Национальное сознание литовского национального 4меньшинства в Польше
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National identity of the Lithuanian minority in Poland
Świadomość narodowa litewskiej mniejszości narodowej w Polsce
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In the article, the author raises, essential for the Lithuanian minority in Poland, (1) the issue of comprehending the national identity, homeland, nation, and (2) the importance of the Lithuanian language, faith and educational system in the everyday life of the minority. She determines the elements shaping up the identity of the Suwalki Lithuanians residing in the ethnically cohesive border area, as well as the Suwalki Lithuaniansmoving from one place to another within Poland (internal migration). As the crucial elements of the two groups of Lithuanians, she recognizes their respect for the vernacular – the Lithuanian language, the history of Lithuania, the Catholic faith, and also the interior decorations of the Lithuanian household. Equally essential factors for the Lithuanian minority residing in the border area are the names, Lithuanian fairy tales and legends, as well as the local folk tales and wildlife. As far as the Suwalki Lithuanians of internal migration are concerned, the aforementioned elements are of less importance or even not physically present. They rather constitute an object of specific homesickness for the Lithuanians of seasonal migration, who pretty willingly and regularly get back to Suwalki, Sejny, Puńsk and its neighbouring areas to spend holidays there. The author also emphasizes the recent economic transformations, particularly those resulting in migrations leading to depopulating the Lithuanian ethnic areas and closing down the schools with the Lithuanian language as a language of instruction.
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