06 March 2010

In one of the dialects spoken in the east of Poland, which is a mixture of Polish and Belorussian, people strongly attached to the soil they had been cultivating for generations were called "Karczeby." With their bare hands Karczeby cleared forests in order to grow crops. The word "karczeb" was also used to describe what remains after a tree is cut down -- a trunk with roots, which remains stuck in the ground. This also applied to people -- it was not easy for the authorities to root them out from their land, even in the Stalinism times. The price they paid for their attachment to their soil was often their freedom or life. After death, buried nearby their farmland, a Karczeby himself became the soil. Later cultivated by his descendants.

-Adam Panczuk, Karczeby

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