« 2019. #2 (146)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2019, 2 (146), 481—491

UDK 39(=161.2:438:71)




PhD in Ethnology, Assistant professor

Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology

of Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland,

9 Golebia Street, 31-007 Cracow

Contacts: e-mail:

Abstract. The Ukrainian diaspora in Canada is a general term concerning the population of Ukrainian origin living in this country. However, the diaspora is not a monolith and consists of many different groups of migrants (from Ukraine, from former Yugoslavia, from Poland) and people whose ancestors settled in Canada (pioneers, emigration of the interwar period, DP). Immigrants from Ukraine who has been coming to Canada in recent years, dynamize cultural processes in the diaspora and the question of the past and cultural boundaries of individual groups, therefore the Ukrainian diaspora research is relevant and necessary. To this day, Ukrainian immigrants from Poland have not received the attention of researchers.

The article is based on materials from ethnographic field research conducted in Canada since 2014 among the people of Ukrainian origin who left Poland in the 1980s. The author used the methods typical for socio-cultural anthropology: interviews and participant observation. Immigrants got to the Ukrainian diaspora, well organized and operating an established discourse on the past, where there is no place for the local history of Ukrainians from Poland. The author’s purpose in this article is to discuss the connection between cultural memory and migration, as well as the fact that memory distinguishes the Ukrainian community from Poland from other groups that form the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada. The memory of Ukrainians from Poland is closely related to their migration and examining it provides knowledge about their identity ambiguity, modification and manipulation of belonging to particular communities within the Ukrainian and Polish diasporas. The author also analyzes the role and significance of Poland and Ukraine in their lives, their involvement in the wider Ukrainian context in Canada, ties with the local Polish community, problems with unambiguous identity assignment, and a specific group distinction. The aforementioned distinction is a challenge for the diaspora in the sense of a homogeneous and closed group. In return, the author proposes to consider the Ukrainian diaspora as a transnational imagined community in accordance with the theoretical proposal of M. Sцkefeld, and to follow the attitudes, practices and ideas of both the diaspora and of the native country, as inspired by R. Brubaker.

Keywords: memory, diaspora, homeland, Ukrainians from Poland, Canadians of Ukrainian origin, Canada.

Received 15.02.2019


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