The Balkan Concept of the Phenomenon of Odessa Culture


  • Halyna Stoyanova Associate professor, the Department of Archaeology and Ethnology of Ukraine, Odessa National I. I. Mechnikov University


Balkan peoples, component, concept, Odessa, Odessa culture, phenomenon


This article explores manifestations of the Balkan concept as a component of the phenomenon of ‘Odessa culture’. The research aims to reveal the concept’s specific components, how they were formed in Odessa’s sociocultural environment and how they are manifested today. These tasks are solved by means of retrospective analysis, one of the key methods of Historical Urban Studies. This form of analysis enables investigation of the issues of city development and functioning in a comprehensive fashion and implies an interdisciplinary approach. The process of populating Odessa and its ethnic composition shaped the ‘Odessa culture’ phenomenon. Its unique nature involves a harmonious blend of various social, ethnic and religious layers. Since Odessa was established as a city, the Balkan peoples have become an integral part of this process. The Balkan component is now cemented in the city’s culture and is strongly reflected in its toponymy and social and cultural practices. The public activities of individuals and cultural communities contribute to the positive image of Balkan ethnicities. For example, the Balkan culinary tradition is an integral component of Odessans’ everyday culture. All the investigated aspects (demographic, toponymic, personal, sociocultural, culinary) enable the process whereby the Balkan concept synthesizes with the ‘Odessa culture’ phenomenon to be revealed. Odessa culture today is unimaginable without its Balkan component.