An International GRHS Essay Contest, sponsored by the Germans from Russia Heritage Society, will be held to encourage students to learn about the history and culture of the German-Russians, people who emigrated from Germany into Russia during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, in the USA, Canada and other countries in the Western Hemisphere, these people have become known as Germans from Russia.
Contest judging will commence after the close of the Contest on 31 March with the winners being announced after the judging has been completed. Winning contestants will be invited to receive their awards at a luncheon held in their honor during the Annual GRHS Convention, held in Mandan, North Dakota.
As new generations are born and the older generations vanish, our youth become ever less aware of their cultural and ethnic origins. An important function of GRHS is to stimulate interest and awareness among young people of the dramatic history of the German Russian people. This is important for several reasons. Knowledge of our cultural origins gives us a sense of identity, of belonging and of continuity.
More importantly, an understanding of the lives of our ancestors is an important aspect of decision making in our contemporary world. Although our ancestors lived in a completely different context from our own, many similar societies and cultures still exist. Although many of our ancestors were poor and clung to a much more tenuous existence than we do today, they had the same human needs, emotions and aspirations. Understanding how these were expressed and how lives were managed under extreme circum-stances gives us the strength and understanding to manage our own lives today.