Distressing News From Europe
from the Carpatho-Rusyn Society
Since the fall of Communism, Slovakia has been the most supportive of
its Rusyn minority, supporting its efforts since 1989. With the election
of the Meciar government however, things have changed. We received a letter
from Alexander Zozuljak, editor of the Rusyn publications, asking for our
assistance. It seems the Slovak government has cut their allowance in half
this year, but did so already half way through the year. The Rusyns
therefore have no money to continue publishing after August 31. In addition,
Dr. Paul R. Magosci of the Carpatho-Rusyn Research Center has informed
us of the following recent events:
- The Slovak government has declined to acknowledge the codification
of the Rusyn language and has refused to allow the new Rusyn textbooks
and history books to be sold or distributed. No teachers have been prepared
at the University level. No Rusyn language will be taught this fall.
- Despite its promises, the Slovak government has still not begun Rusyn
language radio in Presov. Rusyn programming is available only in Ukrainian,
despite the fact that in the last census, 50,000 people said their language
was Rusyn, while only 10,000 claimed Ukrainian.
- To date, the government has authorized no funding for the Rusyn Renaissance
Society this year.
- The government has forbidden the Institute for Rusyn Language and Culture
from functioning as a part of the Rusyn Renaissance. Therefore, even American
scholars cannot study with this Rusyn institute.
In light of this, we ask you to consider doing one (or both) of the
- Write a letter to the Slovak Embassy in Washington, D.C. While it is
best to write your own, you can simply sign the Sample
Letter and mail it. What is important is that the Slovak Embassy receive
as many letters as possible as soon as possible. Spouses should each send
their own letter.
- Make a contribution if you wish to assist the Rusyns in publishing
periodicals and books until this issue is effectively addressed. If you
would like to contribute, no matter hat the amount, make your checks payable
to The Carpatho-Rusyn Society and we will forward it in one lump sum to
the editors. They are asking various Rusyn-American organizations to help
them raise the $35,000 they need for the rest of the year.
You must remember that the Rusyns of Europe have no one to assist them
in times like these but the American Rusyn community. The Ukrainians in
Slovakia, for instance, when their funding was cut, received 1 million
Slovak crown from the Ukrainian government to help them continue. Because
we Rusyns have no nation of our own, there is no "mother country"
to fund Rusyn efforts in Europe. We hope you will consider assisting in
which every way you are comfortable.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15217
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Last modified on September 27 1997
Greg Gressa [firstname.lastname@example.org]
The Carpatho-Rusyn Knowledge Base