Silesia has never constituted a consistent and stable state or territorial administrative unit; it has been a traditional object of international and inter-state relations, a subject of international confrontation. The ethnic mixture of the area anticipates the relations of people of different ethnic groups in various life situations at different levels - personal relations in everyday life in the families, relations with friends and neighbours, inter-group relations at the working process with the colleagues, relations at cultural, social and leisure activities. The study examines interethnic relations in the ethnically mixed area of Czech Silesia. It introduces the ethnic composition of the researched region in the past and in the present. We were interested in the national composition of both the respondents of our survey and their families. The study also tracks the cultural and social life of Silesian citizens of different nationalities. The main attention is paid to the issues of interethnic relations between the citizens of different nationalities, mostly to the relation between the Czech majority and the ethnic minorities – Polish and Slovak. We can investigate the contacts between the people of different nationalities at various levels – families, friends, neighbours, workplace, etc. Vast majority of the surveyed inhabitants of Silesia were not only aware of the ethnic heterogeneity of the region they lived in and oriented themselves well in it, but they had quite a tolerant approach to it, they did not mind it and, on the contrary, they considered it as a significant enriching aspect. Generally, based on the research findings, we can conclude that Silesia, as an ethnically mixed region, is very interesting for its complexity of interethnic relations, so we can investigate the contact between people of different nationalities at various levels – families, friends, neighbours, and workplace. The co-existence of people of different nationalities conditions the formation of the relations of the local inhabitants to their region and to the issues associated with the above-mentioned co-existence. Our research revealed that the people from Silesia are able to accept and to reflect the fact that they live in an ethnically mixed area and the extent, into which they accept the inhabitants of different nationalities, seems to be a significant aspect of the interethnic relations.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.