What is the difference? Language issue


I have long been concerned that many Ukrainians speak russian (almost without knowing their native language). Since everyone in the family speaks Surzhik, and most of my friends and acquaintances speak russian, I hardly spoke Ukrainian, although I knew it well.

One day, while talking to my brother, I automatically switched to Ukrainian and heard him say, “Why do you speak such a strange language? What the difference does it make what language you speak?” After which I gave him a heated debate about it. My friend was born into a russian-speaking family and also does not understand the point of switching to another language.

These are all terrible consequences of many years of Russification of Ukrainians. In the days of tsarist Russia, when thanks to the Valuev Circular of 1863 and the Ems Decree of 1876, the use of the Ukrainian language in the field of culture was strictly prohibited. But the liberation struggles of the Ukrainians of 1917–1921 showed that tsarism failed to destroy the Ukrainian people, to turn them into part of the russians. And the Ukrainians are able to fight for their national rights, including the field of language and culture.

In our current circumstances, the language issue has become even more acute. Fortunately, most conscious Ukrainians are beginning to speak their native language and give up everything russian. It can not but rejoice.

The main thing is not to be silent. It may not be easy. Switching to another language is not the same as changing the language in the phone settings. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The world will not explode if you are wrong. It’s worth it!

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