|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2011)|
|Unknown - most declare themselves as Croats, only Serbia recognizes them as separate ethnicity|
|Regions with significant populations|
| Croatia: Slavonia and Baranja
Serbia: Vojvodina (607 declared separate ethnicity in the 2011 census)
Hungary: Baranya County
Bosnia and Herzegovina
|mostly Croatian and Hungarian|
|Related ethnic groups|
|South Slavs; especially Bunjevci, Croats and Serbs|
Šokci (Croatian: Šokci, Hungarian: Sokácok) are an ethnographic group of South Slavs who mainly identify as Croats. They are not considered a separate ethnicity in Croatia and elsewhere, while in Serbia they are. They have a distinct culture and tradition, differentiating them from other Croats. They live in various settlements along the Danube and Sava rivers in the historic regions of Slavonia, Baranya, Syrmia and western Bačka. These regions today span eastern Croatia, northern Serbia (the Vojvodina province), and southeastern Hungary.
Šokci are considered to be a native population of Slavonia and Syrmia in Croatia.
Identity and history
The origin of the first Šokci people is not completely clear. In the Early Middle Ages there was a toponym called Succi or Succus which had in ancient times divided the Illyrians from the Thracians in Pannonia. Matija Petar Katančić thought the Šokci to be descendants of the original Thracian tribes, but the prevalent opinion of modern scholars, based on etymology, is that they were Catholics who moved from the south, across the Sava from Bosnia, by the end of the Ottoman wars in Europe, as the Turks were retreating. The Šokci in Baranja are considered to be descendents of settlers from a mass migration of Croats from an area near Srebrenica, Bosnia into the region after the Ottoman retreat in the 18th century. Regardless of when exactly they settled there, Šokci are considered to be an indigenous Croatian population of Slavonia and Vojvodina, which distinguishes them from the majority of the present-day population of these regions who are descendants of latter settlers. The feeling of being indigenous rather than a settler is an important characteristic of the population.
The earliest known Ottoman Turkish defter that mentions the Šokci dates from 1615, a ferman by sultan Ahmed I, dated Safer 9, 1024 according to the Islamic calendar, in which he referred to them as the population of the "Latin faith" whose "religion is completely different from the faith of the Serbs, Greeks and Vlachs". They are also mentioned in the documents of the Roman Catholic Church where they requested Jeronim Lučić to become the bishop of Bosnia and Slavonia in 1635, and in one writing from the time when Eugene of Savoy invaded Ottoman territory down to Sarajevo in 1697.
In the 1702 census of Đakovo, one of the cities that was retaken from the Ottoman Empire following the Treaty of Karlowitz, there were 400-600 inhabitants described as Catholic Slav/Slavonian (Latin: Slavi catholicae fidae). Tadija Smičiklas later republished the same census and used the terms "Slovinci" and/or "Šokci". According to the contemporary Antun Kanižlić (1699–1766), the term Šokci was a slang reference to Catholic Slavonians that was used by the Orthodox.
In the old Austro-Hungarian censuses there was large number of Šokci, both in Croatia/Slavonia and in Vojvodina. According to the 1840 data, the population of Croatia and Slavonia numbered 1,605,730 people, of which 777,880 (48%) were Croats, 504,179 (32%) Serbs, and 297,747 (19%) Šokci. The Šokci were concentrated in the Požega, Virovitica, and Syrmia counties, and in the Slavonian Military Frontier. According to the 1910 census, there were 68,725 Bunjevci and Šokci in Bačka, and 13,012 Šokci in Baranja.
Šokci living in Croatia and Hungary, as well as many of those living in Serbia, today usually consider themselves to be a subgroup of Croats. In Serbia, Šokci and Bunjevci have been recorded as a separate "modality" or national or ethnic affiliation by the national census in 1991 and 2002. Unlike Bunjevci, the other Catholic Slavic group from the same area, Šokci mostly declare themselves as Croats rather than the separate group, and some have also declared themselves Yugoslavs in the census. In the 1991 census, there were 1,922 declared Šokci in what has later become Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and a much larger number of Croats. The population that declared "Šokci" as an ethnicity in the 2002 census is small and appears in summary lists under "Other", while there were over 70,000 declared Croats. The choice of ethnicity between "Šokac" and "Croat" that is promoted in Serbia is described by scholars in Croatia as bizarre and harmful, because it exacerbates the Šokac myths of independence and antiquity, puts them into the realm of political folklore and helps provoke various 19th-century conflicts between the Croats and the Serbs.
In general, the number and the percentage of the Šokci has decreased because of an unwritten policy that each family should have only one child, because they did not wish to divide their estate and other riches in each following generation. Unfortunately such a practice worked up until the 19th/20th century, at which point they were practically overwhelmed in number by the immigrants which had a much larger reproduction rate (certainly over two children per family at the time).
Villages with numerous Šokac population in the region of Bačka are: Sonta (Apatin municipality), Bački Breg and Bački Monoštor (Sombor municipality). In 2002 census in Serbia, most of the inhabitants of these villages declared themselves as Croats.
Eastern Slavonia and Syrmia in Croatia is often referred to as Šokadija ("the land of Šokci"). Earlier mentions of that name date from 1633 (in the vicinity of Našice), the early 18th century (in the vicinity of Đakovo), and by the writer Antun Kanižlić in 1757. The term is not geographically limited, it is rather a general moniker for the Šokac "ancestral land".
Religion and language
The Šokci are Roman Catholic by faith and follow the Latin Rite. They speak an old-Shtokavian Slavonian sub-dialect that is almost exclusively spoken by Šokci and closely related to Bunjevac dialect. The Slavonian dialect has a mixed Ikavian and Ekavian accent: Ikavian is predominant in Posavina, Baranja, Bačka and in the Slavonian sub-dialect enclave of Derventa; and Ekavian in Podravina. There are also enclaves of one accent in the territory of the other, and also of mixed Ekavian–Ikavian and Jekavian–Ikavian accents. In some villages in Hungary, the original Slavic yat sound[clarification needed] is preserved.
Culture and customs
Many of the traditions of the Šokci are influenced by their environment - they live in the fertile Pannonian plain where they cultivate grains and corn in large fields surrounding their villages. The villages often have one main street (šor) where each subsequent family house has auxiliary buildings and a spacious yard, as well as a water well. The central street is surrounded on both sides by water channels, which have small crossings in order for one to reach the house.
Families often keep poultry, particularly ducks and geese, although the main source of meat are the pigs, which are almost inevitably kept by a Šokac. They enjoy pork-based products such as ham, sausages (particularly kulen) and bacon. These products are customarily obtained by the traditional autumn slaughtering. The most common fruit are plums, not least because it is often fermented into liquor called rakija.
The abundance in which they have traditionally lived has made the Šokci a naturally merry people, who pay a lot of attention to folklore. Each Šokac village inevitably has a cultural society where they cultivate their folk songs and dances. A popular folk custom is the bećarac. They also hold a yearly festivity called the Šokačko sijelo.
The most recognisable feature of Šokci culture is their music which is played mostly on the tambura instrument. Many tambura bands achieved nationwide fame in Croatia. The body of the tambura was traditionally made of the wood of maple, poplar or plum trees, while today it's mostly made of spruce or fir trees. Another instruments used in the past was the bagpipe. The traditional wedding festivities are paid much attention to, sometimes even catching the attention of entire villages.
The traditional outfit of the Šokci (rubina) is made of white linen cloth with lace decorations, and the main part of it is a blouse called oplećak i krila. The women mostly wear the entire outfit only in the summer, replacing it with a wool skirt in the winter. The most esteemed decoration of a Šokac outfit are the gold coins known as dukat (pl. dukati), most probably originating from the ducats. A rich Šokac girl would have a large number of dukati weaved onto her chest not only as a decoration but as a clear sign that she comes from a wealthy family.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2012)|
- Josip Šokčević, Croatian ban
- Mara Švel-Garmišek, Croatian writer
- Matija Antun Relković, Croatian writer
- Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, Croatian writer
- Julijana Matanović, Croatian writer
- Josip Kozarac, Croatian writer
- Ivan Kozarac, Croatian writer
- Ilija Okrugić Srijemac, Croatian writer
- Martin Novoselac, Croatian football player and coach
- Ivica Olić, Croatian professional footballer
- Ivan Rakitić, Croatian professional footballer
- Goran Vlaović, Croatian professional footballer
- Fabijan Šovagović, Croatian actor
- Flórián Albert Hungarian football player, European Footballer of the Year in 1967.
Catholic Church in the Šokac village of Bački Monoštor, Serbia
Catholic Church in the Šokac village of Bački Breg, Serbia
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- The Croatian Bureau of Statistics does not record the Šokci as a separate narodnost. Croatian 2001 census, detailed classification by nationality
- Попис становништва, домаћинстава и станова 2011. у Републици Србији: Становништво према националној припадности - „Oстали“ етничке заједнице са мање од 2000 припадника и двојако изјашњени
- Ljubica Gligorević (2004). "Etnološke znakovitosti". Vukovarsko-srijemska županija (special ed.). SN Privlačica Vinkovci / Vukovar-Srijem County. pp. 60–69. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- Pšihistal, 2011, p. 88
- Hadžihusejnović-Valašek, 1993, p. 182
- Pšihistal, 2011, p. 86
- Pšihistal, 2011, p. 87
- Fine, 2006, p. 481
- Fine, 2006, p. 503
- "Methodological explanations" (ZIP/PDF). 2002 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings. Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. May 2003. p. 8. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Final Results of the Census 2002". Republic of Serbia - Republic Statistical Office. 2002-12-24. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- Pšihistal, 2011, p. 105
- Ružica Pšihistal; Faculty of Philosophy, University of Josip Juraj Strossmayer in Osijek (June 2011). "The Ethnomyth of Šokci". Narodna umjetnost: Croatian Journal of Ethnology and Folklore Research (Zagreb, Croatia: Institute of Ethonology and Folklore Research) 48 (1). ISSN 0547-2504. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- Hadžihusejnović-Valašek, Miroslava (March 1993). "Baranja je "tvrd orah". Analiza istraživanja i popularizacije tradicijske baranjske folklorne glazbe" [Baranja is "tough nut". Records and popularisation analysis of traditional Baranja folk music] (PDF). Studia ethnologica Croatica (in Croatian) (Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb) 4 (1). ISSN 1330-3627. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
- John Van Antwerp Fine (2006). When ethnicity did not matter in the Balkans: a study of identity in pre-nationalist Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia in the medieval and early-modern periods. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-11414-6.
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (May 2010)|
- (Serbian) Mile Nedeljković: Leksikon naroda sveta, Beograd, 2001.
- (Croatian) Tko su Šokci? (Who are the Šokci?)
- (Croatian) O porijeklu Šokaca, iz knjige "Zagrebačka Šokadija" (On the origin of Šokci, from the book "Šokadija of Zagreb")
- (Serbian) "KOLIKO SE POZNAJEMO?" - brochure of the Vojvodina project "AFIRMACIJA MULTIKULTURALIZMA I TOLERANCIJE U VOJVODINI"