Lemkos as a Small Relict Nation
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The investigation has shown a strong sense of cultural, linguistic and national identity among Lemkos inhabiting the nowadays Lemko Region. Today, like it was on the turn of the 19th century and between the two World Wars, the majority of Lemkos endeavour to preserve their specific consciousness and the distinct character of their community in relation to both Ukrainians and Poles. Nevertheless, one must keep in mind the existence of a group of Lemkos who identify themselves with the Ukrainian nation. There is no reason to call in question the Ukrainian nationality of these people likewise there is no reason to contest the Lemko nationality of those who label themselves as members of the Lemko nation. The question of nationality should be subject to free choice of people. The political changes in Poland in the last few years contributed to the cultural, social and political activization of Lemkos. In all likelihood this process will continue and it will support the preservation of Lemkos specific culture and national identity. However, it depends mainly on Lemkos themselves.
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