CULTURE AND IDENTITY IN POLAND'S EASTERN BORDERLAND (Kultura i tozsamosc wschodniego pogranicza Polski)
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The article deals with the compound nature as well as the territorial, political and cultural diversity of eastern Poland. Particular emphasis is put first on the historical rivalry of the Poles and the Russians, who both had strong national cultures and the will to exert great influence on the identity assumed by the population of eastern Poland. This political rivalry was accompanied by cultural rivalry. It was all later summed up in the unique cultural heritage and social and cultural separateness of the region. Today this region is composed of compact settlements of Lithuanians, Belarussians, and Ukrainians. The author discusses in detail the specific designates of the area still existing in its architecture, and in the languages and ethnic identity of the local people. His conclusion is that what we have here is not just one borderland of eastern Poland, but several different borderlands. Local buildings, dialects and local feelings of identity cannot be currently understood without narrations about their past, as well as a cultural revitalisation. Only then can the culture and identity be regained in the eastern region of Poland.
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