RCIN and OZwRCIN projects

Search for: [Abstract = "This article addresses the issue of the modern Polish diaspora in Curitiba – an important and symbolic city in the context of the Polish migration to Brazil ongoing since the second half of the 19th century. An overview of Polish migratory flows to Curitiba through time is offered, with account taken of the city’s significance as unique space for social activeness on the part of Brazilian\-resident Poles. The work detailed here has had as its main aims the identification of “Polish” places and areas in Curitiba’s social space, the profiling of the Polish migrant, and the assessment of relations between the modern Polish diaspora and the mother country, in the contexts of different migration generations. The city of Curitiba has been perceived as a significant and symbolic place for Polish migrants since the very beginning of Polish migration history. With time, it has become the informal “capital city” of Latin American Polonia, being home to the largest numbers of Polish migrants and people with Polish roots. Curitiba has also been the city in which Poles have consistently been most active, both socially and institutionally. This social activeness is a vital expression of the presence of a particular minority in a host country. It is also a reflection of the need for pro\-social initiatives to be pursued with a view to migrants gaining support. Thus the social activities taken up by members of the Polish diaspora in Brazil arise out of a need for national identity to be sustained and Polish traditions promoted. The number of Polish organisations is a visible expression of social activeness, there being no fewer than 151 such organisations in Brazil, 21% of them operating in Curitiba. Most are oriented towards artistic, cultural, religious and administrative\-organisational activity. The significance of Curitiba as a symbolic centre for the Polish diaspora is also expressed in public spaces and cultural objects. Curitiba’s public space is marked by the presence of Polish monuments, plaques and street names commemorating famous and appreciated Poles, as well as by Polish national institutions. There is only one Department of Polish Language in Latin America, and it is at the Federal University of Parana in Curitiba. For the purposes of this article, a survey among a significantly differentiated group of respondents has been carried out. The group comprised representatives of the Polish diaspora having Polish ancestors three generations back, as well as modern Polish migrants. The Polish diaspora in Curitiba is found to be dispersed spatially, and deeply immersed in local social structures. Yet, there are several areas with higher concentrations of people having Polish roots. The level of social and economic development there does not differ significantly from that in the rest of the city, with the middle class prevailing in the social structure. The survey shows that, while the descendants of Polish settlers are not fluent Polish speakers and do not visit the “mother country” very often, Polishness is demonstrated by the diaspora present in Curitiba. It is clearly visible in public space of the city as there are numerous objects representing Polish historical and cultural heritage, as well as cultural events. It is also visible in social behaviour of Brazilian Polonia, who still cultivate Polish traditions and customs. Their social activeness is also demonstrated in the public sphere. Since the day Poles first settled in Brazil, and in Curitiba, these people have been integrating steadily with Brazilians and assimilating into their society. This makes the strong bond with the “mother country” that is still present even more important, it being more than a simple sense of people being Poles, gaining manifestation in actions taken up with a view to Polish ideas being promoted in both the private and public spheres."]

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