Porac People

- Posted 31 December 1999 -

Lively Words Radio Show

The following is an English translation of the transcript of a radio show with Dr. Stefan Hanuscin that was broadcasted by Presov Rusyn-Ukrainian Radio on 10. October 1999. The name of the program on which Dr. Hanuscin appeared is "Lively Words".

A Slovak newspaper SME published last year an article named "Porac, with a thousand Inhabitants, has its own Internet page". The article states that it exists thanks to Charles Stanislaw from northern Carolina whose ancestors had been living in this Spis village for more than 200 years. Since it is a fashion in America to search for family roots, so did the Stanislaw family, too. This is a quotation from the article.

I cut out this article from the newspaper and I put it on my bookcase where I can see it very well. My native village Porac, where "dusty roads" ends, became known in the world. Thanks to the people who have their roots there and to the technical invention named the Internet, Porac now has a world presence. I don't understand this new marvel very much, but I know that through it I can communicate with somebody from big distance anywhere on the earth. Our epoch is just at the beginning of information epoch, the scientists say. The big geographical distances among people have almost disappeared. We are inhabitants not just of our country, but continent and the globe. We don't know to imagine the consequences of this process.

What a paradox you can find on Internet. The cosmonauts walking on the moon and on the other hand a history of a small village located in the mountains. You must just write the right address of Porac page and press a bottom. You will find almost everything. For example, it is 780 m above the sea, there are iron mines.

You can't find in any guide that there are 64 stairs that lead to the village. It is a rarity. How many times a walked up and down these stairs. Since the buses ride to village, the stairs have overgrown with grass. The cross, resistant to time, is standing over them only.

This region is very glamorous. You can see clearly Belanske Tatry, Spis castle. This is my village - Porac. Nature is beautiful, just the soil is barren. That is why in the last century when the iron mines didn't give any living, some people there were looking for better living conditions abroad.

In the last century nearly 30 million people emigrated from Europe to America. Among them were many my compatriots - my father too. He was born in Stamford in America. Most of them came back to an " old country" where they bought piece of land, the others stayed in America. But they didn't lose in the world.

During this time my son enlarged the page about Porac to the depth and to the width. To his surprise, the descendants of emigrants through this Internet try to find their ancestors or great ancestors. Until now there have been mentioned about 40 people. Their parents and their grand parents were born in America, they settled down, they don't speak the mother tongue of their ancestors, but they are short of something. You can find out it in their letters. You feel a big interest and urging-entreating tone. Thinking about this fact, I see another explanation of that, than is in article. No, it is more than a fashion that is temporary. Their desire is deep inside their genes which shows a kind of frustration.

A psychologist says - The most expensive and the most luxurious house doesn't need to be "home". According to the Libig's law of minimum, the most important element in organic chemistry is the one, which is in the smallest amount. This law we can also generalize to society and to individual. One of the various values is home. Surroundings, especially experiences of our ancestors are showing to us right way how to react in a difficult situation. Traditions are the brain of origin. We have to appreciate it!

Vasilij Shukshin - a well-known Russian writer wrote a beautiful narrative named Stopka. Here is a short content. A young man Stopka escaped from a prison two months before he could be a free man. Everybody at home celebrates his comeback and believes that he was allowed to go home because of his good behavior. But in the middle of the celebration an officer comes to take him back to the prison. On the way back Stopka is talking to the officer. The officer says that it was very silly to do that and now he will be still longer about a half of year in prison because of the escape. Stopka replies unnaturally peacefully. He knows one point, what the officer doesn't know and he is never going to know. He breathed in some air from his home, he was at the party with his friends, got drunk. There, at home he took a soul stamina . He says to the surprised officer that he can stay two more years in the prison. In the end of this story he asks for a cigarette.

How small is the world in our present technological epoch I realized on the 21of July this year. There was Mr. Stanislaw with his wife for a visit in Bardejov - the author of the first Porac page. Long time before this visit, he was in his letters interested in wooden churches in our region . These churches belong to our valuable cultural monuments. So we went in the direction to Svidnik on the 21st of July on Wednesday morning. Our first stop was a village Mirola. Our guest was amazed by the view of the iconostas of the oldest wooden church in Slovakia. In this religious silence, where you can hear your thoughts, with a wonderment we were looking at the original renovated inscriptions on the wall. The letters were mysterious incomplete. I was talking to Mr.Stanislaw in our dialect. He spoke a more clean Porac dialect than I. My son communicated with his wife in English. On the second stop in a village Bodruzal we met a visitors from France. The woman was originally from Paris, her father the war-veteran with a gals profile, with his dignified look was a part of this atmosphere. He was just looking and looking to remember forever what he saw.

In a while two young men got out from their car with a number-plate of Belgium. The reason why they came was the same.

Incredible chance! This unorganized meeting of the people from three distant countries, America, west and middle Europe, it was something more than a chance only. This is a symbol of our era.

Then we went together to a village Prikra. The French and visitors from Belgium left for Mirola and we with our friends continued on our way to Dukla pass.

So, everybody wants what he doesn't have. This is our everyday frustration. We just don't know what in fact we miss. We are all equal in it. Maybe those accidental fiends came for a "second breath". Who knows...

It is necessary to emphasize a fact that Greg Kopchak is an initiator and a producer of " research service" , which dedicates looking for ancestors of Rusyns and Slovaks of eastern Slovakia. His ancestors come from Porac. It is a pleasant discovery for me. We might be some distant family. Whether it is so or not, there is a mental understanding between us. I can feel it even though there is a big distance of 7 000 km. But now at the period of globalization of the world it is a small distance. And now, as100 years ago, many young people are leaving for America for work or an experience. It is good thing as a personal experience is the best school of the life. Maybe there, they will recognize themselves better and also their country. And when they come back they will bring a experiences, a sense for organization of work, a pretension to duties and to themselves. It could be a contribution for us as well, who doesn't have much courage to go abroad.

I began with the Internet, I am also going to finish with the Internet. We are living in an epoch of information. They accompany us at every step, they are various, objective and also deliberately deformed. It is nearly impossible to be familiar with a contrary information and do a right deduction. We miss somebody who will show to us the right direction, because a good and an evil have the equal right to presentation. This is a negative side of liberty.

In difficult situations we have a heritage of our ancestors, their life - experiences what will help us. May a togetherness and unanimity are connecting us, that helped our ancestors to overcome the biggest difficulties.

Saint Demetrius Church

Porac, Slovakia

Koterbach, Slovakia

Slovinky, Slovakia

Stanislav Family

Kopchak / Macala Family

Olivia's Family Tree Page

To post your surnames and email address or add a link to those above, leave email to porac@iarelative.com with surnames and locations. The only restriction is that the surnames must be from Porac, Slovakia or related areas.

To contact a poster in the Searching area, just click on the email address of the poster.

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Midi Arr. Hej Slovaki, (c) 1997 Randall Kopchak of R and R Creative