At the last meeting of the platform, the head of the Round Table of Rusyns in Slovakia, Milan Pilip, got the approval from the members to make an appointment with the head of the Presov Self-Governing Region, Peter Chudik. The aim of the meeting would be discussing three issues: the possibility of teaching Rusyn in the middle pedagogical schools in the country, financing of the Alexander Duchnovic’s Theatre and financing of the Sub-Duklan Umelec folk council.
Peter Chudik has been the Presov’s head since 2001 when law was adopted according to which Slovakia was divided into 8 states and the first campaign for the deputies and heads of the states were carried out. A country is often appreciated for the fact that it is rich in national minorities, there is a committee by the Presov Self-Governing Region country that deals with culture and national minorites. Chudik often signs patronage for various Rusyn cultural events, often he also participates in them. He is mostly encountered in Rusyn villages during a year in which campaings take place. Then, the villages receive donations. It may seem that Chudik appreciates Rusyns. However, the facts are the evidence for something completely different.
Pilip wanted to talk to Chudik about the three mentioned topics because they are dependent on his good will or lack of it. He is the head of the region and he has the support of majority in the Parliament. This means it would not have been a problem for him to do something if he really cared. But apparently, he does not care for Rusyn matters as much.
The country will decide on all of the three topics. The country rules middle schools. There were some questionnaires made in the Pedagogy High School in Presov. There, quite a big number of students said that they would like to learn Rusyn, less of them said they would like to sit the final exam on Rusyn, there were also students who, after finishing school, would like to move to a Rusyn village to teach in the local (home) schools. The are also pedagogical schools in Humenne and Levoch within the Presov region. Students from Rusyn villages attend all of them and it would be a potential if they study our language. Rusyn mother tongue would be used in the most basic educational entities, it could open doors for other possibilities: from such mother schools parents would like the children to go to primary schools then where Rusyn would be also taught.
The Alexander Duchnovic’s Theatre in Presov and the Sub-Duklan Umelec folk council are the only professional institutions of this kind in the world. After change of the legislative, they belong to the state that rules them. Although they are the only professional institutions of this kind in the world, they have been limited financially for a long time. Although they are the only professional institutions of this kind in the world, they have to self-advocate for their projects for many times, like the other organizations – premieres, grants etc. in order to perform professional production which is expected from them. I would expect from the country, which can be proud of the fact that it has the only professional institutions of this kind in the world, some better attitude, but unfortunately, the reality is as it is. And it is a shame.
Milan Pilip asked the head Chudik for a meeting regarding the aforementioned issues. He got a response. It did not come from Chudik, but from a man who signed himself only with initials. It was saying that the head of the region had other tasks to do on the suggested dates. And that Pilip should ask Peter Krajniak who is the state secretary of the Ministry of Education. There was no other suggestion for another date of the meeting. Simply – leave us.
What can Milan Pilip discuss with Peter Krajniak from the Ministry of Education when the middle schools are governed by the state? And what can they discuss regarding the theatre and ensemble?
Peter Chudik has been ruling as a monarch in the Presov Self-Governing Region since 2001. During his rule, the Rusyn theatre was to present one Ukrainian premiere once a season as compulsory. He was the inititiator of an meeting during which a decision was made that we should agree with Ukrainians in Svidnik, not to organize two festivals – Ukrainian and Rusyn, but one, common. From 22 April 2014, neither Chudik, nor anyone from his administration area, managed to respond to the letter that was sent to them by the Local organization of the Rusyn Obroda in Slovakia in Presov, where Rusyns demanded that Rusyn language be also taught in the School of Taras Shevchenko in Presov, where the main language is Ukrainian and which was transferred from a Greek Catholic Rusyn middle school founded by bishop Gojdich, as it used to be our school and Rusyn children have been attending it until nowadays. Peter Chudik does not even want to meet the head of the Round Table of Rusyns in Slovakia, who is simultaneously also a member of the Campaign on national and ethnic minorities, the Rusyn minority, at least to talk with him about what Rusyns would wish, the people majority of whom live in Slovakia, a country that he is the head of.
Rusyn organizations should take all this into consideration and should stop asking Peter Chudik to patronise the events organized by them. Chudik is not the patron of Rusyns in the country where he rules. Quite opposite – it seems that he does not care about Rusyns at all. And we should stop creating the image of him among our people, the image of him that is not true.
Source of the photography
( The article was written as a commentary to “Tickets, please” by lem.fm Lemko radio)
ARTICLE WRITTEN ACCORDING TO PRESOVIAN STANDARDS OF RUSYN LANGUAGE