Ο τοπικός πολιτισμός της περιοχής των Τζουμέρκων
Υπόμνημα:
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The past within the present

The inclusion of the hinterland, and its local communities, into a global society led to a break down in the social institutions that once defined the mountainous world of Tzoumerka. The region’s gradual abandonment consequently gave way to a marginalised local cultural system. Following the dramatic decade of 1940-1950, internal and external trends of migration were almost a universal fact in most of Tzoumerka’s settlements.

Nonetheless preserving the ties with one’s birthplace is a common characteristic among migrants. Such ties are expressed through rich networks of economic exchanges, as well as existing social and political relationships between the people of the mountainous countryside and those of urban centers. The sense of co-belonging in a collectivity establishes and builds cohesive relationships though real and symbolic acts. There is also this need for migrants that originate from the same place to integrate into their new location. Consequently in the city’s outskirts new “imaginary” communities werevestablished, which are largely based on a construed past and the need to protect one’s traditions. So this is how local and global, cultural associations, Unions, Brotherhoods and other organisations are established. These cultural structures reproduce cohesive relationships among their members. Through events, practices and various other ways members transmit to the next generations all aspects of their place of origin. Members of these new communities are especially active during the summer months. They organise cultural events, conferences, reunions, they even put together local museum collections and act to protect the environment. Thanks to some active members, a place’s past as well as its traditions, whether real or partial, invented or revived, becomes a sustainable purpose for collective action. The past is involved in the process of establishing a local and global cultural identity that nurtures a shared sense of belonging on the one hand and a reason to renegotiate the definition of local identity on the other.

At the same time the emergence of a local identity, its unique qualities as well as exposure to an “active” cultural place and landscape are all features that develop the region’s various forms of alternative tourism. The local, the “authentic” and the traditional offer the people of a place, its local authorities and other relevant bodies all possible means and resources that may be exploited for tourism as well as local and sustainable development. Tourism in this region is a complementary trade. Nonetheless, multiple activities and forms of entertainment are on offer for families and the wider surrounding communities. Tourism has evolved within the region’s cultural and the wider community effortlessly welcomes tourism in its social environment. Given the region’s cultural richness, its active cultural landscape, the way its people perceive and manage the relationship between culture and economy, and tourism especially, we plotted two cultural routes for tourists. The benefits of cultural tourism are significant (e.g. protection of cultural heritage, employment, economic growth, retaining the local population, increased standards of living and education levels of citizens, a product for the international community, etc.). Finally it should be mentioned that the following organisations were actively involved in determining the cultural routes : The University and the multidisciplinary researchers that set out the routes based on evidence, the local and regional authorities, the tourism operators and the region’s Small and Medium Enterprises.