Buryat culture in the eyes of Polish settlers— the inhabitants of the village of Vershina in Siberia
Vershina is a village located 130 km from Irkutsk, founded in 1910 by voluntary settlers from Little Poland. Poles in Siberia had to accustom to the difficult climate conditions as well as to their new neighbours — Buryats. Because of strong anthropomorphic differences, Polish settlers perceived Buryats as “distant strangers”, while the Slavonic nations — Russians and Ukrainians living in their region were “close strangers”. In spite of the differences, the relationships between Poles and Buryats have been always good, and during over 100 years in Siberia the members of the Polish community have acquired and adapted many elements of the Buryat culture. Nowadays Poles are not even able to differ some of them from their genuine Polish customs. The article is basing on the interviews with the inhabitants of Vershina, their oral histories and written texts gathered during field research in 2008 and 2011.
Translated by Anna Kijak