Hi John Life is not really as simple as we might sometimes wish. As you pointed out, political countries do not always totally or even partially defineMessage 1 of 76 , Jan 27View SourceHi JohnLife is not really as simple as we might sometimes wish. As you pointed out, political countries do not always totally or even partially define people's identity.It is a fact that "narodowość" (nationality, or more unambiguously ethnicity), "obywatelstwo" (citizenship) and "wyznanie" (religion) were and are unrelated concepts - and all 3 were kept track of by various authorities.In this group we deal with citizens of Poland of all ethnicities and religions. This was a richly complex part of the world - part of its charm and part of its tragedy.
Best regardsStefan WisniowskiSydney Australia
On 26/01/2013, at 12:05, John Halucha <john.halucha@...> wrote:I wonder if terms might be contributing to a lot of confusion, and not just in this forum.Writing on a related topic here recently, I felt twisted into knots trying to distinguish between Polish (citizenship) and Polish (ethnicity). Now, I am starting to think it might help keep everything straight if we were to discard the "ethnicity" definition and use "Polish" to describe citizenship exclusively.
Akcja Wisla uprooted ALL Greek Catholics, not just Lemkos. ... From: Zenon Kuzik To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 2:54 AMMessage 76 of 76 , Jan 29View SourceAkcja Wisla uprooted ALL Greek Catholics, not just Lemkos.----- Original Message -----From: Zenon KuzikSent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 2:54 AMSubject: Re: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Ethnicity vs. citizenshipDear Basia,Point taken about language being organic, but the man in Wroclaw was quite adamant that Polish as spoken in present-day Poland has been bastardised: his subjective opinion.I think that if the Lithuanian lady had a painful experience, she probably allowed that to cloud her judgment regarding the past: subjective emotion distorting objective facts/reality. I am not necessarily condemning her because of this, as we can all be guilty of doing the same - the present writer included!You mentioned the Bieszczady region and the ethnic cleansing that took place there. This was part of what is known as Akcja Wisla which uprooted Lemkos and other Ruthenians/Ukrainians from their ancestral lands. Remember, of course, that this took place during the Communist era, at the behest of Moscow.Interestingly, I knew some Lemko folk who were victims of this tragedy. Yet they did not become anti-Polish as a result. They were aware of the circumstances behind their painful experience and were very friendly towards the Poles they came across in their new land of Australia, and were happy to speak in (non-bastardised!) Polish. I think they could have taught that Lithuanian lady a thing or two! By the way, as those native to Bieszczady were mostly Greek Catholics, and not Orthodox, it would seem more likely that the service you witnessed was led by GC and RC clergy.Your contributions are much appreciated.Zenon KuzikNew Zealand
From: Basia <basia@...>
Sent: Tuesday, 29 January 2013 9:10 PM
Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Ethnicity vs. citizenship
Dear ZenonLanguage is very "organic" it changes! There are many factors which affect that.In my humble opinion, it is not that language is/was better, just different, evolved,and many factors affect that.Just consider the variants in English around the world.That is a fact, and we tend to cling to what is familiar to us.That too is understandable.The difference in language is significantly noticeable when I speak to younger generation Poles (I am mother in law to a gorgeous "real" Pole, 10 years out of Poland).I speak very reasonable Polish (apparently) and I do hear the "difference" in the younger generation.As for the lady from LithuaniaHer experience is obviously painful, her memories are based on her personal experiences and stories.This why I embrace, to the best of my ability (not always successfully) an openness to learn about/from other cultures before forming cautious opinions.I was in the Bieszczady region of Poland a few years ago, I don't exactly know the facts between the changing borders, but I was, for the first time, seeing evidence of ethnic cleansing, by Poles, which caused me terrible pain.There was an extraordinary process of reconciliation happening when I was (purely by fluke) there. A marvellous service, in a church rebuilt from rubble, officiated at by Roman Catholic and Orthodox priests (bishops or even higher I think) One of the most moving days in my life.It filled me with hope for the human race.Basia Zielinska (Sydney)From: Zenon Kuzik <zenon.kuzik@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2013 20:16:19 -0800 (PST)
To: "Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com" <Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Ethnicity vs. citizenshipDear Basia,What a great reply - thank you! Stanislaw from Moscow's contribution certainly gave food for thought as well.Another aspect that "distances" me from modern Poland is that I have come across recent immigrants from that country who are not at all interested in connecting with the older Poles of my parents' generation. They seem to regard them as foreigners! Anyhow, I was heartened when a man in Wroclaw, whose family was originally from Volhynia, said that my father spoke much better Polish than most people in present-day Poland. We multi-ethnics from the former Eastern Poland are the true heirs of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. What a shame that the Lithuanian lady referred to by Dan Ford in his recent post has such a narrow (blinkered?) view of the past.Gratefully,Zenon KuzikAcross the Ditch from Sydney