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Klich, Aleksandra

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Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland | 25/06/2007

On the Silesians' lack of self-confidence

As a region on Europe's outer borders, Silesia is now to receive reinforcement. In an interview with Aleksandra Klich and Jósef Krzyk, Marek Szczepanski, a Polish sociologist at Silesia's University of Kattowitz, expresses his regrets about the negative changes in the region: "All inhabitants of Silesia carry a piece of borderland in them. If Silesia survives, then it is only in the minds of the people. But it will disappear if we don't preserve the real-life symbols. All other European border regions try to preserve their identity, their characteristic features and the best of their border culture, but we are just throwing away these attractions. The mines in which we could set up museums are going to ruin, we are ashamed of our regional cuisine and our folklore, we avoid the local and neglect our multiculturality. ... Alsace, Lothiringen and the South Tyrol have become tourist attractions thanks to their border positions. They have taken good care of themselves and protected and nurtured themselves. We in Silesia, on the other hand, have let ourselves be 'synchronised' and put in uniforms."

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