we cordially welcome you to the 78th Strážnice International Folklore Festival and the 41st Strážnice Children’s Folklore Festival. We hope that, as in previous years, you will have a wonderful time at the biggest domestic celebration of folklore. As every year, the offer of performances is varied and open to diverse forms of presentations of folk traditions. Cultural heritage, of which elements of folk culture are a signif- icant part in many countries around the world, belongs to the important values of every society. It is necessary to care for it – to safeguard and develop it, and to pass it on the incoming generations. Within the framework of the Conven- tion for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the National Institute of Folk Culture is striving to achieve this through this festival. Dance, music and children’s performances, shows and contests, entertainment and popular education, for children and adults – this and more is waiting for you. Domestic and foreign performers (whose selection is coordinated by the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts – CIOFF) will be present in the chateau park, in the open-air museum, as well as in chateau rooms and town streets. Our primary objective is to present folklore cultural heritage in its widest possible spectrum. The Strážnice Festival is exceptional in many respects. It is the biggest and oldest regularly held event of this kind in the Czech Republic. It is also the only nationwide one, although many associate it with the Slovácko region. Although this region is largely represented here, the Festival’s Programme Council aims to present folk traditions from our entire country. And moreover, every year you can find Slovak ensembles here, because the Strážnice feast has reflected Czech-Slovak reciprocity since its foundation in 1946. It is understandable, since the Moravian-Slovak border is just a stone’s throw away. And the close cultural bond between both nations is evident in folklore at first sight, or rather at first hearing. If you take a walk through the Strážnice chateau park on Friday or Saturday night and stop by one of the many groups of musicians, singers and dancers, you will find that Slovak folk songs are in distinct harmony with the Moravian and Bohemian ones. And that’s a good thing. It’s not about whose song you sing, but whether that song is still alive, whether it brings joy to the incoming and subsequent generations. The generations before us approached it in the same way. Whether you have come to Strážnice for entertainment or education, whether you have come to purchase products at the bearers of the folk crafts tradition or at other vendors, whether you are here with your family, friends or members of a folk group, you are welcome. Enjoy the festival as much as possible. And if there’s anything you don’t like, let us please know. We want you to keep coming back to Strážnice…
PhDr. Lucie Uhlíková, Ph.D.
Chairwoman of Strážnice IFF Programme Council