Meeting in the borderlands

Greek Catholic Church in the Lemko village of Łosie, southern Poland. John Beauchamp/TFN

In this week’s programme, John Beauchamp takes a look at an educational project which brings together students from across Europe to meet in the continent’s borderlands. We hear from Beata Tomczyk and Jarosław Kociszewski.

The women from the Ruty Uwite group sing in Lemko, a dialect of Rusyn, about life, love, the seasons, and of course the lush nature which makes up the entire Beskid mountain range.

Straddling the Slovak border, the Beskid Niski in particular is of outstanding beauty and is the home to some of Poland’s Lemkos, an ethnic group which stretches across the Beskid mountains and foothills in Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Lemkos, and Rusyns in general, are just one ethnic group which cross borders in this part of Europe, and are just one of many groups which students had the chance to find out about in a project run by European Network Remembrance and Solidarity, a multinational organisation set up by a number of European culture ministers in 2005.

In this week’s review:

·     Polish, Ukrainian PMs discuss sovereignty, stability, security

·     Poland’s Monetary Council leaves all interest rates unchanged

·     Poland’s largest collection of comics goes on show as first step towards creating country’s first Comic Museum

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Full disclosure: I had a chance to participate in the project, where I helped the participating students with audio production in the region, while my colleagues were in Ivano-Frankivisk in Ukraine and Usedom in Germany, just a stone’s throw from the Polish port city of Świnoujście.