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Traditional Sports and Games in the Contemporary World
The New Face of Sport?
By Bartosz Prabucki
This book is a captivating story about traditional sports and games (TSG)—a valuable subject for science, but also a very practical issue—with special focus on the Basque Country, Scotland and Demark, placing particular emphasis on their own traditional sports and games.
Traditional games and sports serve as “cultural attributes” to maintain, express and promote collective identities of local and regional communities, ethnic groups and nations. They are also interesting parts of festivals, feasts and other events, offering unique opportunities for everyone to enjoy healthy, joyful and valuable time together, simply playing games. They teach important skills and make a great contribution to the social integration of people, recreation and tourism.
However, the current state of knowledge about them is insufficient.
The main objective of this book is, therefore, to present the fascinating world of traditional sports and games, which are becoming increasingly popular around the world.
Based on valuable, first-hand accounts from research and study trips to Denmark, the Basque Country and Scotland and personally experienced traditional sports and games, the author creates a captivating story about traditional sports and their practical usability in these countries.
This book presents and describes more than 50 traditional games in total, and, in an additional annex, numerous examples of their use in practice for the good of all.
It is based on personal study trips to these countries, as well as multilingual and first-hand observations, personal interviews and conversations with community members, experts and practical specialists on this field from these three countries.
The book contains:
- An interesting and original context, detailing the functioning of traditional sports and games across the world between globalization and cultural identity and between tradition and modernity;
- Detailed descriptions of selected TSG from the Basque Country, Scotland and Denmark;
- An exploration of the similarities and differences between these three countries when it comes to the practical existence and use of their unique sports and games;
- Many first-hand examples of these sports and games in practice;
- Original photographs of the selected games;
- Conclusions and an epilogue with additional ideas about the practical utility of these TSG;
- An annex with detailed descriptions of additional games, ready to use in many practical contexts.
It also offers:
- Original, first-hand knowledge about this very interesting, original issue, showing that these sports and games represent the cultural legacy of their respective countries. The vast variety of TSG and the richness of their social, cultural, health-related and physical functions, roles and meanings make them a fascinating part of human history and contemporaneity;
- Practical utility. Knowledge about traditional sports and games and their cultural and social significance is valuable in itself, but equally important is the practical usability of TSG in everyday life. They have always had many practical applications. They are precious tools, helpful in solving many problems in the current world;
- Inspiration. By increasing your knowledge about TSG and the communities or nations in which they are practiced, you can gain a great deal of inspiration for your own life and activities.
As the reader will see, through the examples of the Basques, the Scots and the Danes, these sports:
- Are an important element, helping people maintain and promote their cultural identities;
- Create cultural and sport tourism “products”, helpful in the proper promotion of a given country and its people and in raising their economic status and opportunities;
- Help in recreation. TSG are a healthy way of spending our leisure time, either alone or in groups. People can have a great time, by watching and especially playing traditional games together;
- Constitute a significant part of feasts, fiestas, festivals and other cultural events. As you will see through the examples of the Basques and the Scots, their traditional sports are an important (and even crucial) part of such events.
After reading this book, you will be inspired to:
- Start practicing TSG yourself. You will increase your health and fitness, and make new friends.
- Organize practical classes and activities for children, adults, the elderly, people with disabilities and many social and ethnic groups;
- Visit the Basque Country, Scotland, or Denmark, or indeed any other country or region to get to know its culture better;
- Participate in, or even create, a cultural festival in your country, region, or city;
- Establish an institution, organization, association or club, and introduce traditional sports or games into their programmes. Your organization's members will be fascinated by this opportunity to try something new.
This book will appeal to scholars who will find very valuable, theoretical and practical information here. However, everybody interested in sport, physical activity, physical education, tourism, recreation, social issues, culture and cultural heritage will find it useful.
Further, it will provide the reader with:
- Knowledge of several traditional sports and games from Denmark, the Basque Country and Scotland, thoroughly described and enriched with original photographs;
- Descriptions of other sports and games, presented in an additional annex to this book (in total you will get to know with over 50 practical, traditional sports and games);
- Fascinating and captivating stories about different nations playing and using their traditional sports and games for various goals (including maintaining and promoting their cultural identities);
- Descriptions of interesting feasts and festivals from the author’s own personal observations;
- Many practical inspirations, related to different ways of using traditional sports and games;
- Original photographs, taken in the Basque Country, Scotland, Denmark, Poland and other countries.
The detailed table of contents of this book can be viewed here:
Bartosz Prabucki is a Lecturer at Poznan University of Physical Education, Poland, and a traditional sports expert at the Institute for Development of Sport and Education and START Association, Poland. A cultural anthropologist and expert in traditional sports, he holds a PhD in Physical Culture, and is the author of a number of scientific papers. He also conducted an independent research project, titled “Ethnology of traditional sports in Europe”, and is a member of the Commission for International Relationships of European Traditional Sports and Games Association (ETSGA).
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