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
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!
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!“
July 9th, 2008
The Chairman of WCoR met the leading representatives of ARYS and
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
(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
students who are taking their A-level exams
Participants in the discussion with students of L.
Stöckel Secondary Comprehensive School in Bardejov
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
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.
March 7th, 2007
Association of the
Rusyn Youth in Slovakia
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).
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.
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.
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;
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;
Council of ARYS actively promoted the events of the organisation in
members of ARYS organise various cultural events for the young every
ARYS has its website
http://www.rusyn-rusnak.szm.sk where it presents itself;
members of ARYS take an active part in national-revival activities
at schools in the Prešov region.
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.
chairman of ARYS
Forum with first outcomes...
June 2005, simultaneously with 8th World Congress of Rusyns,
2nd World Forum of Rusyn Youth (SFRM) took place in Polish
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.
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.
meeting of SRRM took place within the framework of 1st year of
international summer camp in Komloška in
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.
meeting of young people was organised after one year, specifically on
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.
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
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.
consider the admittance of new member of SFRM - organization of young
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.
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.
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
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.
(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. /
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
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