- Slovenes in Somogy
Slovenians of Somogy were a Slovenian community living in the
Somogy county, Hungary.
In the 17th and 18th century numerous Slovene families from Vas County settled down in Somogy County. According to recent research, there were sixteen Slovene settlements in three country districts (
Csurgó, Nagyatád, Marcali). The Slovenes came to Somogy County from what is now known as Prekmurjein two waves: the first was caused by Ottoman attacks around 1600 and the second took place in the 18th century, when they escaped persecution of their Protestantfaith. In most cases, the Slovenes who immigrated to Somogygradually assimilated to the local Hungarian surroundings. Today, only few indications that evoke the historic presence of Slovenes in Somogy County, still exist. Among them, the most evident is the local cuisine.
The other most relevant reminiscence of Slovene presence is the wedding custom in
Tarany, where the figure of the "guest caller" at weddings, still present in the local traditions of the Slovenes from the Rábaand those from the Prekmurje region in Slovenia, has been maintained. Both in Taranyand in the RábaRegion the guest caller is dressed in a robe decorated with knitting. In addition, he carries a stick with a hedgehog fur wrapped round its bottom. The customs at the deathbed, the vigile and funerals are also similar. Furthermore, the descendants of the Slovenes in Somogydo not observe the typical Hungarian Easter Monday custom, in which men and boys douse women and girls with Eau de Cologne, otherwise typical in the region.
Whereas the Slovenes from the Rába Region still maintain their language and culture, the consciousness of the inhabitants of Tarany about their ancestors is in constant decrease. In the population census in 2001, only 44 people declared themselves as Slovenes in the whole Somogy County.
* Mária Mukics: "Changing World - The Hungarian Slovenes" ("Változó Világ" - "A magyarországi szlovének") Press Publica
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