31 May 2010

October 26 declared Carpatho-Rusyn Day in North America

One thing we American Rusyns have lacked is a common holiday here in North America, and the new Carpatho-Rusyn Consortium has come up with one.
Here's the release from that coalition of Rusyn organizations in U.S. and Canada:
Contemporary news clipping identifies Rusyns as "Uhro-Rusins."
MINNEAPOLIS / SASKATOON – The Carpatho-Rusyn Consortium of North America, a coalition of six cultural organizations representing the Rusyn people, has designated October 26 as Carpatho-Rusyn Day in the United States and Canada.  

The Consortium is asking its constituent organizations, and civic bodies in those countries, to commemorate and celebrate, at their discretion and in an appropriate manner, the history and culture of Carpatho-Rusyns on or near this date. 

The designation comes after a decision by the World Council of Rusyns, in which the Consortium participates, for Rusyn organizations in each country in which they live to choose an appropriate date on which Rusyns will be recognized at a national level.  

October 26 was chosen for the United States and Canada to commemorate a gathering at Independence Hall in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, in 1918 at which Carpatho-Rusyns were recognized for the first time as a distinct nationality by the member nationalities of the Mid-European Union as well as by the United States government.


In the fall of 1918, Carpatho-Rusyns joined in New York City with representatives of twenty other stateless peoples to form the Mid-European Democratic Union.  The three-member delegation representing Carpatho-Rusyns was chosen by the community’s largest immigrant organizations, comprised of members living in the United States and Canada

On October 26, 1918, representatives of twenty-one stateless peoples gathered in historic Independence Hall in Philadelphia (in the very room where America’s Declaration of Independence was proclaimed in 1776), where they signed a Declaration of Common Aims.
A better photo of the participants in the Mid-European Democratic Union

Lemko Rusyns living on the northern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains also expressed a desire to be part of Rusinia, and they proposed that idea to the Paris Peace Conference.  In the end, only Carpatho-Rusyns living south of the mountains were allowed to join, on a voluntary basis, the new state of Czechoslovakia.  

According to the Paris Peace Conference (Treaty of St. Germain, 1919), Rusinia—now renamed Subcarpathian Rus’—was to function as an autonomous (self-governing) territory within Czechoslovakia.  The head of the Carpatho-Rusyn delegation at the Mid-European Union in Philadelphia, the American lawyer Gregory Zhatkovych (in English, Zatkovich), was appointed the first governor of Subcarpathian Rus’.

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