to deepen the understanding of cuisine (e.g. the British predilection for Christmas puddings), sport (e.g. the national sports) and festive rituals (e.g. the tradition of pantomime - an important element of Christmas in England). There were given a lot of little-known information, even to history enthusiasts, for example, about the game of pétanque or the history of the famous Italian dessert tiramisu. These minor matters coherently made up the leading message: living behind the wire was about preserving national and ethnic identity above all else, thus charting, a possible to attain in time horizon, end to captivity and return to so-called normality.

The meeting was chaired by Deputy Director Dr. Renata Kobylarz-Buła, who invited everyone to the following interesting events prepared by the Museum: the opening of an exhibition devoted to General Mirosław Smorawiński, a Senior Citizen's Day, and the next "Łambinowice Museum Meeting".

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