The Case of Polish Children in Sweden
Chapter 1 The Polish diaspora in a multicultural Europe
Millions of people in Europe have for centuries lived in a multicultural and multilingual setting. The great migration waves of the last fifty years or so have irrevocably altered the European landscape which was once the cradle of the Judaeo-Christian civilisation.
From time immemorial, Europe has been a melting pot of cultures, bearing witness to the (far too often bloody) intermingling of different peoples and coexistence of various languages. What is important here is not merely the existence of multiple nation states in Europe (which is a relatively new phenomenon) but the fact that there is probably no country in Europe that does not have at least one autochthonous ethnic minority, indigenous to the land for generations. This is, obviously, also true of the Slavic countries. For example, Poland has been home to generations of Ukrainians, Belarusians, Germans, Lithuanians and Kashubians, and Jews represented 10% of the country’s population before the Holocaust. In Slovakia, there are Hungarian, Ruthenian and Romany long-term minority residents. Russians make up nearly half the population of Ukraine, while Poles and Tatars have lived there for centuries; Russians are the largest minority group in Belarus, but there are also Poles. In Bulgaria, there are Turks and Romanies. The ethnic structure of Russia is also known to be very complex, as are the ethnic profiles of the former Yugoslavian countries (Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo).
Today, Europe is growing even more multicultural and multilingual, which is particularly evident in large metropolitan areas of western Europe....
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