11.30 Promoting Local Heritage of the Province of Małopolska in Poland
As Laurajane Smith and David C. Harvey have shown, heritage, as a cultural and social phenomenon, is something more than just historical monuments. Heritage, consisting of various elements (including local culture and products, such as food, drinks, recipes passed from generation to generation, as well as of other crafts), can be increased in a continuous process thanks to bigger or smaller communities of people that, among the others, not only feel strong attachment to the place in which they live, but also are proud of it and its culture, which can be demonstrated at various fairs and festivals. Such events are also an occasion to promote local and regional products in order to preserve gastronomic heritage. On the other hand they “guarantee fair remuneration for producers and the widest possible availability of the products in question”, as stated in the Report on the European gastronomic heritage: cultural and educational aspects prepared by the Committee on Culture and Education and laid before the Commission in the European Parliament. Therefore the Committee welcomes such initiatives as fairs and festivals, which are also a platform for the exchange and sharing of cultures and promotion of the regions. As noted in the Report, gastronomy is becoming “a leading element” in attracting and promoting tourism; it is “a source of both cultural and economic wealth for the regions,” hence the question may be raised here, as to whether both of these types of wealth are considered by local authorities and governments while organizing fairs and festivals. And what about “protection of the architectural heritage of traditional food markets” that the committee calls for? Although the second question could be answered in another conference paper, this paper will concentrate on the first one, which is about the stakes in foodways heritage promotion in these regions.
In order to do this I intend to scrutinize the organization of “Małopolska Festival of Taste” (the 11th of which was held in 2015) in Kraków, which, as boasted by one of the former marshals of this province, is the biggest regional event in Poland that promotes local and traditional products, and at the same time also touristic, cultural and culinary values of the region. The paper will be based on materials received from the institutions that participate in the organization of “Małopolska Festival of Taste,” including interviews with their representatives, as well as the opinions of producers of products exhibited and sold during this festival.