The Informal Use of Time as a Component of Multicultural Regional Identity in Transcarpathia (Ukraine)

In: East Central Europe
Csilla Fedinec Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Minority Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence, Eötvös Loránd Research Network, Budapest, Hungary,

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István Csernicskó Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education, Berehovo, Ukraine,

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Based on the data of sociological research, the analysis of the linguistic landscapes of Transcarpathian cities, and quotations from travel guides, this paper illustrates that in Transcarpathia, a significant part of the population—regardless of ethnicity—live their lives not according to the official Kyiv time (eet), but according to the local time (cet). The difference between official centralized time and “local time” appeared in Transcarpathia when the region became annexed to the Soviet Union. Yet before the Second World War, each state in the region used Central European time. The Soviet regime introduced msk, which was two hours ahead. The distinction between “local time” and central time has been maintained since Transcarpathia became part of the newly independent Ukraine. The population of the region has been urged to use a different time zone for a relatively short time from a historical point of view. The persistence of “local time” is also strengthened by the fact that it contributes to the image of Transcarpathia as a particular, specific region of Ukraine. “Local time” in Transcarpathia has become part of the region’s tourism brand.

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