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Buried. The White Teddy Bear will be included on the list of intangible cultural heritage

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The phenomenon of taking photos with a white teddy bear, which has been going on on Krupówki in Zakopane for over 100 years, will be included on the national list of intangible cultural heritage. This was announced during a campaign to support this figure organized on Saturday in Zakopane.

Share “We support the real White Teddy Bear” was organized by journalists from local Radio Alex after a wave of online hate against the “fake teddy bear” from Krupówki. A disguised man who came to Giewont from Silesia had a row with Hanna Turnau, an actress from Zakopane who was recording a report from Krupówki. The recording was posted on social media, sparking heated discussions on the Internet.

Read also: “Miś” ordered me to pay for the recording on Krupówki. Commander: He is regularly punished.

The white teddy bear will be included on the list of intangible cultural heritage

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The entry of the white teddy bear on the national list of intangible cultural heritage was initiated by the authors of the book entitled “Photo with a Teddy Bear”, which described the history of this iconic character and collected over one and a half thousand photographs with a white teddy bear, the oldest of which was from 1922. – We are trying to include on the national list of intangible cultural heritage the entire photographic phenomenon with its sociological, historical and ethnographic context, which is related to the white teddy bear and the phenomenon of taking photos with it for over 100 years – said author Barbara Caillot from Oficyna Wydawnicza Oryginały. She added that the entry should concern not only the specific white teddy bear from Krupówki, but also all such traditional characters who over the century have posed for photos even in Sopot, Warsaw or Krynica-Zdrój. – We want this true tradition to remain. This is the initial stage of work on the entry, but an application is already being developed in cooperation with the National Heritage Institute, Caillot added.

The tradition of taking photos with a white teddy bear is over 100 years oldMarcin Szkodzinski/Forum

Over 100 years of tradition of taking photos with the White Teddy Bear

The tradition of taking photos with a white teddy bear was started in the 1920s in Zakopane by Henryk Schabenbeck, a photographer from Krupówki, who ordered the first polar bear costume made of sheep skins from a local furrier. – I really care about Zakopane and I think that the campaign with the white teddy bear is also an excuse to bring out what is beautiful in this city, what is true, traditions, so that there will be a little less trash on Krupówki, because we have beautiful monuments, wonderful people, so I have I hope this is the moment, Caillot emphasized. The national list of intangible cultural heritage has been maintained since 2013. There are 85 items on it, including Kraków nativity scenes and the Lajkonik procession, the tradition of making Koniaków lace, carol singing, Żywiec-Suskie toy making, shepherding and carillon music.

SEE THE MATERIAL “Uwagi TVN” about the impersonated white teddy bear that gave Zakopane a bad name: A greedy teddy bear from Zakopane? “I’m the celebrity here.”

White teddy bear surprised by people’s support

The white teddy bear himself, played by Marek Zawadzki, a highlander from Zakopane, was pleasantly surprised that so many people supported him. After the action that heated up internet forums, he also faced a wave of bad comments. – I didn’t know I would receive such an honor. I wanted to thank everyone for coming to Krupówki today to defend a real white teddy bear. I would like Zakopane’s image to return to its former days. Even before the war, the most important souvenir from Zakopane and confirmation that you had been to the Tatra Mountains was a photo with a white teddy bear. The teddy bear from Krupówki was always respected, he did not harass guests, only tourists invited him for a photo – said Marek Zawadzki.

“We need to break the spell at least a little on the negative image of Zakopane”

Radio journalist Alex Sławomir Szostak said that this was an opportunity to “break the spell” a little bit from the negative image of Zakopane that has recently appeared on the Internet. – We will have to draw some conclusions from what happened, but I am optimistic and I think it will be good for us in the long run. It is worth supporting a real white teddy bear, because it is the symbol of Zakopane and we cannot agree to a stranger impersonating him and giving us a negative image – emphasized Szostak.

Read also: Journalists from Zakopane defend the real White Teddy Bear from Krupówki

A group photo with a white teddy bear

Blogger Agnieszka Epler, known as Lady Kitchen, although she lives near Zakopane, came to Krupówki for the first time in six years due to the campaign in defense of the white teddy bear. – It’s not just about the white teddy bear, but in general what is happening in Podhale and what is spreading on the Internet. You have to start with small things, just like today’s action, because the city near Giewont has a lot to offer. We all work hard to build the image of Zakopane as a tourist city. There is a myth of the cunning highlander and no matter whether someone has been here or knows the history, I want to believe that these negative things happen because of ignorance of this area – said Epler. Many tourists and residents took part in the support campaign, which culminated in a group photo with a white teddy bear. Janina and Kazimierz came from Vienna especially for this occasion. – Especially to support our highland white teddy bear, we left Vienna on Friday evening. We live in Austria for 35 years, but we are still interested in what is happening at Giewont and this story moved us deeply – said Janina.

Main photo source: Marcin Szkodzinski/Forum



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