Zmena prostredia ako faktor inovatívnych a diskontuitných trendov v kultúre slovenských kolonistov na Dolnej zemi

Changing Environment as a Factor in Innovative and Discontinuous Trends in the Culture of Slovak Colonists in the Great Hungarian Plain

After the expulsion of Ottomans from the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary and demarcating the so called Military Frontier region between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Ottoman Empire (1699-1718), approximately 40,000 Slovak families emigrated from Slovakia to the southern regions of Hungary over the course of the 18th century. Most of them moved to the area of the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld), which extends over the current regions of Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Croatia. The aim of this massive migration was to colonize the area of southern Hungary, which was significantly unpopulated, devastated and abandoned.
The most significant consequence of this migration was that Slovak colonists resettled from the mountainous environment of the Carpathians into the lowland environment of the Pannonian Basin. This change of environment meant they also had to adapt to the different ecological realities of their new surroundings. Within the adaptation process, the original cultural system of the Slovaks was significantly penetrated by innovative and discontinuous trends. First and most radically, this was reflected in the way that the Slovaks learnt the new, previously unknown construction methods and architectural principles of clay housing construction typical of the Pannonian Plain.
The adaptation process of the Slovak settlers was accompanied by a wide range of practices that connected the settlers to their new environment – the so-called rooting processes. Slovak colonists integrated into their new environment mainly through land ownership, as well as through settlements and their infrastructure - churches, rectories, schools, and graveyards. These objects built by a collective effort united the group of colonists and further strengthened their communal solidarity. Another practice related to the identification with the new environment is seen in the Slovak names given to the parts of the village, as well as to the streets and vast lands surrounding the villages.