30 October 2010

More than 100 mark Carpatho-Rusyn Day in Munster, Indiana

The crowd began gathering an hour before the 1 p.m. event began.

More than 100 people gathered at St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church Saturday afternoon to mark the first Carpatho-Rusyn Day in North America with the Lake Michigan Chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society.

The program was headlined by author Mark Wansa's presentation on his novel, "The Linden & The Oak," but began with a program that opened with the singing of "Ja Rusyn Byl," and included remarks from Dana Hunatova, the Consul General of the Czech Republic in Chicago.

Hunatova told the audience she had two reasons for accepting the invitation to the event. First, she recognized the connection between the Carpatho-Rusyns and the first Czechoslovak Republic (1918-1939), and second, her Czech father was born in Trans-Carpathia.

Dana Hunatova
John Sutko, a member of the board of the Lake Michigan Chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society, used his skills as choir director at St. Peter & St. Paul Orthodox Church to lead the audience in the Rusyn anthem, the folk song "Červena Ruža Trojaka,"and, in closing, "Mnohaja L'ita."
Mark Wansa

The hospitality of the St. Nicholas Parish was noted on many levels, from the comfortable facilities to the  hot dog and sloppy joe lunch provided by the parish women. The pastor of St. Nicholas, Father Frank Korba, welcomed  his guests by leading the singing of "Carju Nebesnyj" in Church Slavonic.

But the main focus of the afternoon was Wansa's illustrated presentation on the research he did to turn his family story into the expansive novel "The Linden & The Oak."

Wansa repeatedly touched common chords with the audience, composed of Rusyn-Americans, some of whom drove two hours to attend the day's festivities.

Another Lake Michigan Chapter board member, Michael Baron, and his cousin, Jim (Pudlik) Lilek, helped prepare a fitting gift for Wansa to thank him for coming from Albuquerque, N.M., for his presentation -- a bottle of homemade slivovitza that was sampled by members of the board after Saturday's event.
Tasting the homemade slivovitza

26 October 2010

Greetings on this first Carpatho-Rusyn Day in North America

Today, Oct. 26, is the official observance of Carpatho-Rusyn Day in the U.S. and Canada.

While we're marking the day Saturday at St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church in Munster, Ind., here's a rendition of the the Carpatho-Rusyn anthem by the Slavjane folklore group from Pittsburgh to get the juices flowing:

Welcome the Carpatho-Rusyn American to cyberspace

The Carpatho-Rusyn American was published as a quarterly journal from 1976 to 1996, and that collection of articles on Rusyn history and culture is being reprinted on a regular basis in blog form,  as "another look at classics of Rusyn scholarship."

The first reprinted piece is a quick bio of Alexander Duchnovyč, the 19th Century "national awakener of the Carpatho-Rusyns."

It looks to be another great resource to get your grounding in Carpatho-Rusyn topics.

23 October 2010

A Chicago-area family history event for Czechs, Slovaks, Rusyns & others

The Czech and Slovak American Genealogical Society is sponsoring a family genealogy workshop for Saturday, Nov. 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. at T.G. Masaryk School, 5701 W. 22nd Place in Cicero.

CSAGI can be a great resource for folks doing family history research from the former Czechoslovakia -- including modern-day Transcarpathia, when it was a part of the first Czechoslovak Republic  (1918-1939).

Here are the details on their workshop (click for a larger copy):

22 October 2010

Ukrainian news agency notes Rusyn event in Mukachevo

It's rare when an official Ukrainian entity refers to Rusyns as simply and straightforwardly as this dispatch from Ukrinform/Укрінформ:

KYIV, October 22 /UKRINFORM/. The 12th Rusyn Culture Festival has opened in Ukraine's western Mukachevo with almost 30 Rusyn folk teams.

In his opening speech, Mukachevo Mayor Zoltan Lendyel said the Rusyns of the Transcarpathia have an opportunity to safeguard and develop their language, songs, dances and hand them over to next generations.

The Rusyns are an Eastern Slavic ethnic group who speak an Eastern Slavic language or dialect known as Rusyn. They live in Ukraine, Slovakia, Poland, the Serbian Province of Vojvodina, and in Hungary.

17 October 2010

Some classic advertising from the Carpatho-Rusyn press

I love old advertisements, and while I was doing some research today in the microfilm version of the Amerikansky Russky Viestnik -- once the main source of Rusyn news in the U.S. -- I came up with a few ads for mostly familiar products to share.

13 October 2010

The Chilean mine rescue stirs up a Carpatho-Rusyn immigrant story

The miraculous rescue operation ongoing in Chile has brought to mind story from my family that's not uncommon for Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants, the story of my grandfather and his life and death in the mines.

I blogged about it as part of my day job,

George Cordak and his family in Clymer, Pa. My mother, Helen, is the youngest child.

11 October 2010

A Carpatho-Rusyn celebration in Pittsburgh this weekend

Here's the schedule of activities:

11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Rusyn Fall Festival with Rusyn food vendors, artisans and ethnic items Costume display from Spis¹ County One day display of the art of the Warhola Family.

4 p.m.
C-RS Annual Meeting with Guest Speakers - Ted Zatkovich Gregg and Connie Zatkovich Ash - children of the first governor of Subcarpathian Rus'.

6 - 10 p.m.
Rusyn Dance Party featuring the music from Rus'kyj Muzikanty. Dance instruction available from Slavjane's Dean Poloka. Rusyn food and drinks for sale. BYOB.

For more information, call 412-567-3077, or email president @c-rs.org.

01 October 2010

Sunday is election day for the Rusyn minority in Hungary

Hungarian flag
Members of Hungary's 13 recognized ethnic minorities -- including Rusyns, go to the polls Sunday to elect local authorities. Each of the 13 -- Romas, Germans, Slovaks, Croats, Romanians, Ukrainians, Serbs, Slovenes, Poles, Greeks, Bulgarians, Rusyns and Armenians -- have local authorities.

The Hungarian Act on National and Ethnic Minorities provides minorities of at least 1,000 people who have lived on Hungarian territory for at least a century legal rights to participate in public life. In addition to forming local units of government, they can foster their culture and ethinc identity, through use of their native language, including in street signs and public notices.

An estimated 1.2 million Hungarian citizens profess to belong to a minority, but some 228,000 have registered for Sunday's vote.