This video reflects a reality of Ukrainian history that my friend Marsha J. Skrypuch and I discussed today.
She was telling me about the research she is doing for her next WWII-era novel, and reminded me that as recently as the middle of the 20th century, very few ethnic Ukrainians lived in the cities or even towns of what is now Ukraine.
How recent history has changed is that urban centres in Ukraine now are no longer populated primarily by occupying forces and/or re-settlers (with the sad and hopefully temporary exceptions of the Crimea and Donbas). Now, urban centres in Ukraine are populated by Ukrainians. Not necessarily ethnic Ukrainians, but with proud citizens of Ukraine, regardless of their ethnic heritage. And more and more of them speaking the native Ukrainian language.
I could ask if this is how a nation is born. The English word "nation" is the closest equivalent to the Ukrainian word "народ` (narod). But the Ukrainian word has so much more depth and breadth (just check out the list of synonyms on Google Translate) .
So to my mind, it is more accurate to say that this is how a state is born. The nation, it seems to me, was born long ago.
This video to me illustrates an astonishing change in Ukraine's self-identity, and rapidly growing maturity as a nation-state.
To all my native Ukrainian friends ... I stand in awe (and the greatest admiration) of all of you. Molodetz!
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