Rita Fekete: The settlement Túristvándi in the light of cultural education
Abstract: In our study, we focus on a settlement in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg region, called Túristvándi, aside from we started to investigate the aspects of the public education in the light of the communities. Our goal is to measure Túristvándi's capabilites and possibilities, weaknesses and risks, and to describe the whole of Túristvándi supplementing with a possible developmental guideline. It is believed that one of the most effective developmental process can be achieved with the resources of the public education of the settlements and the small towns, which means untapped potentials in most of the cases. Our goal is to note that through a concrete example as Túristvándi to provide guidance to other small towns in a similar situation. Because of that through the introduction of the theoretical background we consider it important to write about - in addition to the introduction of the terms of the communities and public education and the introduction of Túristvándi based on factors of regional development - the settlements, the terms of settlement patterns and the processes of regional development. Thus we can get a comprehensive picture of the issue, and we can adapt the developmental suggestions more easily on certain municipalities. The investigation is supplemented by 6 half-structured interview, which we made with local people. From all of these results we made a SWOT-analysis, which presents the strenghts and weaknessses and the possibilities and risks of the settlement.
The concept of community has a wide range of interpretations worldwide, it has a large literature, since different fields of science examine communities and their characteristics from different perspectives, thus they define communities with different notions.
In our study, we would like to highlight the concept of community by Elemér Hankiss, using his notion, we will define communities later on, since the formation of a community requires a common interest and goal, which presupposes a common areas of interest, and by this, a common set of values is formed within the community. Norms, customs and traditions are formed, which are important factors forming identity. This is how the "we" consciousness is formed (Hankiss 1987).
However, I believe that in addition to the above definition, joint participation in some processes or activities, the utilization of jointly acquired knowledge, spending spare time together, and joint community education are also key factors for communities.
Community education is one of the engines and garantees of social progress; to encourage citizens; it is one of the most important ways and means of developing their ability to act, judge, and cooperate properly. The emphasis is on joint participation in cultural processes. Forms of activity of amateur art movements as well as the regular processes of voluntary adult training, or the common occasions of value-preserving/value-creating leisure time can be considered to be an integral part of it (Beke 2007).
All in all, we can state that the cultural education activity is an out of school, autodynamic, self-educating, cognitive, culture-acquiring, cultural educational and creative activity of the citizens, which is typically realized in cooperation and in communities. (Appendix No. 1 to Act CXL of 1997). Cultural education provides the population with a great opportunity to spend time spent in the community, to solve possible social problems, for social development and for joint education and learning. In addition, cultural education contributes to the formation, maintenance and preservation of local traditions and norms, and thus to the formation and/or the strengthening of the sense of identity among the population, on the basis of which they develop an image of who they are and where they belong to. This sense of belonging is particularly important in people's lives, and the need to be listened to can be highly satisfied in a community. We have already heard or read about the opportunities and strengths inherent in the community on various forums, and this fact is slowly becoming part of the public's consciousness.
We believe it is important to emphasize that everyone has the right to community culture. Supporting cultural activities is a public goal, and providing the conditions of cultural education is basically the responsibility of the state and local governments, so one of the mandatory tasks of local governments is to support local cultural activities. (Act CXL of 1997)
The Act CXL. 1997 defines seven basic cultural education services, which are as follows:
- promoting the establishment of cultural communities, supporting their operation, assisting their development, providing a venue for public cultural activities and cultural communities
- development of community and social participation,
- providing the conditions for lifelong learning,
- providing the conditions for the transmission of traditional community cultural values,
- providing conditions for amateur creative and performing arts activities,
- providing the conditions for talent management and development, as well as
- culturally based economic development.
The mandatory task of all local governments is to provide the basic cultural education services defined in point a). In addition, the number of the population and the type of public cultural institution determine how many of the basic services described in the law need to be organized.
Theoretical aspect regarding the settlement and settlement structure
In the next chapter, we would like to briefly explain the definition of the settlement, the settlement categories and the system of settlement hierarchies in, the latter of which serves as the basis for the next chapter.
As a definition of the settlement, we would like to use the definition described by Tibor Mendöl, according to which the settlement is "the spatial combination of the residence and workplace of a group of people" (Mendöl 1963:11).
On January 1, 2019, there were 3,155 settlements in Hungary (Central Statistical Office 2019), which "cover the entire country seamlessly with their administrative territory and form a network both in terms of territoryy and function (Gerse - Szilágyi 2015:11).
Act CLXXXIX of 2011 on the local governments of Hungary defines the following settlement categories in Hungary at present: village, large village, town, city of county rank, capital.
The characteristics of the settlement structure vary in different parts of the country. The reason for this is, on the one hand, the difference in natural and geographical features, and on the other hand, the difference can be traced back to historical events (for instance, Turkish rule, Trianon territorial annexations) (Gerse – Szilágyi 2015:11). In addition to settlement categories, settlement hierarchies can also be distinguished when examining settlementsThe hierarchy of settlements in Hungary can be outlined as follows:
- capital city
- higher center
- middle center
- lower level center
- small village (Gerse – Szilágyi 2015:19)
Together, villages and small villages belong to the category of municipalities (large village, village), while lower, middle, and higher centers and the capital belong to the category of cities (capital, county town, city). (Szilágyi – Gerse 2015:184)
Figure 1: Number of settlements of the levels of the settlement hierarchy
(Source: Szilágyi – Gerse 2015)
As the figure clearly shows, the number of villages in Hungary is in large majority compared to the other levels of the settlement hierarchy, which means a total of 1,684 villages. A large number of settlements belong to the small villages, a total of 1124.
Currently, one third of the settlements of the country are small villages with less than 500 inhabinatnts, however, only 3% of the country's population live in them. The concentration of the population is significant, seven-tenths of the population live in cities (two-tenths in the capital) (Central Statistical Office 2019).
Definition and characteristics of small settlements and villages the following chapter, after defining the settlement categories, we would like to focus on the village as a settlement, as well as its characteristics and properties.
"The scientific concept of the village includes the residential sites with their buildings, the public spaces with the public buildings, roads, gardens, pastures, arable fields, hay fields, forests, vineyards. This is accompanied by the people who live in the village houses and who use the boundaries of the village, whose group, organized into a society, makes the village alive and represents it to the outside world day by day. The village is therefore a settlement and social unit, in the life of which local traditions play a decisive role", furthermore "the village is a small settlement with limited independence, mostly of agricultural nature." (Balassa 1997:37-38)
In the following, we would like to present the characteristics of the villages based on some aspects and data, taking into account the previously presented settlement hierarchy levels.
On settlement hierarchy, the level of education is lower and lower from top to bottom (Szilágyi – Gerse 2005:188). The reason might be that inhabitants of small settlements have limited access eductional institutions in cities, and in the case of disadvantaged small settlements, residents often encounter learning difficulties (this can be due to a financial, community or social reasons).
In terms of income, the villages are also disadvantaged, as in 2013 the value of the personal income tax per taxpayer in the villages was 1.6 million, while in the capital it was 2.6 million. Also, the employment rate decreases from top to bottom at the level of the settlement hierarchy, while the unemployment rate increases (see Figure 2). The middle center is an exception. (Szilágyi – Gerse 2005:189-190)
Figure 2: Employment rate and unemployment rate, 2011
(Source: Szilágyi – Gerse 2015)
As for the characteristics, another important aspect is the number and proportion of businesses in the settlements. "The number of businesses per 1,000 inhabitants decreases from top to bottom in the settlement hierarchy" (Szilágyi - Gerse 2015:191).
Figure 3: Number of operating businesses per thousand inhabitants, 2012
(Source: Szilágyi – Gerse 2015)
This may also explain why the employment rate decreases from top to bottom and the unemployment rate increases. Enterprises appear mostly at the upper levels of the settlement hierarchy, so their workforce absorption effect is greater. As a result, fewer jobs are created at the lower levels, so the unemployment rate increases, or people willing and able to work can bridge the problem by commuting to the upper levels, where the number of businesses - and thus jobs - is higher.
"The apartments have different characteristics in each type of settlement." "In terms of the comfort level of the apartments, the situation in the villages is significantly less favorable than in the cities." (Szilágyi – Gerse 2005:188)
Figure 4: Proportion of apartments without comfortable, emergency accommodation and other apartments, 2011
(Source: Szilágyi – Gerse 2015)
As the figure shows, the proportion of most apartments without comfortable, emergency accommodation and other apartments in villages and small villages was the highest in 2011. Houses in the villages of the country are usually one-storey and, before the 20th century, were made of natural materials characteristic of the area, such as adobe. (Balassa 1997)
"Moving from the capital to the villages, the role of the family life is increasing" (Szilágyi - Gerse 2005:187). The proportion of unmarried people is the lowest in the villages, while the proportion of married people is the highest. The proportion of divorcees is also low in villages and small villages compared to cities, but the proportion of widows is relatively high. We believe that the people living in the villages follow old norms and values, respect and keep traditions alive, where the role of the family is of crucial importance. Family values are important, so the number of divorces is also lower. We assume that this can also be influenced by the fast-paced world of the cities. In the villages, perhaps more time is devoted to the family, there are fewer opportunities for the activities provided by the fast-paced world.
"In the literature on settlement geography (...) initially, the topographic-morphological typification of (rural) settlements was dominant" (Beluszky 2003:463). Over the years, more and more people have been studying the ground plan types of villages in Hungary with geographical settlement morphology. According to János Bárth, the main floor plan types of settlements in Hungary are the following:
- cluster villages
- circular villages
- garland villages
- strip-plot villages
- checkerboard-based, telecast villages" (Beluszky 2003:463)
"In the area of the Carpathian Basin, morphological village types cannot be linked to nationality. The village varieties occur in a mixed manner, and they cross and language boundaries", and the legal situation is also not characteristic from his point of view. "The financial situation of the population did not significantly influence the shape of the village eitherVillage types are basically determined by geographical conditions and farming methods. History played a big role in shaping the image of the villages, primarily the history of the settlement itself." (Balassa 1997:39)
The investigated settlement, Túristvándi, is one of the settlements with many streets with strip-plot street village layout, which can be defined as follows according to the Hungarian Ethnographic Encyclopedia: the strip-plot village "is a settlement with narrow, long, strip-shaped inner plots lying next to each other, which are in contact with their longitudinal sides and thus form a single or multiple row. In most of the strip-plot villages, the residential building built on the plot boundary and facing the street is located on the street side of the site. It is continued with the farm yard with stables, sheds, storage rooms and, in some places, a barn that crosses the plot. The back part of the plot is usually a vegetable garden or an orchard. It happens that several residential buildings are built one after the other on the same plot. There is also an example of the arrangement of strip plots with a poultry yard. The strip-plot village can be a single-street or multi-street types. The one-street form is more ancient. In German-inhabited areas, it dates back to the 10th century. In Hungary, it is mentioned for the first time in certificates in the 13th-14th century. A characteristic feature of the village is that it consists of two rows of plots sloping in the opposite directions. There are no plots sloping to each other. The multi-street strip village is newer. In most places, it developed from a single street as a result of the increase in the population. The expansion took place at the expense of the outer area. The former vineyard roads have become streets. Thus, the new streets are often winding and slanted compared to the old ones. Villages with multi-street strip plots are particularly common in Hungary, as densely populated villages with several thousand inhabitants are very common here. –In the 18th-19th century, several clustered villages in Hungary were transformed into multi-street strip-plot villages with engineering intervention. The forms of appearance of the strip-plot village are: the village with winding streets, the village of cross-roads and the village of a row. (Ortutay 1981:533-534)
Figure 5: Drawing of strip-plot street village from 1857 (Szany, Győr-Sopron county)
(Source: Ortutay 1981)
Figure 6: Satellite map of Túristvándi
Settlement development: Túristvándi along settlement development factors
Settlement development is "the umbrella term for social-economic planning and implementation activities of the settlement, which serve to improve the quality of life, supply and environmental conditions of the population, the growth and continuous renewal of the economy, technical and physical resources, and the protection of its natural and built environment." (Hartl 2009:37) However, for settlement development, it is essential to get to know the settlement as extensively as possible. Examining the factors influencing the development of the settlement helps to get to know the settlements thoroughly.
"The literature usually gives six factors that influence the formation and development of settlements. These are: natural, social, economic, architectural, structural and management factors." (Hartl 2009:17) In the following, we would like to present the investigated settlement, Túristvándi, along these factors.
In terms of its natural factors, Túristvándi is a versatile and rich settlement. The Túr river determines the life of the settlement, which flows through the village for kilometers and embracess the settlement with a total of 99 bends. 90% of the outer area of the settlement belongs to the Szatmár-Beregi Landscape Conservation Area (Túristvándi Local Government 2007). A large part of this area is covered by the Act 45/2006 (XII. 8.) on parcels of land of nature conservation areas of EU importance. They are classified as a Natura 2000 area based on the KvVM decree (KvVM decree 142/2007).
As far as social factors are concerned, we can state that the population of the settlement was 775 on January 1, 2019 (Central Statistical Office 2019). The proportion of elderly people in the settlement is relatively high, which is a characteristic of aging societies. Large proportion of the population belong to the active age group.
„"25% of the inhabitants of the village belong to the Roma ethnic minority" (Túristvándi village Local government 2007). Based on the 2011 data of the Central Statistical Office, the majority of the population of the settlement was Reformed by religion (60.6%), and a smaller proportion was Catholic (18.6%) (Central Statistical Office 2011).
The economic situation in Túristvándi is significantly influenced by its features, size and geographical location. Unfortunately, due to the peripheral location of the settlement, unemployment in the village is high and constant, the largest employer being the local government itself. The population of the settlement primarily make a living from agriculture, as the features, structure and arrangement of the settlement are all the most suitable for this. The nearest town, Fehérgyarmat, provides permanent work for only a few people. is high in the settlement. "A total of 10-12 tourist accommodation services operate in the settlement, with a total of 220 beds", of the families living in the settlement, approximately 10 live from touristic activities. The number of businesses in Túristvándi is small, and large investments are almost never realized in the settlement. (Túristvándi village Local government 2007).
Examining technical factors, it can be concluded that the conditions of infrastructure of the settlement are relatively adequate, but there are also negative aspects. The electricity, water and gas supply is satisfactory in the settlement. "The proportion of apartments connected to the drinking water network can be considered acceptable", however, the sewage network has not yet been built in the settlement. The settlement does not have its own general practitioner, a doctor from the neighboring Szatmárcsek treats patients. However, the Care Center provides daytime care for the elderly and home medical assistance. Part of the complex care is the family support and child welfare service, whta is more, as a micro-district center, Túristvándi provides this service to 9 other settlements as part of the multi-purpose micro-regional association. In terms of leisure and cultural activities, the sports field provides the opportunity for outdoor sports, a campsite awaits holidaymakers, and larger cultural events can also be organized on the outdoor stage (Túristvándi Local Government 2007).
Túristvándi is not only rich in natural values, but also in built values Its most important built value is the watermill, which is unique from the point of view of industrial history. "It is the only watermill of this structure and size in Europe that is still operating, whose construction began in the 18th century." (Bethlen Gábor Folk High School 2013) Since it was declared a monument, it has been operating as a museum presenting the history of the mill, which attracts more and more visitors and tourists to the settlement every year, thanks to which the water mill is already included in the county repository of values in the category of built environment (PK interview 2019).
Another important built value of the settlement is the Reformed church, which was constructed in the second half of the 1470-80s in Gothic style (Medieval Churches Route 2020).
The settlement structure of Túristvándi, as discussed above, is a multi-street strip-plot road village in terms of its ground plan.
Tibor Lakatos, the current mayor has been in office since 2013. The settlement has a minority local government (Bethlen Gábor Folk High School 2020). Even though the drawing of Trianon's borders adversely affected the settlement in terms of relational capital, today Túristvándi also has three twin settlements: Iske in Slovakia, Túrterebes in Romania and Somogytúr in Somogy County. (Túristvándi Local Government 2007)
In terms of civil organizations, the settlement is not very strong, only one civil organization operates in Túristvándi, the Túristvándi Village Sports Association, which, in addition to promoting appropriate sports activities and providing opportunities for sports, also aims to boost community life, and also tries to participate effectively in the field of education to coordinate sports, education and communities.
Education and training in Túristvándi
A school has been operating in Túristvándi for about 250 years, in which students can currently study in 8 gradesThe Mátyás Molnár Primary School in Túristvándi is "the only institution in the region that provides a Gypsy minority program in which the teaching of the Gypsy language is included in the curriculum" (Túristvándi Local Government 2007). In addition, a special feature of the institution is the teaching of chess in the upper grades, which is one of the old traditions of the school (Túristvándi Molnár Mátyás Primary School 2017). In the field of education and training, we should mention the Bethlen Gábor Folk High School, which was established in Túristvándi in 2007, but has not yet been officially registered, though the program was launched in 2005. The Bethlen Gábor Folk High School "operates as an independent adult education institution that promotes quality citizenship, organizes various forms of out-of-school education, provides up-to-date knowledge, conducts professional training, and takes over certain tasks from the local government." Legally, the Folk High School in Túristvándi is an adult education institution founded by the Ung-Tisza-Túr European Regional Cooperation. The goal of the Folk High School is to support "a decent living and better financial conditions". It tries to create this through community education and professional training of adults so that the paradigm of lifelong learning could prevail. However, for this reason, the Gábor Bethlen Folk High School also set the goal of changing and continuously developing learning abilities and the culture of learning. (Bethlen Gábor Folk High School 2007)
Culture and cultural education in Túristvándi
On December 10, 1999, the so-called Telehouse was opened (Túristvándi Municipality Municipality 2007). Lakatosné Sira Magdolna (Magdolna Karaova), mayor at the time, created the telehouse, the basic function of which is to make the information necessary for farming available to local residents on the Internet, as well as to support the electronic administration. Within a few years, the Telehouse became a center for development and training. (Horváth 2013) The Telehouse later lost its basic function with the global spread of the Internet. In 2013, the Telehouse building became the village mayor's office, and the building of the former mayor's office housed the IKSZT. In 2013, the State Secretary responsible for rural development, Zsolt V. Németh, handed over the remodeled, renovated and furnished building of the IKSZT, to the settlement in a ceremony. (Bethlen Gábor Folk High School 2013)
The IKSZT, i.e. the Integrated Community and Service Square, is not only a building, but also a service, as well as a community space, as a result of which "community, cultural, cultural education, social, health, business, information and communication facilities administrative and other services that improve the quality of life in rural settlements have become accessible. " (Kary 2018)
The IKSZT operating in the settlement does not have independent management, the local government of the settlement takes care of its maintenance and operation. The service is available to the population of the settlement all year round, and is open to the public 40 hours a week.
A local government of the youth operated in the settlement since 1998, which functioned actively and properly until a few years ago. Unfortunately, there is no youth government in Túristvándi today. However, the importance of culture and cultural education in the settlement is reflected by the fact that, during an interview with the former mayor, it came to light that there was a conflict in the local government regarding the implementation of infrastructural developments (e.g. the construction of sidewalks) in Túristvándi, or the employment of a cultural education specialist. Magdolna Karaova's answer was "what is a sidewalk for if there is no one to walk on it?". Already at that time, the management of the settlement recognized the problem and the need for cultural education, and thought that this could be the solution against emigration from the settlement, and to keep the residents in place and to strengthen the identity.
As for to the basic cultural education services, Túristvándi does not only provides the mandatory, first, basic level cultural education service for the population, but also provides two more, the provision of conditions for lifelong learning and the provision of conditions for amateur creative and performing arts activities in the settlement. There is an acting group and a folk performing arts group in Túristvándi, however, there is no organized, formal club, circle or professional circle.
Analysis of interviews
In the next subsection, we would like to present the interviews that we conducted and their results. We interviewed 6 residents of Túristvándi, in the form of semi-structured interviews individually. Sampling was not random, but purposeful. When selecting the interviewees, we tried to look for people who have potential for activity and action, who can initiate activities in the settlement. However, at the special request of the interviewees and in order to protect their personal rights, we are unable to disclose their exact identities.
By structure the interview can be divided into three parts: the first part contained general questions about the interviewees, the second part covered the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the settlement, and the third part focused on settlement services and activities.
The age of the interviewees can be put on a relatively wide spectrum: we interviewed people between the ages of 22 and 56, who also have different occupations, most of them are on leader positions. Half of the interviewees have a close relationship with cultural edication while the other half have no direct relationship.
Three of the respondents have lived in the settlement since birth, two for more than 10 years, and one person moved to the settlement more than 10 years ago. With one exception, all interviewees like to live in Túristvándi, the reasons were similar: it is a small community, everyone knows everyone, family ties them here, there is peace and quiet in the settlement.
In the following, we would like to outline a SWOT analysis based on the information from the preliminary document analysis, supplementing it with the results of the interviews.
Table 1: SWOT analysis of the settlement
In the rest of the interview, we were curious about what the interviewees would change in the settlement if they could, and what tasks they would undertake in order to achieve the changes. The answers can be divided into three groups: community life, tourism and job opportunities. All the answers can be categorized into one of the groups, since the answers were as follows: improvement of community life, more personal relationships; improving work opportunities and entertainment opportunities; better utilization of buildings and spaces (IKSZT, Watermill area); handicraft processing industry, touristic programs. All those interviewed would contribute to these changes sharing their own knowledge and experience, and would undertake tasks in the organization and management of events and programs. One person also mentioned the beautifying of the village.
Based on the results of the interviews, it is clear that the respondents are not satisfied with the local events, they are not members of the community and they are not even familiar with the communities operaing locally. The interviewees do not know the only NGO in Túristvándi, nor its activities, even though they have lived there since they were born. This suggests poor communication and inadequate flow of information in the settlement. According to the opinion of the 6 residents of Túristvándi, the local young people are inactive and emigration is common among them.
However, based on the results, it is also clear that there is a need for communities and local programs, and several ideas were formulated by the interviewees during the conversations, which we believe started a kind of thinking that could perhaps trigger different actions in the settlement in the future.
The interviews reflected that the interviewees feel a great demand for communities, community activities, more programs and organized events, and they are willing to act in order to realize all of these, and would take on tasks and roles in these processes. In many cases, by forging communities and strengthening cohesion and solidarity, problems mostly affecting young people can be eliminated. It would be necessary to strengthen the flow of information. Although the interviewees have lived in the settlement since their birth, they have no information about, for example, the only active civil society organization, the Folk High School, nor are they fully aware of the local features. They all feel that youngsters could and should be involved, which could be achieved with programs and jobs.
Overall, the primary goal of the settlement can be cultural education, thereby reforming communities, events and programsts, which can have a positive effect on the inhabitants of the settlement. By forming and strengthening their local identity it binds them to the settlement by preserving and invigorating traditions and customs, defining norms and values, thus strengthening the population retention power of the settlement and reducing emigration from the settlement.
We believe that with appropriate developments, community will and activities, support and active social participation, Túristvándi can become the cultural and economic center of the region.
In our opinion, other small settlements in a similar situation can benefit from the tools of cultural education: interviewing the residents, assessing their needs, initiating and supporting actions, and preparing a SWOT analysis of the settlement, which can help the development process, as we can see the overall picture of the settlement, its strengths and, based on this, its opportunities, as well as its weaknesses and the dangers arising from them.
All of this, as well as the preparation of the study, is important because in Hungary the proportion of small settlements with less than 1,000 people, similar to Túristvándi, is extremely high: 1,612 out of 3,155 settlements (Oláh 2017:59). Therefore, it is necessary to put more emphasis on small settlements and their development, and it is also necessary to show direction for small settlements from the point of view of how they can achieve changes at the local level in their own local area.
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