Moving celebration of the 5th anniversary of the constitution of the Serbski Sejm
Members, friends and guests of the Serbski Sejm, which emerged from the first democratic parliamentary election of the Sorbian/Wendish people in 2018, experienced a highly interesting and moving ceremony to mark its fifth anniversary on 17 November 2023.
After being welcomed by the senior President Edith Pjeńkowa, Benedikt Dyrlich gave a welcoming address and read out the last page of his memoir „Life in Conflict 2 - from Diaries, Letters and Contributions 1990-2018“, which ends with the historical constitution of the Serbski Sejm.
The welcoming address by Dr Peter Kroh, grandson and biographer of the Sorbian freedom pioneer Jan Skala, reminded the audience that Jan Skala recognised the extraordinary difficulty of the Lusatian Sorbs not having their own parliamentary representation as early as 1929.
Johannes Heimrath, a long-time companion and advisor to the Serbski Sejm, then took a look back at the concrete origins of the Sejm idea almost 20 years ago.
In his laudatory speech, Dr Měrćin Wałda explained why the complicated, sometimes difficult relationship between the German state and the Sorbs has still not been clarified and regulated by law. Sorbs, who have lived in Lusatia since the 6th century, are no longer recognised by the German state as a fully-fledged people or as indigenous people for unfathomable reasons. Any dialogue with the Sejm is also rejected. This simply does not fit in with the epochal change after 1989. One does not like to talk to criminals or terrorists, but the disregard for a democratically elected parliament is scandalous. Honesty also means clearly naming the dark sides of German-Sorbian history and historical guilt. There is a need to catch up here. This is not about lamentation or compensation, but about responsibility. We cannot change the past, but we can change our blindness to the past.
David Chmelík, President of the partner organisation Slavonic Europe (Brussels), and the video greeting from Charles Servaty, President of the Parliament of the German-speaking Community of Belgium, who paid tribute to the international work of the Serbski Sejm and assured support on the path of parliamentary development, as well as Marek Maria Chełchowski, Chairman of the Board of the Lusatian Alliance in Poland, placed the work of the Serbski Sejm in the European context in their contributions.
President Chmelík received a special greeting from Prague from Ing. Radim Sršeň Ph.D., Deputy Minister for Regional Development of the Czech Republic: Deputy Minister Sršeň conveyed his congratulations on the 5th anniversary of the 1st election of the Serbski Sejm and cordially invited all participants of the event to Prague for the International Conference on Cross-border Cooperation on 18.01.2024, which was initiated as part of the AKTIS project chain by Slavonic Europe, the Serbski Sejm, the Lužická Aliance ČR and the Łużycki Alians from Wrocław and is under the patronage of Ivan Bartoš, Vice Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.
Ms Tereza Koudelíková, Chairwoman of the Lusatian Alliance in the Czech Republic and Vice-President of Slavonic Europe, also offered her congratulations and pledged her support for the introduction of Sorbian / Wendish language teaching at Palacký University in Olomou.
Gyasettin Sayan, Chairman of the Kurdish Association for the United Nations, called for intensive co-operation between Sorbs/Wends and Kurds, as they share the challenges of being peoples without their own state.
The appearance of Wolfgang Kraus, a native of Sauerland, in the guise of the good Sorbian magician Krabat was a pleasant surprise. He knew his way around the signs of nature and performed good deeds with his supernatural talents in order to protect the Sorbian people.
The appearance of Wolfgang Kraus, a native of Sauerland, in the guise of the good Sorbian magician Krabat was a successful surprise. He knew all about the signs of nature and performed good deeds with his supernatural talents to make the Sorbian homeland fertile. Now, as an „ambassador of Lusatia“, he demonstrated to the guests why he, as the „spiritual successor“ of Krabat, is so fond of presenting the cultural values of the Sorbs.
The Serbski Sejm would like to express its sincere thanks for the wishes, greetings and messages from MdB Kathrin Michel (SPD), MdL Petra Čagalj-Sejdi (Bündnis90/Grüne), MdL Frank Richter MdL (SPD), MdL Marko Šiman (CDU), Hans-Jürgen Stöber parliamentary group leader Die LINKE in the Bautzen district council and SMWK State Minister Barbara Klepsch (CDU).
Hanka-Rosina Wjeselina hosted the evening. It was given a particularly festive character by the musical accents set by Marie Čornakec (vocals) and Jakob Čornak (guitar) with modern music and Marta Zahrodnikec (bagpipes) and Aneta Zahrodnikowa (clarinet) with traditional Sorbian music. Hańžka Wjeselic translated for the German-speaking audience.