How to understand one’s identity in the age of globalization

Zastępca ambasadora RP na Litwie Maria Ślebioda zaznaczyła, że temat zachowania tożsamości na Wileńszczyźnie jest niezwykle istotny Fot. Marian Paluszkiewicz

On 16th October International Scientific Conference “Identity where cultures meet” has started. Last conference of this kind took place four years ago. It is the third time the representatives of academic society meet. This time we welcomed the guests from Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and the Great Britain.

All the participants were greeted by prof. dr Vilija Salienė, the prorector of Educological University. In her speech she pointed out that the globalization may make it difficult for people to understand their identity. “The subject of this conference is very improtant since in the globalized world it is very hard to maintain one’s identity. The problem concerns mostly the people who are a part of smaller cultures. In the present-day world it is easy to get lost and to stop realizing what our identity actually is,” said prof. dr Vilija Salienė.

The conference, which takes place at Lithuanian Educological University in Vilnius and in The Władysław Syrokomla Museum in Borejkowszczyzna, is a continuation of the scientific meetings during which the same problem was discussed. It concerns not only regional identity but also global identity, which in present-day situation is extremely important. The problem was also touched upon by Maria Ślebioda, the deputy of Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Lithuania. “The fact that we are talking about identity means that we understand this need. This problem is of extreme importance especially here, in Lithuania and Vilnius since both the subject and our history are very complex.

The participants were also greeted by Piotr Borek from Pedagogical University of Cracow.  “I am glad, that we have the opportunity to continue our perennial cooperation. I hope that the results of it will become widely-known and the conference will  result not only in issuing the materials on this subject but that it will allow us to work on bigger project in the future,” said prof. Piotr Borek who today, in The Władysław Syrokomla Museum in Borejkowszczyzna, will present the problem of ethnic identity of Romanies in Poland basing on the research of a Polish poet Jerzy Ficowski who is an expert on Jewish and Romani folklore.

The range of topics of the conference is quite wide: multiculturality, cross-culturality, the indications of personal identity in the biographies of writers and literary works, intercultural dialogue in the process of education and shaping of identity, the language of the students of Polish schools in Lithuania as a constituent for shaping identity, cultural heritage and traditions in borderland literature, the names of companies and shops in Vilnius, and more. The very first lecture was devoted to Czesław Miłosz, the eminent Polish poet, winner of the Nobel Prize.

“In one of his interviews, when asked about the values he appreciated most in other people Miłosz answered that they were openness, recklessness and generosity. This kind of answer would be typical of the people of the borderland, if we understand borderland as hard to define space shared by people of a community who have different values. In this sense “borderland” is a kind of social consciousness placing us in the realm of culture,” said prof. dr hab. Anna Szawerna-Dyrszka from University of Silesia.

The organizers of the conference are glad that there are many people interested in taking part in it. However, they admit that organizing such a conference is very challenging. Four years ago there were around 60 scientist who wished to participate in the meeting organized by Polish Language, Culture Study and Didactics Centre at Educological University, by the Institute of Polish Philology of the Pedagogical University and by Department of Slavistics of University of Ostrava.


Tłumaczenie by Gabriela Godek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, Translated by Gabriela Godek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights,

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