a Ph.D. in History, a senior researcher at the NASU M. Rylskyi IASFE Ukrainian Ethnological Centre Department
Belarusians on Territories of Steppe Ukraine: Peculiarities of Their Cultural Adaptation and Identity Maintenance (After the 2017–2018 Field Materials)
The article is dedicated to the life-world* peculiarities of the descendants of the Byelorussian migrants from the Smolensk region to the South of Ukraine at the early XIXth century. Some forms and methods of adaptation of the settlers in a new place and modern strategies of the cultural identity preservation are reproduced through the family legends and personal documents. Also an attempt is made to reveal the specific character of ethno-cultural interaction on these territories and the possibilities of the population selforganization. The carriers of family cultural traditions, as well as some enthusiasts who have succeeded to initiate the creation of an efficient and live museum as an important place for commemorative practices are of a peculiar significance in this movement. The fact that their ancestors come from the Smolensk province, where almost complete assimilation of the Byelorussian population during the XX century has taken place, is of particular importance. Consequently, the elements of the so-called preserved traditions have caused a considerable scientific interest. There is an obvious positive impact on other groups of the local population, who are also involved in joint activities bringing their own cultural experience. It is emphasized that the traditional skills of Byelorussian weavers have been important not only in the process of the community adaptation, but also become a contribution into the immaterial cultural heritage of the region in modern conditions.
migrants from the Smolensk region, Byelorussians, adaptation, ethno-cultural interaction, self-organization, immaterial cultural heritage.
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