ROLE OF TRADITIONAL GAMES AND SPORTS IN SOCIAL AND ETHNICAL INCLUSION, INTEGRATION AND COHESION IN THE POST-CONFLICT AND TRANSITIONAL SOCIETIES AMONG CHILDREN OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Ivan Anastasovski, Lenche V. Aleksovska, Vujica Živković, Andriana Z. Misovski, Lazar Nanev, Tatjana Stojanoska Ivanova

One of the cultural practices that gives the most promising hope and gives confidence to improve inter-ethnic contacts and social cohesion in a society as a tool for peace and reconciliation initiative at all levels (ethnic, social, political, religious, etc..), certainly are traditional games and sports. Therefore, this paper explores the role of traditional games and sports as a model of social and ethnic inclusion, integration and cohesion among pupils of school age in societies like ours - in post-conflict and transitional ones. We have used a sample of 208 school age children from 9 to13 years from six municipalities in the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. Traditional games and sports are often strongly identified by the European and national political leaders and policy makers as a field of actions that improves the spirit of unity and promotes intercultural understanding and mutual respect within a community and between communities in a society. The evident social power of sport is reflected in the fact that it has become a very important factor in intercultural relations and social stability within the European sports policy.

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