Tito and Children in Political Folklore 1980: Wishes for Tito's Speedy Recovery

  • Sanja Lazarević Radak Institute for Political Studies, Belgrade
Keywords:
Josip Broz Tito, political socialization, genre, folklore, message, political myth

Abstract

In 1980 Tito's health deteriorated. The citizens of Yugoslavia followed the news about the course of his illness with apprehension and anticipation. From January to May 1980, citizens sent more than four hundred thousand messages wishing Tito a speedy recovery. Among the most numerous were children. Starting from the assumption of the closeness between political socialization, folklore and political culture in Yugoslav society, in this paper I analyze some of the basic motives present in the messages that  children sent to Tito. Insight into the messages that the editors of the publication "Tito. Messages, wishes - the children of Yugoslavia"  call  a "vow", and in the sense of the promise that children will preserve the achievements of Yugoslav socialism, it enables the reconstruction of Yugoslav political myths and Tito's representation within children's political culture. The reconstruction of the narrative enables the recognition of the following motives: Tito as a hero and a fighter against all evil; 2. Tito as a solar deity; 3. Tito as an (imaginary) friend and protector of all the children of the world. For the purposes of this paper, wishes for a speedy recovery are understood as a folklore genre, and some of the specifics of Yugoslav children's political folklore.

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Published
2021-07-19
How to Cite
Radak, Sanja. 2021. “Tito and Children in Political Folklore 1980: Wishes for Tito’s Speedy Recovery”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 16 (2), 509–527. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v16i2.8.