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« Tuna 1 / 2019

On the Worlds of Values of Hymnals in Estonian and German in Estonia in 1860–1914 from the Perspective of the Wandervogel Movement

We find answers to the following questions in this article: 1) To what extent does the world of values of songbooks in Estonian resemble that of songbooks in German in 1860–1914 and is it possible to draw conclusions concerning the possible integration of these cultures in the Estonia of that time? 2) Do the worlds of values of school songbooks express the ideals of the Wandervogel movement and if so, to what extent? What position did roaming as a phenomenon have among other values? 3) What is there of importance associated with the Wandervogel movement that can be learned nowadays?

The 24 songbooks in Estonian containing 1,534 songs that were in use in Estonian public schools, and the 27 songbooks in German containing a total of 2,330 songs that were in use in schools where the language of instruction was German in the Estonian-speaking part of Livland and in the province of Estland in 1860–1914 form the sample for this research project. We analyse the semantics of the words of the songs in order to identify the worlds of values concealed in the songbooks. A classification was formed as a result where the components are eleven fields of values. We processed the data using the statistical data processing package SPSS 20.0. We used descriptive (frequency tables and diagrams) and generalising (chi-square test) statistics, and correlation analysis for studying connections between attributes. We conducted summational content analysis using the NVivo10 qualitative data analysis software in order to find out the contextual usage and frequency of words and expressions associated with roaming (wandern in German, rändama in Estonian) and gymnastics (turnen in German, turnima, võimlema in Estonian) as they are used in these texts.

As an outcome of the analyses, it can be said that the worlds of values in songbooks in both Estonian and German in 1860–1914 were clearly very much influenced by the values and ideals of the Wandervogel movement, especially in 1906–1914, the last time period that was studied, when the quite close interweaving of the German and Estonian cultural spaces in Estonia of that time became evident through the mediation of values. The connection emerged that the more man and the beauty of nature started being appreciated, the less appreciation in turn was accorded to prayer and the glorification of God. The Wandervogel movement can be spoken of as an integral phenomenon where different values are closely connected to one another. This could have been assumed on the basis of texts written about the history of this movement but our empirical analysis actually proves it. The Wandervogel movement shaped a unique situation in the actuality of education in a society where schools, parents and teachers on the one hand and young people on the other hand, as a social group that aspired more and more to define itself, considered the same values to be important, thus tying all parties together ‘under one roof’. Yet a situation where people actually live day to day in the spirit of values that are considered important and adhere to those values, as opposed to only speaking about them, could be considered ideal from the standpoint of education and upbringing based on values.