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17553Re: Rusyns demand Rusyn in church

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  • Martin Votruba
    Feb 13, 2007
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      > I am sure, you meant this to be a rather technical possibility.
      > Ethnicity is something with deep roots and is inherited.
      > To give a grave example; a non Roma would never claim he was Roma.

      There is no disagreement between what you and I say, Vladimir. In the
      context of that discussion, it is necessary to understand people's
      legal freedom to choose and change their registered ethnic identity in
      Slovakia (which has no bearing on whether they do so and which one
      they switch to) because it's not the case in some other countries,
      including in the US -- to identify as a member of any of the
      AmerIndian peoples and be recognized as such officially, an American
      citizen needs to meet certain genealogical criteria.

      Not so in Slovakia where people can switch between Slovak, Rusyn,
      Hungarian, Romani, and whatever other identities as often as they want
      to, and get some financial support for their cultural activities from
      the government if the identity they choose is one of the decreed
      "traditional regional" ones. As a curiosity, about a dozen people in
      Slovakia decided to call themselves Eskimos in 2001, especially in the
      Zilina region. And on a more practical level, a fairly well known
      Slovak author registered as Croatian after the collapse of communism,
      which provided him with some financial support for his writing from
      the government at a time when communist support for the arts went down
      the drain.


      Martin

      votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
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