The Gniewa Wolosiewicz Transcarpathian Polish Cultural Society (TPCS) was established in 1995 at the initiative of a group of Uzhgorod physicians having Polish origin. Since 1995 Halina Wakarowa, a physician of the regional clinical hospital, serves as the TPCS founder and head. This organization has a regional status and includes 153 members. The Polish minority in Transcarpathia has no places of local residence being ‘scattered’ over the territory of the province. Its registered members stay in Uzhgorod, Mukachevo, Beregovo, Chop and other Transcarpathian localities. They are mainly the representatives of intellectuals, i.e. physicians, educators, scientists and office employees, for whom the TPCS has become a kind of a club, where they may maintain a native Polish and take part in various cultural and educational events.
One of the principal trends of the TPCS’s activity is reviving the national identity of the Polish population in Transcarpathia, preservation and development of mother tongue, culture, religion, traditions and customs. Joint celebrating the national and folk holidays, active participation at the cultural events held by the Society all over the province have become a good tradition.
The Society is a member of the Ukrainian Polish organization federation (Lviv-Kyiv) and actively cooperates with it. This allows the contacts in the area of cultural and educational activity to be greatly extended and enriched, favoring the maintenance and augmentation of the natural culture, customs and habits.
Since 1999, a Polish Saturday-Sunday school functions at the Uzhgorod school No. 5 under the auspices of the TPCS (school manager – Tetiana Pulyk). In April 2003, this school was named after a well-known Polish humanist and philosopher Józef Tischner. In this school, besides the TPCS members’ children, any person wishing to study, including adults, learns Polish language and literature, geography and history.
Both TPCS and the J. Tischner school have their own libraries of Polish literature. An essential part of books was donated by friends from Jaroslaw city (Poland).
A medical unit, the so-called ‘Koło Lekarskie’, functions at the Society and supports contacts with foreign colleagues, initiates and organizes international scientific conferences. ‘Koło Lekarskie’ was an initiator of concluding the cooperation agreement between the Uzhgorod National University and the Silesian Medical Academy (Katowice, Poland).
The youth unit was established being a club for Polish young people, holding interesting meetings, discussions, seminars. A Polish movie fan club was established at the initiative of this unit members, and since December 2016 the film screenings are held regularly.
The TPCS pays a lot of efforts to strengthen the cultural ties of Transcarpathian province with the neighboring Subcarpathian province (województwo podkarpackie).
Among the interesting events held by the Society, one may distinguish the International scientific and practical conference “Polish culture in the Western Ukraine” (September 2007), an international meeting “Steps along the way of regional cooperation” (May 2009) with the presentation of a book by the former J. Tischner school teacher Anna Gużyńska “Ukrainian experience and reflections. Polish teacher’s look”. In June 2016, the cultural event “Bruno Schulz: known and unknown” was held within a framework of the Bruno Schulz’s International festival.
In spring 2016, the Gniewa Wolosiewicz Transcarpathian Polish Cultural Society solemnly celebrated the 20th anniversary of its activity.
The Polish culture days are being held annually with the participation of various art formations from Poland. On May 5-6, 2017, the Song & Dance company “Jawor” (Natural University, Lublin, Poland) will be a guest of the next such event.
The TPCS favors and develops friendly ties with other national and cultural societies in Transcarpathia, as well as with Polish non-governmental cultural organizations, having concluded the relevant cooperation agreements with them.