Sen Mikołaja. Chełmszczyzna XIX–XXI wieku: ludzie i przełomy
Dream of Nicholas. Chełm Land from 19th to 21st: people and turning points
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Chełm land needs rethinking. One should not be indifferent to the transformations it is now undergoing. The one I have thought a lot about and been provoked to think about myself by for quite a few years now is „the different one” – the Orthodox. It turns out that the one from the past is very close to me (through my ancestors) and when the visting inhabitant of the Chełm Land, Chołmszczak, prays on „my land” is „at home” as well. I look at Chełm Land through the changes it experienced. They affected mainly those who actually lived there. I am trying to find an answer to the question: How did they feel about the changes? Did they have any special feelings about them at all? Or did they experience them in a completely different way from the one we can now imagine? To start with I tried to define the social community I find most interesting and which seems to play the key role in understanding the Chełm Land (Shoes). I asked myself whether whatever was shaken in the past still exists today and I talk about it in the „Nicholas in front of the Orthodox Church” paragraph. I broaden the problem indicated here in the next paragraph called „A cemetery and a well” to provoke thought on the physical picture of Chełm Land. I then present an introduction (The Inn) to an investigation of the so called common people’s perception of those changes. I also write about a case of taking advantage of a decree from 1875 by a person apparently not afflicted by the tsar’s policy on the Uniates (Mother of God in a well). I also wanted to take a look at those who remained Orthodox after 1905 (The resistant ones) and to demonstrate the religious tensions which rural communities experienced after 1905 (A fight). To be able to understand The Chełm Land one should observe the reactivation of the Orthodox Church and the piety with the another turning point in mind, namely the year 1938 (Cheers Iwane!). One could begin to reflect on the population movement in Chełm Land with the text entitled „Heaven”. I presented relations between Poles who lived there and those who moved there after World War II (Mamałajec) with the examples of Podhorce and Konopne (Hrubieszów county). In a short self introduction (Me) I would like to show the multiplicity of stories, people’s experiences, interpretations and the complexity of the identity issue. I would like to emphasise at the same time that I am one of the Chełm Land people and my comments and opinions are not any final conclusions. The Chełm Land is still alive and lively. The reactivation of the Orthodox diocese in the Lublin–Chełm region (restoration of liturgical and monastic life, the revitalisation of historic monuments) is yet another turning point for me.
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