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Re: [SLOVAK-ROOTS] Are Rusyns "Eastern Slovaks"?

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  • Richard D. Custer
    Dear Andrea, I am not picking on you, as you are to be commended for trying to help. However, your information about Rusyns is mostly not correct. ... Eastern
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 24, 2000
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      Dear Andrea,

      I am not picking on you, as you are to be commended for trying to help.
      However, your information about Rusyns is mostly not correct.

      >conclusions about the use of i versus y without other evidence. It's also
      >possible that your people were Rusyns, a semi-separate group whose language
      >or dialect is more closely related to Ukrainian (it is considered an
      Eastern
      >Slovak tongue). Do you know their religion? Greek Catholic generally
      means

      >a Rusyn or Ruthenian background.


      I'm not sure what you mean by "Rusyns, a semi-separate group"; separate from
      whom? The Slovak Republic recognizes them as a nationality on equal
      standing with the Germans, Roma, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, and yes,
      Slovaks, who live in the Slovak Republic. Historically there was never any
      suggestion, either within or outside the Rusyn community, that they were
      other than Rus', i.e., Eastern Slav, peoples.

      Note, Eastern Slav, not "Eastern Slovak". Rusyns, and their language,are
      Eastern Slavs (as are Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians as well), they
      are NOT Eastern _Slovaks_.

      This may seem like nitpicking, but there is a major dialectal group of
      Slovak dialects which are called Eastern Slovak dialects. The Rusyn
      language has never been classified as other than Ukrainian (the Carpathian /
      Southwest group of Ukrainian dialects), an East Slavic language. Today in
      Slovakia there is a separate Rusyn literary language, but it is clearly East
      Slavic and not any type of Slovak dialect (eastern or otherwise).

      In the other countries where Rusyns live (mainly Ukraine, Poland, Hungary,
      Romania and Yugoslavia) there is no suggestion on the part of anyone that
      Rusyns are other than East Slavs / Rus' people -- whether Ukrainian or an
      independent nationality.

      Some Slovaks this century, in their nationalistic zeal, began to claim that
      Rusyns are not East Slavs / Rus' people at all, but de-nationalized Slovaks
      who happen to be Greek Catholics (or Orthodox). (The goal being, of course,
      to numerically strengthen the Slovak people [vs. the Czechs] by assimilation
      of Rusyns.) In light of history and scholarship, this claim is strange at
      best and unsupportable/unscholarly at worst. Unfortunately, this
      discredited view is still being promoted here and in Slovakia and is making
      significant headway among Rusyns who are not well informed about their
      history and identity. How strange it is (to me, anyway), to be speaking to
      a Rusyn from Slovakia in pure Rusyn dialect (both of us) and the Rusyn from
      Slovakia insists that we are speaking Slovak.

      Rich Custer
    • Mona
      Dear Richard: Would you have any information on how I would go about finding information on my mothers birth. The only information I know about my mother is
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 24, 2000
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        Dear Richard: Would you have any information on how I would go about
        finding information on my mothers birth. The only information I know
        about my mother is that she was born in Slovenia. She passed away when
        I was very young. She came to Canada after WWII. I was also led to
        believe that her father was Hungarian and her mother was German. It's
        so confusing to me for I was born and raised in Canada and knew none of
        my relatives. Is there a web site you know of that have a list of
        churches in Slovenia or any other place that would hold records of
        births. I would appreciate any input you or anyone else you may know
        would have to pass along....it would be greatly appreciated!

        Sincerely,
        Mona Suitter
        Ontario, Canada

        "Richard D. Custer" wrote:
        >
        > Dear Andrea,
        >
        > I am not picking on you, as you are to be commended for trying to help.
        > However, your information about Rusyns is mostly not correct.
        >
        > >conclusions about the use of i versus y without other evidence. It's also
        > >possible that your people were Rusyns, a semi-separate group whose language
        > >or dialect is more closely related to Ukrainian (it is considered an
        > Eastern
        > >Slovak tongue). Do you know their religion? Greek Catholic generally
        > means
        >
        > >a Rusyn or Ruthenian background.
        >
        > I'm not sure what you mean by "Rusyns, a semi-separate group"; separate from
        > whom? The Slovak Republic recognizes them as a nationality on equal
        > standing with the Germans, Roma, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, and yes,
        > Slovaks, who live in the Slovak Republic. Historically there was never any
        > suggestion, either within or outside the Rusyn community, that they were
        > other than Rus', i.e., Eastern Slav, peoples.
        >
        > Note, Eastern Slav, not "Eastern Slovak". Rusyns, and their language,are
        > Eastern Slavs (as are Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians as well), they
        > are NOT Eastern _Slovaks_.
        >
        > This may seem like nitpicking, but there is a major dialectal group of
        > Slovak dialects which are called Eastern Slovak dialects. The Rusyn
        > language has never been classified as other than Ukrainian (the Carpathian /
        > Southwest group of Ukrainian dialects), an East Slavic language. Today in
        > Slovakia there is a separate Rusyn literary language, but it is clearly East
        > Slavic and not any type of Slovak dialect (eastern or otherwise).
        >
        > In the other countries where Rusyns live (mainly Ukraine, Poland, Hungary,
        > Romania and Yugoslavia) there is no suggestion on the part of anyone that
        > Rusyns are other than East Slavs / Rus' people -- whether Ukrainian or an
        > independent nationality.
        >
        > Some Slovaks this century, in their nationalistic zeal, began to claim that
        > Rusyns are not East Slavs / Rus' people at all, but de-nationalized Slovaks
        > who happen to be Greek Catholics (or Orthodox). (The goal being, of course,
        > to numerically strengthen the Slovak people [vs. the Czechs] by assimilation
        > of Rusyns.) In light of history and scholarship, this claim is strange at
        > best and unsupportable/unscholarly at worst. Unfortunately, this
        > discredited view is still being promoted here and in Slovakia and is making
        > significant headway among Rusyns who are not well informed about their
        > history and identity. How strange it is (to me, anyway), to be speaking to
        > a Rusyn from Slovakia in pure Rusyn dialect (both of us) and the Rusyn from
        > Slovakia insists that we are speaking Slovak.
        >
        > Rich Custer
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        > Now the best and coolest websites come right to you based on your
        > unique interests. eTour.com is surfing without searching.
        > And, it's FREE!
        > http://click.egroups.com/1/3013/0/_/545880/_/956618066/
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      • Andrea Vangor
        You are right -- I meant to say Eastern Slavic tongue. By semi-separate, I was thinking that they are part of the Slovak nation, but claim their separate
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 24, 2000
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          You are right -- I meant to say Eastern Slavic tongue. By semi-separate, I
          was thinking that they are part of the Slovak nation, but claim their
          separate identity too. It's ok with me how people sort this out, but we
          should bear in mind that the "Slovak" people are not really a homogenous
          group, consisting of ancient Stone Age tribes, Celtic groups, assorted
          Slavs, German migrants, Magyars, Gorals, settled Rom, and who knows what
          else.

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Richard D. Custer <rcuster@...>
          To: <SLOVAK-ROOTS@egroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, April 24, 2000 4:13 PM
          Subject: Re: [SLOVAK-ROOTS] Are Rusyns "Eastern Slovaks"?


          > Dear Andrea,
          >
          > I am not picking on you, as you are to be commended for trying to help.
          > However, your information about Rusyns is mostly not correct.
          >
          > >conclusions about the use of i versus y without other evidence. It's
          also
          > >possible that your people were Rusyns, a semi-separate group whose
          language
          > >or dialect is more closely related to Ukrainian (it is considered an
          > Eastern
          > >Slovak tongue). Do you know their religion? Greek Catholic generally
          > means
          >
          > >a Rusyn or Ruthenian background.
          >
          >
          > I'm not sure what you mean by "Rusyns, a semi-separate group"; separate
          from
          > whom? The Slovak Republic recognizes them as a nationality on equal
          > standing with the Germans, Roma, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, and yes,
          > Slovaks, who live in the Slovak Republic. Historically there was never
          any
          > suggestion, either within or outside the Rusyn community, that they were
          > other than Rus', i.e., Eastern Slav, peoples.
          >
          > Note, Eastern Slav, not "Eastern Slovak". Rusyns, and their language,are
          > Eastern Slavs (as are Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians as well), they
          > are NOT Eastern _Slovaks_.
          >
          > This may seem like nitpicking, but there is a major dialectal group of
          > Slovak dialects which are called Eastern Slovak dialects. The Rusyn
          > language has never been classified as other than Ukrainian (the Carpathian
          /
          > Southwest group of Ukrainian dialects), an East Slavic language. Today in
          > Slovakia there is a separate Rusyn literary language, but it is clearly
          East
          > Slavic and not any type of Slovak dialect (eastern or otherwise).
          >
          > In the other countries where Rusyns live (mainly Ukraine, Poland, Hungary,
          > Romania and Yugoslavia) there is no suggestion on the part of anyone that
          > Rusyns are other than East Slavs / Rus' people -- whether Ukrainian or an
          > independent nationality.
          >
          > Some Slovaks this century, in their nationalistic zeal, began to claim
          that
          > Rusyns are not East Slavs / Rus' people at all, but de-nationalized
          Slovaks
          > who happen to be Greek Catholics (or Orthodox). (The goal being, of
          course,
          > to numerically strengthen the Slovak people [vs. the Czechs] by
          assimilation
          > of Rusyns.) In light of history and scholarship, this claim is strange at
          > best and unsupportable/unscholarly at worst. Unfortunately, this
          > discredited view is still being promoted here and in Slovakia and is
          making
          > significant headway among Rusyns who are not well informed about their
          > history and identity. How strange it is (to me, anyway), to be speaking
          to
          > a Rusyn from Slovakia in pure Rusyn dialect (both of us) and the Rusyn
          from
          > Slovakia insists that we are speaking Slovak.
          >
          > Rich Custer
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
          > Now the best and coolest websites come right to you based on your
          > unique interests. eTour.com is surfing without searching.
          > And, it's FREE!
          > http://click.egroups.com/1/3013/0/_/545880/_/956618066/
          > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
          >
          >
        • Richard D. Custer
          ... Well, even by your criteria, only a small subset of Rusyns are part of the Slovak nation and that is more due to a fluke of history than anything. After
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 24, 2000
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            >You are right -- I meant to say Eastern Slavic tongue. By semi-separate, I
            >was thinking that they are part of the Slovak nation, but claim their
            >separate identity too. It's ok with me how people sort this out, but we


            Well, even by your criteria, only a small subset of Rusyns are "part of the
            Slovak nation" and that is more due to a fluke of history than anything.
            After all, who could have predicted a hundred years ago that there would
            emerge on the map of the world, a sovereign state called the Slovak
            Republic?

            Less than 20% of Rusyns in Europe are citizens of Slovakia; the vast
            majority live in Ukraine. Are they "part of the Slovak nation"?

            Do you likewise consider the 600,000+ Magyars in Slovakia to be "part of the
            Slovak nation"? I doubt many Slovaks, and even fewer Magyars, would agree
            with such a statement, even those who are proudly citizens of the Slovak
            Republic.

            >should bear in mind that the "Slovak" people are not really a homogenous
            >group, consisting of ancient Stone Age tribes, Celtic groups, assorted
            >Slavs, German migrants, Magyars, Gorals, settled Rom, and who knows what
            >else.


            (but don't tell them that!)

            This is true for probably every ethno-national people in the world today,
            except perhaps for aboriginal peoples in remote locations. If we speak in
            terms of modern nationality for one people, we should do so for all. I
            probably have Jewish, Hungarian and who knows what other "blood" in my Rusyn
            ancestry, but two of my four grandparents were Rusyns, and as far as I know,
            their parents were all Rusyns, so for all practical purposes I consider
            myself fully 50% Rusyn.

            Rich Custer
          • Richard D. Custer
            Dear listers, Realizing that this little thread has now gone beyond genealogy (well, genetic genealogy perhaps it still is), with Andrea s permission I shall
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 24, 2000
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              Dear listers,

              Realizing that this little thread has now gone beyond genealogy (well,
              "genetic genealogy" perhaps it still is), with Andrea's permission I shall
              boot it on over to "Slovak-World."

              Sorry for the distraction... carry on.

              Rich Custer
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