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Welcome To My Blog!

By: Charles Wukasch

Sunday 23 March 2025 at 5:21 pm. Used tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dr. Charles Wukasch (Wendish:  Korla Wukaš) holds B.A. (Russian), M.A. (Slavic linguistics), and Ph.D. (Slavic linguistics) degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.  He spent the spring semester of 1965 at the University of Leipzig, the only university in the world with a program in Wendish (Sorbian is the preferred scholarly term).

He is Wendish on his paternal side; his grandmother was Emma Wukasch née Hannusch.  He has written two books on Wendish language and history, and has written numerous reviews of scholarly books on Wendish and other Eastern European languages and cultures.  He has given papers at scholarly conferences and has talked before church, senior, etc. groups.

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Charles Wukasch

Happy Shrove Tuesday!

This has nothing to do with the Wends, but Happy Shrove Tuesday to you all! Shrove Tuesday isn’t celebrated as widely in the U.S. as other church holidays, but some Lutheran churches do have pancake suppers. Here in Poland, they celebrate Tłusty Czwartek (literally: “Fat Thursday”), which was last week. The traditional food here is jelly-filled donuts. The history behind Shrove Tuesday is interesting: In the Middle Ages, Christians would “purify” their houses of meat products. Back then, people cooked with lard. People would use up their lard by cooking pancakes. Anyway, I did go out for pancakes a little while ago. (We’re seven hours ahead of you.)

It’s interesting that in our politically-correct culture, restaurants (e.g., IHOP) call it Pancake Day, not Shrove Tuesday.


Charles Wukasch - 02/28/2017 12:13
Charles Wukasch

I was flattered to be invited by the University of Leipzig to give a lecture on the Texas Wends and the TWHS. This will actually be my second lecture on the Texas Wends. In 1999, Madlena (née Nowak, née in German is “geboren or abbreviated it is geb.” – Wendish: “rodź.”) Norberg, whom some of you may remember from her visit to Texas back about that time, invited me to speak at the University of Potsdam. I gave that talk in German, but this one will be in English.

One of my interests is the interrelationship between language and culture. I feel that preserving the language is (or at least, should be ) an integral part of one’s ethnic identity, whether that identity be Wendish, Hispanic, American Indian, or whatever. Anyway, I have a question or two for the group. Any, or all, of you can give me your thoughts.

It was always my understanding that Wendish preaching in Serbin died out if 1920 when Rev. Hermann Kilian passed away and the congregation thus lost its last Wendish-speaking pastor. However, I recently learned that Rev. Hermann Schmidt spoke Wendish. At that time, there was still a significant number of Wendish speakers in Lee and Fayette Counties. If Rev. Schmidt did, in fact, speak fluent Wendish, why did he discontinue Wendish preaching? Or did he? Maybe I was misinformed about Wendish preaching ending in 1920 with the death of Rev. Kilian.

I sometimes tell people that up to 1920, St. Paul’s Serbin had three services a day: Wendish, German, and English. Was that the case?
What about instruction in Wendish in the school? If I remember correctly, Carl Miertschin said that they had Wendish just one day a week. That was in geography class. Or did he say they had English one day a week and it was in geography class? I believe he said Wendish. Maybe his son Monroe could help us out there.

Does anyone know when the last confirmation class was in Wendish? Back in the 70’s or 80’s, someone told me when Mrs. Moerbe (can’t recall her first name) passed away, she was the last person to have been confirmed in Wendish.


Charles Wukasch - 02/28/2017 12:16

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