CULTURAL AND NATIONAL IDENTITY OF THE POLES IN LATVIA
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The problem of the national identification appears particularly clearly in the border areas. The national identity in the areas like that should be best considered by analysing behaviour of individuals. Functioning of the culture and national identity could therefore be studied following the examples and individual experiences of the society members.This article presents the attempt of an analytical study of the national identity of a group of Poles inhabiting the Latvian village of Illukszta. The starting point of the analysis was the Kloskowska's a hypothesis on complex (dual) national identification and on perception of the national culture. The authoress of that theory presents four types of the national identification: integral, twin, insecure and cosmopolitan. The selected sample comprised individuals from the intelligentsia group (mostly teachers), 40 and more years old. The group could be further divided into four subgroups: (1) - those who considered themselves as Poles and did not want to learn the Latvian language; (2) - Poles who learnt the Latvian and the culture of the country; (3) - Poles who lost their identity to gain the Latvian identity and (4) - the Russified Poles.The analysis has proved that Kloskowska's hypothesis might be useful when researching and studying the cultural and national identity in the multi-national and multi-cultural environments. The article attempts to set a picture of some phenomena present in the borderline areas - the self-proclaimed identification of an individual when confronting the foreign culture and the language. That particular issue requires additional study in depth, as the superficial consideration of the problem may lead to the false conclusions.
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