A spectacular meeting of the Rusyn youth

The Chairman of WCoR met the leading representatives of ARYS and WFRY

“Our own identity means a lot for us”,...

Association of the Rusyn Youth in Slovakia

2nd World Forum with first outcomes...

Declaration from 2nd World Forum of Rusyn Youth (SFRM)


• The participants of the first interregional meeting of Rusyn youth entitled “Rusyns – an inseparable nation!” which took place on the Kremenec mountain where the borders of three countries – Slovakia, the Ukraine and Poland – meet.


A spectacular meeting of the Rusyn youth


On June 28th, 2008, high up in the Carpathian mountains, on the hill of Kremenec (1 221 meters above sea level), with the World Council of Rusyn being its patron, an interregional Rusyn youth event entitled The Carpathian Rusyns – an inseparable nation!  took place.

The very top of the mountain where the borders of the historic regions of Prešov, Lemko and the Sub-Carpathian Rus (at present in three different countries – Slovakia, Poland and the Ukraine) meet became a meeting place for activists of Rusyn organisations, students, graduates and pupils of Rusyn Sunday schools. It was a group of over forty people who came from Prešov, Snina, Svidník, Medzilaborce, Bratislava, the Krakow region, Uzhhorod, Mukhachevo, Irshava, Volovec, V. Berezne and other towns and villages where Rusyns live. The youths climbed the top of the hill from three sides and the rise was not an easy one, as it was a climb of between 12 and 18 km. They met on the top of the hill and, after a short rest, a cultural programme was performed also for passers by. The Rusyn youth delegation from Slovakia then passed the European Union flag to the young Rusyns from Sub-Carpathia in the Ukraine. They all joined hands to express that Rusyns are one nation. Here, at the top of the Kremenec mountain, the participants of this event accepted the Kremenec Declaration in which they proclaimed their idea of European identity. They also emphasised the following: “We, young Rusyns, Rusnaks, Lemkos, welcome the idea of the young central-European countries entering the European Union which acknowledges the Rusyn nationality. We address the Ukrainian government and ask it to also acknowledge the Rusyn nationality in its country. It is only when the Ukraine acknowledges the rights of minority nations, it can become a full member of the European Union. We also approach the European Union and ask it to do its best to prevent the Schengen border become a new “Berlin Wall” in the history of Europe! We, young Carpathian Rusyns, joined our hands to express our right to meet, organise common events and visit each other without any obstacles because we are one inseparable nation!“

V. P., July 9th, 2008


The Chairman of WCoR met the leading representatives of ARYS and WFRY


On February 17th, 2007 in the hall of the World Congress of Rusyns at No. 1 Dukhnovich Square in Prešov, Paul Robert Magocsi, the Chairman of the World Council of Rusyns (as the Executive Committee of the World Congress of Rusyns), met Rusyn youth: (from left to right) Miroslava Lacova-Hupcej, a member of the Association of Rusyn Youth in Slovakia (ARYS), Mgr. Alena Blichova, the Chair of the Committee of ARYS and the Deputy of the council of the World Forum of Rusyn Youth (WFRY), Peter Krajňák and Michal Dronov, members of ARYS. The Chairman of WCoR was interested in issues of both Rusyn youth organisations, their activities, the preparatory works for the 3rd World Forum of Rusyn Youth in the Romanian town of Sighetul Marmatei and possibilities for the future. At this meeting, the idea of an important and useful youth activity for the future was formulated. We will inform the readers later, after a more detailed plan has been worked out.

A. Z.. photo by the author,


“Our own identity means a lot for us”,...


... the students of L. Stöckel Secondary Comprehensive School in Bardejov claim unequivocally. There was a threefold reason to ask Dr. Marcel Tribus, the school Headmaster, for permission to visit the school – to address the young generation with the issue of ethnic identity and, at the same time, to inform potential university students about the possibility to study the newly accredited programme Rusyn Language and Culture in combination with twelve other subjects at the University of Prešov. Having mentioned a threefold reason, or, rather, three points that have initiated the meeting, we had in mind the following: Peter Čulák from Bardejov, a student of the school in question, who, for the Secondary Academic Work (Stredoškolská odborná činnosť – SOČ) chose the topic I have been a Rusyn and I will be one... (a paraphrase of Я Русин был..., a line by the national revivalist A. Dukhnovich) (P. Čulák’s work can be found below in the same column.) This was a positive point that gave the author of this article a signal that our young generation is interested in their origin. In the course of events, a young student who wanted to present Rusyns as an ethnic group to his classmates, also learnt many new facts about Rusyns. He was surprised to hear about the recently launched book of Rusyn fairy tales by the Kostova sisters from Kurov Приповідкы на добру ніч (Good-night Stories). An interest in organising a discussion with the authors of the fairy tales was another reason why we had decided to visit the abovementioned secondary school. Our plans were even speeded up by a phone call from the Headmaster of the oldest secondary comprehensive school in Bardejov, who welcomed the idea of presenting the Rusyn language study programme at University of Prešov to students who are taking their A-level exams (Maturita exams) soon.


Participants in the discussion with students of L. Stöckel Secondary Comprehensive School in Bardejov (from right): PhDr. K. Koporová, an editor of the Narodny Novînky Press and Rusîn; Mgr. A. Zozuľák, the editor-in-chief of the above issues; Mgr. Alena Blichová; an assistant at the Department of Rusyn Language and Culture, Institute of Regional and Ethnic Minority Studies, University of Prešov and PhDr. A. Plišková, PhD, a senior assistant at the same department.


The discussion with students, which took place on February 8th, 2007, met our expectations, as well as expectations of students. It also outlined visions of the future cooperation. At the beginning, the student Peter Čulák introduced the topic of Rusynity to the students by means of his rhetorical presentation I have been a Rusyn and I will be one…, enriched by slides showing the most significant personalities of the Rusyn revival. The most significant guest Mgr. Alexander Zozuľák, the editor-in-chief of the magazine Русин (Rusín) аnd the weekly newspaper Народны новинкы (Narodny Novinky Press) and the Deputy of the World Council of Rusyns, talked about activities of Rusyns after November 1989, and also presented many Rusyn publications, issued in Slovakia after 1989. For students of the fourth (final) year, the most topical piece of information came from PhDr. Anna Pliškova, PhD., from the Department of Rusyn Language and Culture, Institute of Regional and Ethnic Minority Studies, University of Prešov, about the conditions of accepting students for Rusyn language studies, as well as job possibilities after graduation. Mgr. Alena Blichová, a doctoral student at the University of Prešov, a graduate of Rusyn language studies informed the students about world and homeland activities of Rusyn youth organisations, and also about further possibilities of self-realisation for young Rusyns. At the end of the event, the author of this article asked the students a few questions about their approach to their own identity in the common Europe. The questions were aimed at their opinions of the need to learn about history and culture and the need to preserve the traditions and customs of our ancestors. We got answers to the question whether these issues are important in the lives of young people, or whether they are not accepted any more and, rather, pushed aside as something unnecessary, or maybe even obsolete or old-fashioned.


Petra Mihalčinová, Bardejov: My parents come from Šariš, but, searching the family tree, I have found out that, in our family, we also have Rusyn ancestors. I think that finding our own identity and learning about our roots is important for the future and we should not give it up. The traditions and customs of our ancestors need to be saved for the future generations.


Ivana Vančíková, Bardejov: My parents are of Rusyn origin – my mum comes from Ondavka and my dad was brought up in Kurimka. We speak Rusyn at home and I am convinced that minority languages should not be suppressed for the sake of world ones. They should be preserved, because it is a piece of our identity.


Zuzana Kokindová, Bardejov: I was surprised to find out that Rusyn language has been codified and, today, for the very first time, I had the opportunity to hear Rusyn in its codified form. It sounds good. In my opinion, languages of minorities have their place in the world, they need to be preserved and developed.


Marek Baňka, Bardejov: I used to spend every summer holiday in Kurov, so I was in intense touch with other Rusyns in the village. My family are also Rusyns, although we live in a town where Rusynism is not so powerful. That is why everything which is Rusyn is so close to me. In villages it is natural that people communicate in Rusyn. It seems to me that we, Slavs, should do more to present ourselves, our culture and traditional values to the world.


Jana Čuláková, Bardejov: Both my parents are Rusyn, which is why we were brought up in this spirit. Thanks to this, we have no doubts about our nationality. We should learn about the history of our ancestors, we should preserve their traditions, customs, religion, and also language; it is our most precious possession.


Mária Šurkalová, Becherov: My national orientation was influenced by my family and also by Father Vladimír Pančák from Becherov. I am convinced that Rusyn nationality as well as Rusyn language should not disappear and, to prevent this, the young generation must continue the started work. That is why I have decided, after I have finished this secondary school, to study my mother tongue – Rusyn.


Peter Čulák, Bardejov: My interest in own identity is obvious from my rhetorical presentation. I think I will also succeed with my SOČ work about Rusyns. Although I have chosen a university in the field of economy, I will still be interested in Rusyns and I believe that, during my studies, I will keep dealing with Rusyn issues.

Kvetoslava KOPOROVÁ, March 7th, 2007


Association of the Rusyn Youth in Slovakia


One of the basic points of the 6th World Congress of Rusyns in 2001 was to open the space for activities, initiatives and organising of the youths of various countries of the world to the full. Thanks to the activists of the Rusyn youth and the help of the editorial team members of the „Русин і Народны новинкы“ (Rusyn and National News), this goal was achieved in Slovakia within a few months of the 6th World Congress of Rusyns in Prague.


December 6th, 2001 was the historic day of the establishment of the first Rusyn youth organisation, which got to be called the Association of the Rusyn Youth in Slovakia (ARYS). The association declared the spheres of its activities at the first – constitutive – meeting that took place on December 20th, 2001 in the Kostitras club in Prešov. The representatives of significant Rusyn organisations and Greek-Catholic and Orthodox churches in Slovakia attended the event.


ARYS unified the Rusyn youth and its symphatisers. The mission of the new organisation is to carry out its activities in favour of the unification of the Rusyn youth in Slovakia, to create conditions for its positive realisation within youth activities as well as the national life of Rusyns in general. Besides, the ARYS activities are aimed at presenting the history, culture, folklore, traditions and the temporary situation of Rusyns. ARYS also searches for active young people to whom the fate of our nation is of utmost concern. Another postulate of ARYS is finding young talent and help in the self-realisation of the Rusyn youth. We should not forget about the fact that ARYS, on June 8th, 2003 at the 7th World Congress of Rusyns in Prešov, became one of the establishers of the World Forum of the Rusyn Youth.  


Not a long time ago, we commemorated the 4th anniversary of ARYS. What can, on this occasion be said about ARYS and its activities?

  • ARYS has 184 members;

  • the members of ARYS actively opposed the slovakisation of the Greek-Catholic church and its activities partly helped to achieve the temporary state of this matter;

  • the Council of ARYS actively promoted the events of the organisation in the media;

  • the members of ARYS organise various cultural events for the young every year;

  • ARYS has its website where it presents itself;

  • the members of ARYS take an active part in national-revival activities at schools in the Prešov region.


Taking the above points into consideration, the recent activities of ARYS can be globally evaluated. The youth activists daily find out that the Rusyns in Slovakia are slowly losing the values that our predecessors fought and even died for. Unfortunately, the youth today has to solve material and financial problems and does not consider the matter of Rusynity that important. It is needed to emphasise the need of public-educational activities, with which our members and activists achieved significant results. That is what we have to keep building up.

Mgr. Marek GAJ

the chairman of ARYS

2nd World Forum with first outcomes...


On 24th June 2005, simultaneously with 8th World Congress of Rusyns, 2nd World Forum of Rusyn Youth (SFRM) took place in Polish Krynica.


 World Council of Rusyn Youth (SRRM) as an executive body of World Forum of Rusyn Youth has already get over two years of further education among Rusyn youth. Euphoria resulting from setting up the world Rusyn youth organization already subsided and consequently the time for real work has come, which was full of expectations and interesting actions.


During this period many optimistic but also unfortunately pessimistic things happened in youth Rusyn movement. This issue was also discussed at forum. The opening of forum was devoted to analysis of work from the last forum in Prešov in Slovakia.  Marek Gaj from Slovakia, the chairperson of SFRM, read the progress report, from which the present learned when and how SRRM worked and where during the last two years the actions of Rusyn youth took place.


The place at the chair table of 2nd World Forum of Rusyn Youth was taken by: (from left to right) V. Pukiš from Ukraine, D. Trochanovskyj from Poland, M. Gaj from Slovakia, and V. Boďanec from Serbia and Montenegro.

The first meeting of SRRM took place within the framework of 1st year of international summer camp in Komloška in Hungary on 24th August 2003. All members of world council participated on its meeting and their agenda was focused on perspectives of common activity what was later connected with official registration of SFRM as a new youth organization. The following decision was adopted at this meeting – the World Forum of Rusyn Youth shall be registered in Slovakia and its domicile shall be in Prešov. The responsibility for registration was assumed by Rusyn Youth Organisation in Slovakia (Spolok rusínskej mládeže Slovenska -SRMS), and its management had to take care of finances for registration and of formalities connected with this registration. We can state that all of the objectives from this meeting were implemented. This can be proved also by the fact, that in spite of all, SFRM is officially registered at Ministry of Home Affairs of the Slovak Republic under the number VV8/-900/90-23940 of 12th August 2004. It is necessary to confess that the whole procedure, with which we met at registration of SFRM, was not easy. After almost one year of peripetiae and after five corrections of Memorandum of SFRM, which „did not correspond“ with Slovak laws on setting up of civil associations, the registration was finally managed.


The next meeting of young people was organised after one year, specifically on 23. – 25. August 2004 in Rusyn village Bortné at Gorlicie in Poland. All members of SFRM were invited, but only two delegations came, namely from Slovakia and from Poland. When considering the matter, it is a pity that the representatives of Rusyn youth also from other countries did not meet at that time but it was the useful meeting anyway. SRRM was represented only by two members – chairperson and vice chairperson; therefore the meeting was changed to public meeting with members of SRRM. Several interesting proposals that inspired us in Krynica were made during discussion, for example to organize also the winter camp of Rusyn youth. The present paid the serious attention also to the problems of acquisition of financial means for activity of SFRM, specifically from Euro funds.


The next point in agenda of 2nd meeting of SFRM in Krynica was the performance check from 1st meeting of SFRM in Prešov. It was stated that except for the smaller minuses, which will have to be solved, the declaration was successfully performed. According to delegates, the biggest minus is the fact that the youth living in various Rusyn regions of world completely misses its identity, it gradually loses the national awareness and it is nationally disoriented.


In discussion, the delegates and guests debated on some further problems – the problem of more frequent meetings of Rusyn youth and acquisition of finances from state funds and various Euro funds. Nastasja Šajtoš from Serbia presented an interesting proposal; she proposed to organize youth summer school of Rusyn language, which would be organised every year in different state. This is the way the young people could become familiarised with the language and culture of each Rusyn region in the world. When considering the matter it is a pity that the theme of focusing of projects was not solved, because it is still the fact that SFRM is young organization and in immediate future SRRM shall focus on organising the meetings of youth and on contacting the young Rusyns from all over the world among themselves via Internet.


We can consider the admittance of new member of SFRM - organization of young Rusyns from America, which bears the name RUSIN OUTPOST: NORT AMERIKA as the biggest contribution of the whole 2nd meeting of SFRM. Delegates of 2nd SFRM unanimously accepted this new youth Rusyn organization. I do believe that this organization shall be the great contribution for Rusyn youth movement and shall be the source of good ideas, initiatives and proposals. It comes to this, that SFRM already has five members of organization: abovementioned youth organization from America, Rusyn Youth Organisation (Spolok rusínskej mládeže Slovenska), JAR from Poland, Subcarphatian Youth (Mládež Podkarpatska) from the Ukraine and Pakt Ruthenorum from Serbia and Montenegro.


The SRRM is counting with the fact that within two years also the youth organization from Romania, which we do believe shall be set up by Rusyn youth in the immediate future, shall become the member of SFRM. They have the appropriate conditions for this act.


The conclusion of forum was devoted to the elections of new members of World Council of Rusyn Youth. Each state made a proposal of its member to SRRM. Delegates agreed on the following structure: chairperson – Mykola Maďeši from Serbia and Montenegro, vice chairperson – Alena Blichová from Slovakia, inspector – Damian Trochanovskyj from Poland, members of SRRM – Maria Silvestri from Northern America and Vasyľ Pukiš from Subcarphatia in Ukraine.


What else could be added… Just to find more time in the future for our youth negotiating, because there were many opinions, but there was a little of time. The meeting of SFRM began one hour earlier as it should, but on the next day (on 25th June 2005) this deficit got to balance, when we discussed all necessary issues within the framework of youth section. The next meetings of Rusyn youth could take place in Subcarphatia in the Ukraine and then in Vojvodina in Serbia and Montenegro.


Finally, let’s wish to the new World Council of Rusyn Youth and new member organization RUSYN OUTPOST: NORTH AMERIKA many successes during performance of their activities in Rusyn youth movement.

Mgr. Marek GAJ,

Medzilaborce, Slovakia


(Adjusted and translated from Rusyn language to Slovak language by: A. Z. You can find and read the original article in the section PRESS at our web site – Народны новинкы No. 25. – 28. / 2005.)

Declaration from 2nd World Forum of Rusyn Youth (SFRM)


        At its second meeting, the SFRM accepted as its new member the youth organization of Rusyns in Northern America – RUSIN OUTPOST: NORTH AMERIKA.

        The World Council of Rusyn Youth (SRRM) as an executive body of SFRM shall also in future propagate the activity of SFRM in various media and on Internet. The web page of SFRM shall be created.

         SRRM shall also in future act against slovakization of orthodox rite in Slovakia and shall support the effort to appoint the bishop for Rusyns.

        SRRM shall support the efforts for recognition of Rusyns in Ukraine as independent national minority.

        SRRM shall endeavour to make contacts with young Rusyns from all countries of the world.

        SRRM shall aim at improving the communication and cooperation with the World Council of Rusyns and SFRM with the World Congress of Rusyns.

        SRRM adopted the following decree – the 4th year of International summer camp of Rusyn youth shall take place on 19th –21st August 2005 in Syňi Potok in Ukraine (Re. note: according to our information only young Rusyns from SubCarphatia and Poland participated on this action)

        Pursuant to the elections, SRRM shall work and consist from 25th June 2005 from the following persons: chairperson Mykola Medeši (Vojvodina in Serbia and Montenegro), vice chairperson Alena Blichová (Slovakia), inspector Damian Trochanovskyj (Poland), members: Maria Silvestri (Southern America) a Vasyľ Pukiš (Subcarphatia in Ukraine).

In Krynica on 25th June 2005