Educated, purposeful, cosmopolitan. Who are the “fifth wave of Ukrainian emigration”? - ForumDaily
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Educated, purposeful, cosmopolitan. Who are the “fifth wave of Ukrainian emigration”?

At school, we were taught that it was customary to divide the Ukrainian émigrés into four waves, he wrote in a blog post for VOA Maria Prus.

Photo: personal archive

The first is “labor emigrants” (mid-19th century - beginning of the First World War), mostly young, single men, poor and illiterate, and young people who did not want to serve in the Russian or Austrian armies.

The second wave of emigration (between the First and Second World Wars) was triggered by economic and political factors: those who fought against Soviet power left the Soviet Ukraine who disagreed with the post-war regimes.

The third wave (from the end of World War II to the 80s) was “political”, refuge was sought by “anti-Soviet elements”, prisoners of war, people who could not return to their homeland, as well as dissidents.

The fourth wave, the so-called “zarobitchanskaya”, began in the “hungry” 1990s. Back then, most people went to Russia, the USA, Canada, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Poland, and Brazil.

Of course, the separation is rather arbitrary, but reflects a general trend.

In my opinion, it is high time to single out a new, fifth wave of Ukrainian emigration. In the US, I constantly meet many young Ukrainians, their peers, peers of independence, who came here in recent years, when they were on 20-30. These immigrants cannot be compared with previous generations.

Photo: personal archive

Firstly, such young Ukrainian emigrants are not “workers”. They are not fleeing poverty in their homeland, nor are they “looking for a better life” overseas. They are educated, speak English and other foreign languages ​​fluently, and are young professionals.

Such people do well in Ukraine, they work for large FMCG companies, in the IT industry, and in non-governmental organizations. But abroad they have an even better chance of becoming even more successful. Emigration is their conscious choice, because “there” it is easier to realize their dream.

Their "headhanty" recruiters "with Facebook or Twitter and transported to headquarters in California, they become engineers and launch rockets SpaceX, they open their fashion stores in New York, walk American podiums, build a career in the UN, the IMF and the World Bank, open their start-ups in Texas or charity organizations in Florida.

For them, emigration is not an end in itself, but a tool to fully realize their potential.

Secondly, they are cosmopolitan. They do not have a cultural shock when they live in a hostel in Sweden, when they communicate with French-Algerian students on an airplane, when they first see the inscription “Hollywood” for the first time in their lives.

They grew up on the TV series "Friends" and can easily present themselves as his heroes, drinking coffee on the couch of a New York cafe or working in the Saks department store.

Thanks to television and then the Internet, they are well aware of Western, above all American values, listen to the same songs as American teenagers, use the same hashtags in Instagram.

This generation grew up with the dream of getting a magistracy at the Sorbonne, a month to travel around India, and then open their own business in Silicon Valley. Or sell all the property, buy a sailing yacht and travel on it around the world.

It is difficult to surprise them, they adapt more quickly in new conditions, and from the “emigrant” they quickly turn into “their own” in any mixed society.

Thirdly, they are politically conscious, but not politically biased. They know what is happening in Ukraine, in the EU, in the USA. They can keep up the conversation, and they have their own views on the activities of Donald Trump, Yulia Tymoshenko, Theresa May.

Newly arrived Ukrainians-emigrants will go to Ukrainian festivals, film screenings, political actions, they are patriots and support Ukraine.

But they have no hatred or prejudice towards representatives of certain nations or religions. They have friends: Russians, Jews, Arabs, Uzbeks, Belarusians, blacks, Latinos, Germans, Americans. Therefore, subject to certain exceptions, those same young Russians or Belarusians are brought to the USA or Europe by the same dreams and hopes, and often, despite their language and origin, they have similar political, or apolitical, views.

And finally, they can return to Ukraine. If the previous waves of emigration, political or religious refugees, the road home was closed, then this migrant generation goes to Ukraine to visit relatives and friends. But they are not planning to return, at least for now.

But they don’t plan to live their whole lives where they live now. They can easily change New York to Miami, California to Hawaii, from Poland to Germany, from Denmark to the Netherlands, from Sweden to Canada.

They will always look for where they feel better. And if, at a certain point, excellent conditions for small businesses appear in Ukraine, taxes are reduced, corruption is overcome, and public organizations gain influence on the authorities, emigrant youth may return.

They do not limit themselves to stereotypes and fears, borders and visas, and they will look for new opportunities to emigrate from Ukraine. Not because they do not love her, but because they are fascinated and attracted by the whole world.

And I think it is good. After all, instead of "sour" at home, they will achieve success abroad. And thus they will do much more for the image of their homeland. Because when they write about their startups Vice or Vox, they will proudly say that they are from Ukraine.

It is interesting, whether historians will confirm my impressions, but it will be known only with time. What do you think about emigration?

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