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31.03.23 13:00

Historical significance of Russian immigrants' cultural clubs in Argentina

By the example of the Máximo Gorki Club

Immigrant cultural clubs played an important role in the history of Argentina. A precondition for their emergence was the influx of Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian immigrants, which rushed into Argentina after the First World War. It was then that associations of this kind began to appear in large numbers.

One of the most striking examples is the Club Cultural Deportivo "Máximo Gorki", which was founded in 1951 in Valentin Alcina (Buenos Aires province) and is still in use today. There was a library with books in different languages, some Russian language courses, lessons of traditional Slavic dances, theatre, chess club and even a basketball team.

cursos de língua russa.jpg

Immigrant cultural clubs in Argentina have become a unique phenomenon: on the one hand they have served as a tool to keep in touch with the homeland, but on the other hand, they have helped people integrate into the new society. For years the Máximo Gorki Club has celebrated both the holidays of its members' "historical homeland" and Argentina's national holidays. Club artists as well as Argentinean singers and dancers have always performed at the celebrations. This has contributed to mutual cultural enrichment and integration.

aulas de dança tradicional eslava.jpg

Today, the Máximo Gorki Club has ceased to be a refuge for immigrants and has become a cultural centre. It offers Russian language classes for all comers, chess lessons, and a theatre troupe that puts on plays by Russian and Argentinean writers in Spanish. The club is a member of the Federation of Cultural Institutions of Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian immigrants in Argentina (Federación de Instituciones Culturales de Inmigrantes Bielorrusos, Rusos y Ucranianos de la República Argentina (FICIBRU)), as reported by Ahora San Juan, a partner of TV BRICS.

Photo: Ahora San JuanIStock

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