Language – the main sign of the ethnic community of people

Be able to cherish… our gift is immortal – speech!

I. Bunin

Why did the great Russian writer call for language? From whom and from what? And why does he call our speech “an immortal gift”? Why S. Dovlatov ends his novel “Inostranka”, written in emigration and on emigrants, with the words: “Oh, Lord! What honor! What unmerited favor: I know the Russian alphabet!”

Among the objective features of the ethnos, the main language was, is and will be a common language for the whole nation. Many peoples are scattered around the world, live in different economic conditions, have different stereotypes of behavior. But history affirms: despite this, the people remain an ethnic community if it has kept a common language. This was proved by Armenians living around the world, Chinese, Italians, etc. Russian emigration and the Ukrainian diaspora abroad proved to us that they are one people with those who live in Russia and Ukraine.

They kept their language and taught them to speak to their children, published newspapers and books in their native language.

The Ukrainian language went through a difficult path of bans and bullying. As in times of the empire, and under the totalitarian regime of the Bolsheviks. How many times it was officially forbidden! They maintained that there was no such language! Prohibited teaching in Ukrainian, did not allow publications, closed Ukrainian theaters. Under such conditions, another language might disappear. And disappear language – there is no such nation.

Contrary to all this, the Ukrainian language survived and brought to us the ancient culture, customs and traditions of the fathers – these subjective signs of the ethnic community of the nation. There were cultural figures who, without fear of persecution, collected and recorded oral folk wisdom, embodied in songs, in a poetic word, in folklore. An immortal gift was protected! To forbid to study, not publish books and not allow publicly express their thoughts in their native language, you can. But you can not forbid mothers to talk with

a child in the language that she inherited from her mother, you can not prohibit singing lullabies in your native language. From these affectionate native words something is forever settled in the soul of the baby, they affect it even at the subconscious level. Years of bans and tribulations, humiliation and humiliation did not kill the Ukrainian language, because it encoded the great culture of the people.

In today’s Ukraine there is a problem of mastering one’s native language. But it exists only for a part of the adult population. For the current schoolchildren this issue has been resolved: since childhood they have been bilingual, and this, in my opinion, is fine. “There is no more knowledge,” someone said. A wise thought. To an adult regardless of the language in which he speaks in the family, he could freely own Ukrainian, some declarations that it is necessary to know the official language of his country is not enough. In Russia, for example, to obtain citizenship, now you need to pass the test for knowledge of the Russian language. In Ukraine, I think, should also be so.

Attitude to the native language is similar to the relation to the native land. To love your homeland and not know the language spoken by the absolute majority of its population and which is public is “two things incompatible.”

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Language – the main sign of the ethnic community of people