Język religii i jego znaczenie dla zachowania tożsamości przez polskich staroobrzędowców
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The role of religious language of Polish Old Believers is considered as a factor constructing the identity of the given group. First Old Believers came to Poland in the 2nd part of the 17th century. They had to escape from their fatherland for religious reasons. Religion was an important element of Old Believers’ identity from the very beginning of the movement and played an important role in the coming ages, too. Living among Roman Catholics, they wanted to preserve their religion as well as language and culture. After the Second World War their communities underwent socio-economic and civilisational changes. Nowadays most of the former customs are forgotten. Though religion was still the most important component of the Old Believers’ identity, its role decreased. Although the community is changing, the changes are not of the same weight in rural and urban communities. Religion influences language choice in both parts of the given group, but in the village parish Russian dialect is spoken much more often than in the town. Also the ways of revitalisation are different in both parts of the region: the Old Believers form the town of Suwałki and its surroundings tend to preserve and revitalise their identity with a help of their Russian-speaking coreligionists from Latvia and Lithuania, while the citizens of the southern part of the region (Gabowe Grądy parish) are basing on their traditional culture.
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