Ukrainians In Australia Are A Paradox

Australia Ukraine

Australia Ukraine 

2015/01/26 • Culture, Ukraine

Article by: Mykola Mowczan

In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, he wrote “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” It is an absurd statement ~ it is a paradox, however, the point of this paradox is to point out a truth. Thus even if the statements contradict each other in their integral structure they represent the truthful intent – in other words they represent the real interpretation.

Let’s apply George Orwell’s postulate to ex-soviet Ukraine.

For many years the government claimed that everyone is equal when that is clearly false. The structure of this reality began to disintegrate because the premise was being questioned and ultimately there was proof to the contrary. However even in today’s Ukraine there are those who cling to this old perception and have distorted it to the point that the opposite is now the reality, That is, everyone is equal except those in the government.

However since the fall of communism stronger minded individuals have had different perceptions of what it means to be equal and they still believe and follow the above paradox.

This paradox manifests itself everywhere throughout society and pending the individual’s paradigm it takes on various forms. Namely, Ukraine is for Ukrainians who speak Ukrainian. Apart from the nationalistic approach to this question one has to realise another issue, that people have been either voluntarily or involuntarily moved from all corners of the former USSR for decades and centuries. Thus Ukraine (and many other countries from the ex-USSR) are somewhat like we have in Australia. That is, a melting pot of people from many cultures.

And George Orwell’s paradox “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” continues to reinvent itself and manifest itself in all areas where Ukrainians dwell today.

The alternative paradox is also fascinating, “All animals are not equal, and most are less equal to the others”. Strangely, this juxtaposition of the paradox could be the absurdity that we are living in today. Stated simply, we know we are not equal and we choose to believe that the other is less equal, because of linguistic, religious, political, socio-economic and maybe other reasons that I have forgotten to mention.
The premise that “all animals are equal” was tolerable and some do not want to go away from this role model today. Along with this role model came the premise that “some are more equal than others” which was to some extent tolerable. However recently in Ukraine, where despots like Yanukovych have taken it to the Nth degree the people have no tolerance.

Many of the immigrants of the last 10-20 years from Ukraine do not or cannot perceive the cultural differences between them and the immigrants from the 1950’s.

Many issues face the eastern and western Ukrainians, including religion, culture and language. Many of the latter year migrants do not belong to any confession (or choose not to) and many from the east speak a vastly different language and culture. Many who belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine seeked out the Russian Orthodox Church in Australia and have been totally integrated with the Russian community.  Many do not seek out Ukrainian associations or churches or do not of their existence.

Many, those that do know of them choose to stay away simply because they do not feel the need to integrate within the Ukrainian Association or Church. Why should they, if they were not part of such a community back home in Ukraine. It is those who were born here to perceive the association of Ukrainians was the community (this model in today’s youth has almost vanished).

Today’s immigrating Ukrainians do not have the need that our fathers had, many come to Australia with advanced education, with reasonable knowledge of the English language and most importantly they are immigrating of their own free will. Compare this to many with little education, no English and war refugees.
The immigrants (refugees) of the 50’s wanted to preserve something they were ripped apart from and commenced building associations, which when formed built churches and halls. Although not as common, some even returned to Ukraine once they paid of the debt to the Australian Government.

Today the needs and desires are different; we live in a vastly different technophobic world.

We contact loved ones whenever we need, wherever they are on this planet and use internet to communicate to them.

We do not feel as isolated and hence have little reason to build communities outside of our own family units.

We do not like it when we are compelled to join this or that, this is our own choice and that is that!

We have become masters of our own destiny, “hetmans in our own homes”, “kings in our own castles”

What is our future in Australia? The decision is up to each individual.  Most importantly we should respect all decisions.

Personally, I hope that we could rewrite George Orwell’s paradigm and make it a working model, namely

WE ARE ALL EQUAL!
WE WILL BE TOLERANT OF EACH OTHERS LINGUISTIC DIFFERENCES, CULTURES AND RELIGOINS.
WE DESERVE ONE ANOTHER!
WE ARE UKRAINIANS
WE ARE PROUD OF OUR HERITAGE
WE DO WANT TO BE ACCOUNTABLE AS ONE GROUP AND THIS CAN BE ONLY BE ACHIEVED IF WE WORK UNDER ONE UMBRELLA

Mykola Mowczan

 

Mykola Mowczan,  International Diplomatic Mission of People’s Diplomacy ‘European Ukraine’,  Head of Mission (Australia)

Edited by: Vitalii Usenko

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  • sandy miller

    I wasn’t sure what this writer was saying. For those of us who don’t belong to the Ukrainian community anywhere still support Ukrainian independence with our voices and our money. I do not want Ukraine to die. Russia has been trying to kill it for centuries and for those Ukrainians who don’t know their own history and don’t care to I feel sorry for them that they have so little concern or care for their ancestory. Look how strong the jewish community has stayed thru all the centuries. Why? Because they’ve stuck together and help fight Israel’s battles. If only Ukrainians could be so great and smart as the jews.

    • Ozikozak

      To understand my article one must have an understanding of the novelette Animal Farm by George Orwell. Animal Farm (1945) is considered one of Orwell’s most popular and enduring works. Utilizing the form of an fable, with the main characters being animals, the short novel chronicles the story of a group of barnyard animals that revolt against their human masters in an attempt to create a utopian state. Commentators widely view Animal Farm as an allegory for the rise and decline of socialism in the Soviet Union and the emergence of the totalitarian regime of Joseph Stalin. Critics regard the story as an insightful and relevant exploration of human nature as well as political systems and social behaviour. After its translation into Russian, it was banned by Stalin’s government in all Soviet-ruled areas.

      My essay draws a parallel to the life and conditions in Ukraine in 2014 as it was in “Animal Farm” Napoleon’s adoption of nearly all of Mr. Jones’ principles and harsh mistreatment of the animals proves to the reader that indeed communism is not equality, but just another form of inequality. The pigs and dogs take most of the power for themselves, thinking that they are the best administrators of government. Eventually the power corrupts them, and they turn on their fellow animals, eliminating competitors through propaganda and bloodshed. This, in “Animal Farm” this is a reference to Stalin and in my essay to Yanukovich, who murdered and manipulated his own people in order to maintain his dictatorial style of government.

      Animal Farm was a novel in Australian educational curriculum back in the 1960’s and 1970’s and it would be worthy to re-introduce it to the school system today as its theme of power and corruption is timeless, George Orwell also wrote another larger book, 1984. (1)

      The second part of my essay deals with the immigration of Ukrainians to Australia and compares them to the 1950’s “enforced” immigration.

      It is my understanding after speaking to many immigrants that Australia represents a utopia and freedom that they did not have in Ukraine. In other words they were escaping the Ukrainian Animal Farm and so it is analogous that they do not want to fit in a model Ukrainian society and be controlled yet again.

      The Euromaidan and the subsequent war in Ukraine have offered the opportunity for many of the newer immigrants to work with Ukrainian communities. Together we have collected money for the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) in Ukraine and subsequently we have created new bonds ~ hopefully the stigmata of the Animal Farm will be erased as we continue to create new friendships, new relationships and build a common new life for us all!

      i will continue to live in my utopia and work towards that time that all Ukrainians in
      Australia will be tolerant of each other’s linguistic differences, cultures and religion and be accountable as one group which can be only be achieved if we work under one “blue and yellow” umbrella.

      (1) George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 (completed in 1949) is the masterpiece, it is dystopian novel in which Orwell attacks the idea of totalitarian communism (a political system in which one ruling party plans and controls the collective social
      action of a state) by painting a terrifying picture of a world in which personal freedom is non-existent.

    • disqus_aJpixObjG7

      Amen Sandy! Indeed! UKRAINE MUST LOOK TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND ISRAEL AS THEIR EXAMPLE on how to become a people and a state, united while surrounded by vicious enemies….

  • Michel Cloarec

    Animal farm was and still is against despotism, whatever it is ! Animal farm has been in use in all schools (any level) in France, in England and so on .
    It was forbidden in URSS, for simple reasons, sovjet drew the lines to their community, which it was thought to be.

  • Templar-arg

    Very Interesting article. Although not Australian, nor Ukrainian (I’m Argentine) I was brought up in a British School in BA and had to read Animal Farm.
    Two brief comments:
    1) The equality refers to the status of individuals to the “rules”, not to the material achievements or wealth. We are all equal and we all have “equal opportunities”, then what each one does with them, it’s their business.
    2) Cannot compare the immigration process in Australia, or in Argentina, to the “social engineering” of the Soviet World. Nobody migrated based on Free Will, and most of the population was moved to Russify the Soviet Union.
    The difference being the “Ukrainian Nation” and not the people actually residing in Ukraine. Ukrainian Nationals are the ones that share common values and principles. Evidently, if you are a Russian who moved to Ukraine and then migrated to Australia, most probably you don’t share Ukrainian Values.
    The same applies to Argentina nowadays. There are many new immigrants from neighbour countries, who live in this territory and have a national ID, but they don’t share the Argentine values. And this is the difference between a NATION and a country.
    Having said so, I support the Ukrainian struggle to gain freedom from the Soviet and Russian world. There are many Ukrainian descendents here in Argentina, they are hard working people, with very noble values.
    Rgds from Buenos Aires!

  • disqus_aJpixObjG7

    a very flawed article.
    No Ukraine is NOT a melting pot like Australia. Australia is a brand new immigrant land. Ukraine is an ancient land STRUGGLING AGAINST GENOCIDAL ANNIHILATION FROM ALL SIDES for a thousand years. UKRAINE NEEDS TO ESTABLISH ITSELF AS A SOVEREIGN INDEPENDENT NATION WITH THE RIGHT TO ITS OWN VARIED CULTURE AND LANGUAGE. Such NAIVE phrases as “we will all be tolerant of our linguistic etc differences etc are NOT NEEDED IN UKRAINE- TELL THAT TO THE RUSSIANS WHO PASSED 172 LAWS OUTLAWING THE UKRAINIAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE…WHERE? in UKRAINE!
    UKRAINE ALWAYS WAS TOLERANT it has the most mixed DNA of perhaps any people on earth…UKRAINE NEEDS NO LESSONS ON TOLERANCE TOWARDS OTHERS because it has been practising ethnic and cultural tolerance to others for centuries WITHOUT EVER RECEIVING TOLERANCE IN RETURN

  • disqus_aJpixObjG7

    interesting, this article was written by someone who supposedly represents UKRAINE, yet, even while reading it you get the unpleasant taste that the author is not really an ally of UKRAINE, at the least an equivocator or probably even an enemy of UKRAINE