Franciszek Wasyl, Strange Ethnicity. Different Faces of Armenian Identity in Galicia Cover Image

Dziwna etniczność. Kształty tożsamości Ormian galicyjskich
Franciszek Wasyl, Strange Ethnicity. Different Faces of Armenian Identity in Galicia

Author(s): Franciszek Wasyl
Subject(s): History
Published by: KSIĘGARNIA AKADEMICKA Sp. z o.o.
Keywords: Armenians; identity; Galicia

Summary/Abstract: This paper deals with the issue of the identity of Polish Armenians in Galicia. One of the characters in the text is a Polish- and Ruthenian-speaking Austrian baron, Polish patriot and Armenian-style landholder – Grzegorz Romaszkan. The Author attempts to prove that, in addition to traditional ethnic characteristics such as the language or religious practices, one can observe a number of more hidden relations and bonds among the Armenians of Galicia. Genealogy and the memory of their ancestors, as well as important family celebrations - such as weddings, baptisms, and burials – were the building blocks of the identity of this small minority. By virtue of their religious – and thus metaphysical – nature, they left a permanent mark on the memory and sense of identity – more so than other, more fleeting life experiences, especially as they gathered significant portions of small local Armenian communities in one place (a church or cemetery): the central figures of the celebrations (the newlyweds, newborn babies, the deceased) and the witnesses, as well as relatives near and far. Celebrations at home and church helped forge the bonds within the Armenian family and ethnic group. Other aspects that defined the identity of the community included the physical space – also in the sentimental sense of the word. The memory of the family home, the estate, the manor house, the cemetery holding the remains of loved ones – were at the roots of emotional attachment to places and people that was stronger than any professed ideologies and cultural socialization. The source material for this paper was derived from memoirs and Church documents (certificates of baptism, marriage, death, etc., censuses of the faithful).

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 04
  • Page Range: 69-90
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Polish