Germans from Russia Convention - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Germans from Russia Convention

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A couple hundred years ago, Germans were invited to move to Russia, which led to a culture all its own.

Well today, people traveled from all over this country to visit the 43rd annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society Convention.

"We've tried to preserve our heritage by collecting information, documents from the Ukraine, the archives, family books, newspaper articles that pertain to the Germans from Russia," says President of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society Valerie Ingram.

In the 1800s, thousands of Germans moved to Russia to start a new life. After living there for 100 years, political unrest prompted them to settle elsewhere.

"Just after the 19- turn of the century and they spread out and went to the United States, they went to Canada, they went to Australia, they went to Argentina. And it was because of what was going on in South Russian. They finally left and become pioneers again," says Ingram.

The people who attend the convention are usually an older crowd.

"Younger people-- they tend to have the mindset that, "my grandma was a German from Russia." Well, if your grandma is a German from Russian then so are you. You know, it's not just she was, but you are too because you're related to her," says Ingram.

To help keep their heritage alive, the Germans from Russian Heritage Society sponsors an essay scholarship contest.

Vera Hoff from Rapid City, South Dakota says, "We opened the contest to all students, not just those of German- Russian heritage. Our idea was that we could tell the world about Germans from Russia and that's what we did."

Many of the society members believe they're holding on to an important tradition.

"I think it's important for every person to understand their heritage, their history. It makes us who we are. It's something really, really important and I guess I learned it as a youngster," says Hoff.

The convention continues through Sunday.

The convention is at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck.

For more information, visit grhs.org.

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