Friday, April 18, 2008

Ukrainian Immigration the United States

Before World War I, almost 500,000 Ukrainians emigrated to the United States due to harsh conditions and oppression from the Soviet Empire as well as a lack of work for many farmers. The great influx of Ukrainians and their need for Orthodox Catholicism led to the creation of bishops for the Greek Orthodox Church in both the United States and Canada. The need for solidarity and independence was a catalyst for man Ukrainian nationalist organizations throughout America as avenues to keep in touch with their homeland. Even today, many ideas and cultural information is passed from the Ukraine to America through these organizations that are still very active today. This massive movement is sometimes called the Ukrainian Diaspora. 

During World War II and up until 1991, over a million and a half Ukrainians emigrated to the United States due to the constant and violent oppression by the Soviet Union and the surrounding war-torn countries as well as economic hardship throughout the country. 

In Michigan, there is a very large Ukrainian population and the surrounding area of Hamtramck, has many resulting buildings and customs relative to this fact. The majority of churches in Hamtramck are Greek Orthodox and much of the food and customs, as well as holidays, celebrated in the area are of Ukrainian descent with many festivals and customary foods and celebrations. The success of many Ukrainians in America is a fantastic testament to their bravery and resolve in fleeing their oppression and beginning anew in an entirely foreign country. 

No comments: