Cultural Encounters/Leisure time
INTRODUCTION: RECREATIONAL SPORTS AND LEISURE TIME[edit | edit source]
He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest.
Leisure time is universal, something that every human being needs and seeks. Hobbies, activities and interests all keep us from the boredom that well known Welsh poet Dylan Thomas outlined above. We will discuss the leisure time differences and similarities between five European nations.Even though we can generalise and stereotype on a national basis, leisure time is quite different in terms of culture.
Our goal is to see how the leisure time habits vary between different European countries, primarily focusing on Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Portugal and Slovenia. In order to confirm what some might think as obvious.
For the survey, the majority of the people questioned were university students aged 18-25, with quite a homogeneous social and economic background. Despite this, it formed a good basis for our research, thus providing us with some in depth answers. Combining the survey results with national statistics and academic theories, we have reached some conclusions which are outlined in each of the topics below.
THE UBIQUITY OF SPORTS AND OTHER LEISURE ACTIVITIES IN THE TARGET COUNTRIES[edit | edit source]
To broaden our knowledge of sports tendencies in the five countries, we must first learn what the attitude of the people is towards it and the level of its popularity in the target country. Using Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Portugal and Slovenia as the countries to be compared and contrasted, we found some interesting correlations between nations.
All the countries are interested in modern sports, whereas in Ireland and the UK traditional sports are more popular, which contributes to the preservation of their national identities and values. This relates back to the theory of essentialism, in which culture is perceived as a small, individual and unique unit in a nation. Culture is viewed as an entity and has features necessary for the construction of identity. This can be seen in the cases of Slovenia and Croatia, whose successful sports people are helping to contribute to a national pride and identity.
Each of the countries also had their own individual results which were interesting. Although Croatia is a relatively small country, it has respectable results in various championships, and sports are a very popular leisure time. Although football is by far the most popular sport, other sports are also gaining in popularity. Sports in which Croatian teams achieve good results, like handball, water polo and tennis are contributing to their rise. This is largely seen in the success in these sports at international competitions and in the Olympics.
Similarly to Croatia, the success of the Slovenian national teams is helping to create an identity on an international level. The majority of them considered basketball and skiing to be the most popular sports in Slovenia, with the most popular being football. Half of the participants claimed that hockey has become one of the four most practiced sports in Slovenia, especially thanks to Anže Kopitar whose remarkable achievements have put Slovenia on the map.
Germany is quite a versatile country concerning sports, with handball, tennis, cycling and basketball ranking highest according to popularity. Nearly 28 million Germans are active members in at least one sport club, including most those with the above-mentioned activities. In general, leisure activities prove to be beneficial for the German economy.
In Portugal, indoor sports are preferred. The most popular sports in Portugal are indoor soccer and indoor hockey in roller blades. Following are sports like tennis, handball and volleyball. Beach volleyball and surfing are particularly popular since Portugal has a big coastal area. Among the practiced sports are swimming, cycling, athletics, golf and gymnastics.
In Ireland, the traditional sports, hurling and Gaelic football, are still very popular. But also rugby and soccer . Some differences included sports such as horse riding, golf and boxing.
INVESTIGATING THE MOST PRACTICED AND PREFERRED SPORTSIn[edit | edit source]
In all the countries people practice recreational sports equally, but there are some differences when it comes to the selection of sports. Normally, according to the popularity of sports we can see which sports are practiced the most. In Croatia, Germany and Slovenia many people practice handball, tennis and basketball. Slovenians, Germans and Portuguese enjoy individual activities as well, such as jogging, swimming, fitness and walking. In Germany, dancing might also be considered a very popular sports activity people tend to engage in. The Irish and British practice traditional sports that were already mentioned, namely Gaelic football in Ireland, rugby in Wales and shinty in Scotland.
Croatians are passionate about their national teams, and they are active sport fans. They participate in sport activities in their leisure time, both individually and in groups. According to our survey football and basketball are the most popular sports that Croatians enjoy in their free time. Popularity of tennis and kickboxing is also increasing rapidly, mostly because young Croatian athletes have become successful in World and European kickboxing.
From the Slovenian perspective, eleven respondents of different ages consider jogging and hiking the most practiced and preferred sports thanks to numerous natural amenities. Many of them also mentioned the Path of Remembrance and Comradeship, a popular recreational walkway in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Five of those surveyed practice swimming, football and tennis equally, depending on the time of the year. Summer provides Slovenians with the opportunity to go swimming and play volleyball either on the seaside or indoors. According to an established survey carried out in Slovenia ("How is the time?"), the balance between the genders is relatively small. Women dedicate 10% of their free time to sports and exercise, and men devote 11% of their free time to various sports activities, showing equality between the sexes.
In Portugal, swimming, playing football and volleyball are among the most preferred and practiced sports. There are also a lot of people that like to do things like dancing, surfing, playing badminton and tennis, jogging, cycling and also some combat sports like kickboxing, and of course playing football, especially among teenagers and/or work colleagues.
From the Irish perspective, the survey results showed that the most practiced and preferred sports were again the Gaelic games, in particular Gaelic football. Rugby came in a close second, perhaps due to the recent successes of the Irish Rugby team on the international rugby scene, in particular the Six Nations Cup ("Ireland Statistics").
DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN ACTIVE OR SEDENTARY LIFESTYLES[edit | edit source]
Having examined our unique survey, we have noticed the nations differ considerably by ranging from extremely active to somewhat sedentary lifestyles.
In Slovenia, out of thirty people surveyed, eleven of them have shown they lead a mixed lifestyle, neither too active nor too sedentary. Nine of them opted for the quite active lifestyle, here including sports, whereas five of them prefer to be quite sedentary. The sedentary lifestyle varies from reading, writing poetry, watching television, surfing on the Internet, composing and listening to music, playing video games and drawing. Only two of them have expressed their deep interest in their active lives, thus believing themselves to be deeply active and leading a healthy lifestyle. However, three respondents have shown no interest in spending their pastime in an active manner, and prefer to spend it in a more passive way by simply staying indoors.
Although Croatians are very fond of sports and physical activities, their leisure time is mostly a mixture of active and sedentary time. Leisure time in Croatia is usually dedicated to spending time with their family, which leaves little time for physical activities.
As far as Germans are concerned, they seem to engage more in active rather than sedentary activities. On average, Germans practice sports at least once a week, e.g. jogging and cycling. There is, however, the concern that the “modern-day work hours mean families have increasingly less free time to spend together, so the little free time that exists will be spent at home” (Wozny, 2009). This can, again, be confirmed by the fact that 50% of all German informants consider themselves as being neither very active, nor very sedentary as regards their leisure time activities, i.e. they pursue a mixture of active activities (e.g. jogging) and sedentary ones (e.g. watching TV).
In terms of Irish activity levels, it seems that the Irish people lead a mixed to inactive lifestyle. Out of fourteen people surveyed, six said they were quite sedentary, six said they were a mix, and only two said they were quite active. The active hobbies included walking and jogging, while many of the sedentary answers included reading, playing video games and watching TV. Most notably, the survey showed a decline in the interest of the Gaelic games, which had previously been shown to be popular within the country.
In Portugal, those surveyed said they were neither too active nor too sedentary. The next popular result was quite sedentary, since the Portuguese stereotype is being quite lazy. Even though it is just a stereotype, the survey showed that they tend to prefer more quiet activities, such as reading, playing and listening to music, watching TV and using the computer. Among the activities performed by people who are the most active are jogging, swimming, going to the gym, playing football and cycling.
STEREOTYPICAL AND TRADITIONAL ACTIVITIES[edit | edit source]
Through the research we made, it was possible to see correlations between traditional activities from each country and cultural identities. Using Ireland as a case study, Hofstede’s research shows that by scoring 43 in the Long Term Orientation Category, Ireland is quite a “short term oriented society which drives a great respect for history and tradition”, so it is unsurprising that the survey showed the Irish still engaged in traditional activities such as Irish music and hurling ("What about Ireland?").
According to the respondents of the survey, drinking (alcohol) and hanging out with friends are the most typical activities performed by Irish people, with eleven out of fourteen people mentioning them in their answers. A further ten out of fourteen people said traditional Irish dance and music were also typical of the country. Gaelic games made an appearance, though not as popular as the music and dance. The more interesting answers included one who said farming and another who said going to mass, which would have been part of the traditional Irish lifestyle.
As for Germans, they regard several activities as being stereotypical of their own country. Among these are football, cooking, watching TV, as well as drinking beer. Interestingly, Germans, in general, tend to participate in only a few of them, e.g. cooking as well as watching and playing football. Roughly one third of all informants do not take part in stereotypical activities at all.
Croatians have football as one of its most stereotypical and popular activities. They also tend to take part in various competitions and socialise with their friends, including drinking. Previous research showed that these stereotypes are not necessarily correct, since football, although still very much popular, is slowly giving ground to a more sedentary lifestyle. Among those sedentary activities are drinking and hanging out with friends, watching football on TV and eating fast food.
As far as Slovenians’ stereotypical and traditional activities are concerned, they tend to pursue the hobbies that interest them the most. Our survey has shown that the leisure time differs significantly between men and women. On the one hand, almost half female respondents take up cooking and baking, only for pleasure. The other female respondents indulge in gardening, reading books and drinking coffee, and also in shopping and gossiping. On the other hand, most male participants either go to the gym or go jogging while listening to relaxing music. Half claim that it is very common for them to hang out with friends, especially in the evenings, when the consumption of the alcohol is also present. According to Eurostats' statistics, the amount of time devoted to watching TV is largely the same for both men and women. Reading does not seem to be that popular since women spend only 9% of their time on it and men only 7%. Another popular leisure time activity is socialising, to which women devote 21% of their time while men devote 18% of theirs. Women spend 11% of their free time resting and men spend only 12% ("How is the time?").
As for Portugal, the stereotypical activities tend to depend on location, either urban or rural areas. Portuguese are known to be very traditional, as proved by Hofstede's theory ("What about Portugal?"). The most important activities are cooking typical Portuguese food, going to the beach and surfing. Some common activities are fishing, listening to music, playing sports, eating fish and snails, playing computer and video games, singing and listening to Fado (traditional Portuguese music), among others. From this list, activities that people actually tend to do are cooking, reading, listening to music, going to the countryside, going to the beach and surfing, going to different types cultural activities and socialising.
CULTURAL EVENTS AND INDULGENCE FACTORS[edit | edit source]
We focused on the most prominent cultural events of our native countries (Croatia, Slovenia, Portugal, Ireland, and Germany) in order to outline some universal features when it comes to how we spend our leisure time. As a framework of reference we used the Hofstede country comparison which also includes the indulgence factor. “This dimension is defined as the extent to which people try to control their desires and impulses, based on the way they were raised.”  According to this, cultures can either be portrayed as indulgent or restrained. While there are many similarities from one country to the next, the indulgence scores vary to a certain extent.
CROATIA[edit | edit source]
INMUSIC[edit | edit source]
INmusic festival is Croatia's biggest international open-air festival. It started in 2006 and is held in Zagreb annually. It takes place on Youth Island in the middle of Zagreb's Lake Jarun attracting young people from Croatia as well as the rest of the world. It includes a number of stages with internationally renowned indie rock, heavy metal and electronic artists. Some of those artists are: Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Nick Cave, Lilly Allen, Arcade Fire, Moby, Billy Idol, Iggy and The Stooges. The festival lasts for two to three days and besides the music programme offers its visitors accommodation in the fully equipped festival camp. In past few years INmusic festival has became one of the most significant cultural events in Croatia and has helped to put Zagreb on the map of cities that host the best summer festivals in Europe. National Geographic Traveler listed INmusic among the three world's must-see music festivals and Huffington Post listed INmusic festival among the 10 must- visit world music festivals.
SPANCIRFEST[edit | edit source]
Spancirfest is a street festival that is held annually in Croatia's city of Varazdin. It begins at the end of August and lasts for ten days. During these days the city's inner circle is filled with concert stages and street performers from all over the world. The festival itself consists of several smaller events like The Comedy festival, Children's plays, classical music, Jazz festival, puppet plays. It includes performances from acrobats, jugglers and street musicians. The goal of the festival is that the visitors themselves become its active pariticipants, and from there derives the second name of the festival – The festival of good vibrations. In the last sixteen years Spancirfest has become one of the most important summer events in Croatia and a prime cultural touristic brand of ancient city of Varazdin and its region. It attracts around 200,000 visitors each year.
CEST IS D'BEST[edit | edit source]
Cest is d'Best is an international street festival during which the streets of downtown Zagreb are transformed into a world of street theatre and circus. For five days performers including clowns, street musicians, acrobats, jugglers, fire eaters, mime artists, and magicians from all over the world occupy every inch of the city. The festival was started in 1996 by a Croatian street band called Kings of the Street with an aim of creating a festival that "preserves Zagreb’s identity, enlivens city streets and squares, bringing them back charm and optimism. It erases the borders between the established forms of culture and alternative culture, brings closer all generations of citizens through various cultural preferences because each and one of them can take part in the programme!" Cest is d'Best is the oldest street festival in Croatia and is creating many tourist attractions in Croatia's capital. Around 50,000 people see the programme of this festival every day.
MOTOVUN FILM FESTIVAL[edit | edit source]
Motovun Film Festival is an international film festival held annually in small Istrian town of Motovun. It was started in 1999 and usually takes place for five or six days in late July or early August. The festival is entirely dedicated to independent and low budget films. It includes around 70 films from all around the world, from feature films to documentaries, from short films to long films. All that matters is that the film fits in the open-minded atmosphere of the festival with its innovation. The films are screened outdoors in the evenings and indoors in a theatre during the day. The main reward at the festival is called The Propeller of Motovun (inspired by the well famous wind turbines located near Motovun). Some of the recipients of this award include Billy Elliot, Last Resort, Bloody Sunday, Punch-Drunk Love and Fish Tank. Today the festival is widely recognized as one of the most important film festivals on the territory of former Yugoslavia. In testimony to that is the newest award of the festival FIPRESCI- an award given by the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique which is the oldest and most prestigious association of film critics with members from around 50 countries of the world.
SLOVENIA[edit | edit source]
THE LENT INTERNATIONAL SUMMER FESTIVAL[edit | edit source]
The Lent International Summer Festival launched in 1993, is one of the biggest open-air festivals in Europe and it features theatre, opera, dance, music and folklore performances as well as music busking, sport events, magic and acrobatic shows. Furthermore, it includes some sub festivals, such as the Children's Lent and the Lent International Jazz Festival. There are more than thirty stages scattered along the banks of the Drava river and every summer during those three weeks, Maribor, the second largest city in Slovenia, attracts world-renowned artists and a multitude of visitors from various countries. Slovenians associate Lent Festival with relaxed barbecues and excellent performances.
LIFFe[edit | edit source]
The Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) is an international film festival which was established in 1989 and takes place every year in October/November in the capital, Ljubljana. It screens Slovenian and foreign movies which are then divided into various competitive categories, such as premieres, prospects, retrospectives, highlights, short movies, extravagance, etc. Films are screened at five different venues in Ljubljana and Maribor. The festival is one of the most prominent cultural events in Slovenia and its audience is constantly on the increase. Throughout the year the cinemas are frequently visited which reaches its peak during the festival.
ROCK OTOČEC[edit | edit source]
Rock Otočec is one of the largest Slovenian open-air music festivals that lasts for three days in June/July and features Slovene as well as international bands. It focuses on rock music and some other genres, such as punk, blues and world music. The festival is held close to the river Krka and Novo mesto, a town which is situated in the south-east of Slovenia. Visitors predominantly belong to the younger generations and usually attend annually. Besides the music performances the main attractions are games played in the mud and water that recreate the spirit of the Woodstock festival.
THE SLOVENE BOOK FAIR[edit | edit source]
The Slovene Book Fair occurs every November in Ljubljana and it features presentations of new books, workshops for children, exhibitions, debates, school presentations, book sales, etc. It appeals to a lot of Slovenian publishing houses and visitors that come from all over the country. “The Slovenian book publishing industry is active – to the extent that some people joke that Slovenians write more books that they actually read.” The abundance of literary works written in Slovene is especially evident at the book fair, which also serves as a meeting place.
IRELAND[edit | edit source]
ST. PATRICK'S DAY[edit | edit source]
March 17th annually is a significant date in Irish culture and heritage as natives and those of Irish decent celebrate the day of one of the patron saints of Ireland-St. Patrick. It is a time where anybody who has a positive affiliation with Ireland also celebrates and participates in what is essentially Ireland’s Day. During the two weeks prior to St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish population are actively encouraged to speak Irish to each other. Parades take place around the globe on St. Patrick’s Day during which time towns, villages and cities are a sea of green. There are music performances, street theatre, dancing, fireworks and it is a day for people to be patriotic and proud of their ancestry.
THE ROSE OF TRALEE[edit | edit source]
The Rose of Tralee takes place in Tralee in the south west of Ireland annually. This is a celebration of Irish culture and heritage as ladies of Irish origin both resident in Ireland and abroad qualify from their heats and then descend on the south west of Ireland in August for the Rose of Tralee Festival. The Roses travel around Ireland for a week before the two night televised show. There are male escorts for each rose who assist them and the festival is always a resounding success as families and friends of the Roses come to County Kerry to support them. Half of the roses perform on Friday night and the other half on Saturday night during which time, they are interviewed by a well-known television personality and they are judged on their poise, personality and performance.
FLEADH CHEOIL NA HEIREANN[edit | edit source]
Fleadh Cheoil na Ireann is a festival of Irish music, song and dance. Competitors qualify from county and provincial events and the All-Ireland competition is a fantastic event where the high standard from amateur musicians and artists makes entertaining viewing. This festival dates back to 1951 and since it began it has been a platform for talented individuals and groups to display their talents not only on the stage during the competitions but also on the streets and in the pubs especially at the provincial and national events. The youngest age group is under 12 and the eldest is the senior category which can be any age over 18. The All Ireland and sometimes the provincial competitions are recorded and televised at a later date. The festival of music is a credit to the sky high standard of Irish music, song and dance that exists in Ireland.
THE PUCK FAIR[edit | edit source]
The Puck Fair which occurs yearly in Killorglin Co. Kerry is a 400 year old festival in which “the goat is King and people act the goat”. This traditional fair which occurs in Killorglin, Co. Kerry in the province of Munster, Ireland sees street performances from musicians and talented artists. There are also fireworks and markets and it all culminates in a puck or male goat being crowned the King of the Fair. The festival is one of the highlights of the summer for both locals and visitors.
PORTUGAL[edit | edit source]
NOS ALIVE[edit | edit source]
Nos Alive is a music festival held in Lisbon in July. Popular headline acts from the rock, pop and indie music scene perform making Nos Alive a very successful and mainstream event. It lasts for three days, each is dedicated to a specific style of music. The festival brings together a mass of younger generations since it is considered a must-see event among them.
THE LISBON AND ESTORIL FILM FESTIVAL[edit | edit source]
The Lisbon and Estoril Film Festival is an annual international film festival that takes place in Lisbon and Estoril in the south-west of Portugal in November. It started in 2006 and features international films, animation, and documentaries. The best film is awarded the Silver Seagull Award. Besides movies the festival also organizes masterclasses, debates, reading sessions, exhibitions and shows. Among several other Portuguese film festivals this one is the most popular and well-received taking into account the popularity of alternative movies also.
FEIRA DO LIVRO DE LISBOA[edit | edit source]
Feira do Livro de Lisboa or Lisbon Book Fair is one of the oldest cultural festivals held in Lisbon and it has a nationwide mass appeal. The festival commenced in the 1930s and is held annually in the Eduardo VII Park every spring. It offers new releases at lower prices, old and rare volumes, book signings, book launches, concerts of classical music and traditional music like fado as well as traditional music from other countries including Brasil. Most of the books are in Portuguese, but there are also several publications in English, German and Spanish.
FESTIVAL DE VILAR DE MOUROS[edit | edit source]
Vilar de Mouros is a music festival mainly concentrated on Rock and Pop music. It was initiated by a doctor called António Barge in 1971 and it is known as the oldest rock festival in Portugal. It was not only designed for Portuguese people but also appealed to international guests. This festival was a great success as in excess 30,000 visitors turned up every year. Compared to other Portuguese festivals Vilar de Mouros was one of biggest festivals in Portugal that also introduced new music acts. It was considered as Portugal’s Woodstock-Festival, because of its free-mindedness. They mainly played Alternative Rock, Indie Rock and Hard Rock. However, in 2006 it took place for the last time due to a decrease in the number of visitors. In 2011 it was reintroduced to the public again, but with a slight change in the choice of music. They now mainly play electronic music and have changed the name to Energie Music Vilar de Mouros.
GERMANY[edit | edit source]
OKTOBERFEST[edit | edit source]
The Oktoberfest is probably one of the most known festivals in Germany, which attracts millions of people from all over the world every year. Its history dates way back to the beginning of the 19th century. Originally there used to be horse competitions, but in time there were more and more show booths, fairground rides and beer tents to enlarge the festival. Its duration was extended to two weeks and the date was forwarded to September. There was a bronze statue made which became one of the main symbols for the festival. After 1945 the derbies ceased to occur, except at the 150th and 200th jubilee as they had a symbolic meaning. In more than 200 years of history, only 24 events were canceled, which mainly were due to the wars. Today the Oktoberfest is very essential and representative for Bavaria, attracting many tourists who want to be part of this German tradition. There are more than 6,000,000 people visiting the festival ever year. The festival occupies an area of more than 42 hectares and employs more than 13,000 people each year. It is known for its variety of beer types, pretzels and women and men dressing up in Bavarian traditional clothing, which addresses every age group. In many places around the world the Oktoberfest is copied and gives the impression that Germany only made up of Bavaria.
ELBJAZZ[edit | edit source]
The Elbjazz festival takes place at the port of the city of Hamburg and is one of the most known music festivals based on jazz. The two founders of this event, Tina Heine and Nina Sauer, had the intention to make jazz part of the life of the people in Hamburg, so they appreciate this special genre of music. Elbjazz was first introduced to the city of Hamburg in 2010 and besides jazz it offers its visitors the opportunity to visit workshops, films, expositions and other supplementary events. Elbjazz is a two day festival taking place at the end of May covering almost any type of jazz played in different locations using all sorts of acoustics. This quite new and international festival gives many young professional artists the opportunity to prove themselves on one of the many stages. More than 50 concerts are performed during these two days and a survey which was conducted in 2012 has shown that each year almost half of the visitors coming to see this event had never been to a jazz festival before. Elbjazz now belongs to one of the important components of Hamburg and is worth visiting.
EXTRASCHICHT[edit | edit source]
ExtraSchicht is a festival based on the transformation of industrial sights into cultural locations. This festival can be viewed as the flagship for the changes taking place in the Ruhr area from being an industrial area into a service-oriented society. In 2001 ExtraSchicht was introduced to the population for the first time. Since then it annually attracts thousands of people who participate in this concept of culture, art and nature. This shift from coal and steel to culture, theatre and dancing can be seen in each location former being a production unit changed into various event locations like halls, museums and many other things. The route of cultural heritage stretches over 400 kilometers, which shows the development of the region in a unique way. ExtraSchicht usually takes place in June where the industrial sites are put in a play and several travelling opportunities with public transport are provided for the visitors. Accessibility and mobility are of essential importance because 50 sites are provided for the visitors. Tickets include the use of public transport and the specially provided shuttle transfers during the event. More than 200,000 people come to see this special night event every year.
BOCHUM TOTAL[edit | edit source]
Bochum Total is an internationally known and very popular Rock- and Pop- Festival taking place in summer and lasts for four days. It first took place in 1986 and since then is very popular among a wide age group and has steadily grown to one of Europe’s biggest Rock- and Pop- Festivals. It is known to be situated in the most popular pub quarter of Bochum called Bermuda3eck and was founded by two university students. The idea was to enrich the cultural awareness of Bochum and its inhabitants. Bochum Total is free for the general public and gives more than 80 bands the opportunity perform on stage and introduce themselves to an audience. There are many famous bands which made their first music experience at this special festival, but there are also internationally known artists meeting with their fans. It is obligatory for the bands to play live. Also the supplementary events are of great importance covering workshops for bands, book fairs, literature, comedy and handcraft which also attracts people interested not only in music but also in other cultural activities. Some of the most important facts about this festival is the use of green energy only meaning water power and the avoidance of waste. Furthermore glass is prohibited within the grounds of the festival to avoid people injuring themselves. Since the year 2000 the number of visitors has doubled and it now reaches almost the number of approximately 1,000,000 visitors per year which is a huge success.
CONCLUSION[edit | edit source]
Through the use of both original and established data, we found some interesting points and unique information about the target countries; Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Portugal and Slovenia.
We believe the common activities and sports between all the countries could lead to a cultural exchange. In order to engage in a foreign activity appropriately, it is also useful to know about the tradition and the original culture of that activity. The common practiced sports across the countries, such as football, also enable cultural exchange because they allow people to participate in a shared cultural identity.
When it comes to attending sports events, gender differences also apply. Men tend to visit sports matches more often than women. Croatians and Slovenians mostly attend handball, basketball and ice hockey events, whereas Germans, in addition to those, enjoy boxing as well. Portuguese also attend handball and basketball games. In Ireland, it is very common for the Croke Park stadium in Dublin to sell out in the nation-wide finals of both hurling and Gaelic football. These nations often attend rugby matches also.
Leisure time activities enable the transfer of cultural elements between selected countries and cultures, but they also facilitate the countries' ability to preserve their cultural identity and tradition. Furthermore, we believe that sports can foster intercultural communication which most have experienced first hand during sports activities. While conducting our survey we have confirmed the common assumption that sports are an important aspect of a nation’s everyday life, and that leisure time is used differently in each country.
Croatia's, Portugal's and Germany's low indulgence scores are demonstrative of their restraint when it comes to attending cultural events. This highlights that they tend to limit their desires in order to comply with social norms. Slovenia scored 48, which indicates that there is no preference. On the other hand, based on Ireland's high percentage, it is evident that the Irish population is inclined to participate more in cultural events and give in to their impulses. Some of the aforementioned cultural events can be labelled as global and have a mass appeal, whereas others are culturally bound and quite specific, even local.
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