International Journal of Ethnosport and Traditional Games Vol.1 (1) 2019
The author summarizes the results of his report at the UNESCO Expert Meeting on the theme “Traditional Sports and Games of the Interactive Atlas of Cultural Interactions along the Silk Roads” on 4-5 December 2018 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. There are two main approaches to the study of traditional sports and games – theoretical and praxeological, allowing to rethink the main problems of research on the ontogeny and phylogenies of traditional sports and games on the Silk Roads. A typical cultural memory trap in this case is the fact that their origin is associated today with the peoples who declared them as an object of their intangible cultural heritage. Gaming traditions in the extensive material of historical sources appear before us as an integral part of the rites of male initiation, their existence is associated with the rites of the festive culture of the solar-lunar calendar. A typology of traditional games is presented. The description of traditional games in epos, literature and scientific works allows us to speak about their high cultural significance, thanks to which they are added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The actual problem of sportization of traditional sports and games leads to a loss of authenticity as a result of the fact that they are held as sports competitions with time measurements unthinkable for traditional culture, awards of points and divisions into weight and age categories. But the main threat is represented by the so-called “traditional game festivals”, which use the irrelevant formula of the IOC Olympiad multisport games, resulting in a profanation of the idea of Olympism, replaced by the cultivation of pseudo-Olympic games with a program from a set of primitive competitions, exemplified by the World Nomad Games. A critical attitude to a rich empirical material allows us to conclude that the sustainable development of traditional games is possible as a subject of event tourism – the most dynamically developing cluster of the world economy.
ethnosport, event tourism, intangible culture heritage, sport, traditional sports and games.
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