In today's world of universal mobility,transnational corporations and cheap air travel, people are increasingly less attached to the country in which they were born and grew up. However, humanitarian crises, material inequalities and political turmoil are often the cause of the change of residence, which means that people who do not voluntarily leave their homeland, form a diaspora. What is it? The answer can be much more complicated than a simple translation from Ancient Greek.

diaspora what is it

Diaspora - what is it?

The term "diaspora" appeared at a time whenThe first Greek colonists left their native coasts to establish numerous new colonies along the entire Mediterranean Sea. At that time, this word was used to designate part of the civilian population, separated from their fellow citizens and living in new colonies.

In ancient times, the establishment of trade settlements in other countries was one of the main ways of forming diasporas. Thus in the ancient world Phoenician, Greek and Jewish diasporas were formed.

What did this mean for the rest of thator a different nation with a significant number of compatriots living beyond state borders? First of all, the diaspora made it possible to improve the financial condition of the home country, since trade was the main source of migration.

the Ukrainian Diaspora

The spread of culture

However, along with traders traveled alsomissionaries, clergymen and various kinds of adventurers. The diasporas were used to promote state interests, transfer mail and remittances, which became possible during the Renaissance due to the organization of Jewish communities by the first banks.

In addition, many rulers did not neglectthe opportunity to use their compatriots living in other states to obtain information. Espionage in favor of their homeland is still quite common today.

In modern times, the diaspora began to formthe cause of major social conflicts, such as wars, revolutions, and also because of strong natural disasters. One of the strongest shocks in the twentieth century was the Russian Revolution, because of which a large Russian diaspora was formed abroad, the number of which today is estimated at twenty-five million people. However, in the twentieth century, there were other extremely unpleasant events, which affected many peoples

Armenian Diaspora

The Armenian Diaspora

For many centuries the Armenian peoplewas subjected to the most severe tests. For the first time, Armenians were forced to leave the places of their original residence in the Armenian Highlands en masse, when in the beginning of the eleventh century the Seljuks seized their capital - the famous city of Ani, whose population then reached three hundred thousand.

All the Armenian states in Asia Minor, which existed after that, were also destroyed, and their population left populated places, spreading throughout the Mediterranean and the shores of the Black Sea.

After the fall of Constantinople and the foundationOttoman Empire in 1453, the Armenians remained in the new empire, since at first they were not persecuted for their faith. However, many still preferred to leave, establishing new communities in European cities.

For the next four centuries, historythe coexistence of Armenians and Ottomans was not the most smooth, and by the middle of the nineteenth century the tension reached its peak. Mass pogroms began in the country, the victims of which were Armenians.

Russian Diaspora

Pogroms and the Armenian Genocide

Many of the victims decided to take refuge inthe neighboring Christian power, which was the Russian Empire. Many thousands of Armenians, therefore, founded entire cities and villages in their new homeland. Those who remained, soon had to face new difficulties, the crown of which was the genocide of 1915.

This genuine catastrophe of the Armenian peopleled to the fact that many of the survivors were forced to leave their villages and go to Russia, Lebanon, Greece and France. This situation led to the fact that there was no Armenian population in the territory of the young Republic of Turkey, with the exception of a group of Hamshen Armenians who converted to Islam in the seventeenth century.

This sad page of history has its impact on modernity, serving as a cause of discord between the Republic of Armenia and Turkey.

The October Revolution and the Exodus of Peoples

Despite the fact that the fall of the autocracy andthe proclamation of the republic first inspired many millions of people with optimism and faith in the future, soon everything changed dramatically, and in October 1917 many people were forced to leave their homeland.

As a result of the revolution and the ensuingCivil war, as well as mass executions and flight of millions of citizens abroad, huge diasporas were formed around the world, one of the largest among them was the Ukrainian diaspora.

After the subordination of Ukraine to Soviet power andthe time of occupation by Nazi Germany, many Ukrainians preferred to take advantage of the opportunity and avoid returning to a totalitarian state, having traveled to Europe and the USA.

The next wave of mass migration of Ukrainians wasmostly economic, and occurred in the nineties, when the young sovereign republic experienced a protracted economic crisis. Thus, the diaspora was formed. What does this mean for the Ukrainian economy? On the one hand, the state economy suffers greatly from the loss of a large number of the able-bodied educated population, but on the other hand, there is a constant inflow of cash from abroad in the form of small transfers for personal needs that people working abroad send to their relatives.

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