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Batiary, to dzieci so lwoskij ulicy
Wysoły, z fasonym, skory du kantania:
Na takich gdzi indzij mówiu "ulicznicy"
Co ni wytrzymuji jednak purówniania.

z tomiku" Krajubrazy syrdeczny".[1]

Batiar (also sometimes spelled as baciar), a popular name for a certain class of inhabitants of the formerly Polish city of Lwów. It used to be a part of the city's subculture, Lviv's "knajpa" lifestyle, and became a phenomenon at the beginning of the twentieth century although its roots go back to the mid nineteenth century. It declined after the Soviet occupation of Eastern Poland and its annexation to the Soviet Union as part of the Ukrainian SSR in 1939 and again in 1945. The Soviet authorities expelled most of the Polish inhabitants and suppressed the local Polish culture, although it seems to be recovering at the turn of the 21st century.

Roots of the term[edit]

Origins of the term may be Hungarian, since in 19th century Lviv was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, some of its policemen were Hungarians and they brought the term to the local dialect from their native language.

Definition by the Encyclopædia Britannica:


It was the name of lower-class inhabitants of Lwów (the "elite of Lviv's streets"). Batiars spoke their distinctive version of the Polish language, which was called Bałak and was a variant of the Lwów dialect. A typical batiar in common imagination was usually financially challenged, but honest and generous urban citizen with a great sense of humor. Among most famous batiars, there were such names as radio personalities Kazimierz Wajda and Henryk Vogelfänger of the highly popular Wesoła Lwowska Fala radio show, as well as football star Michał Matyas, who played for Pogoń Lwów and the national team of Poland.

The name is still in local use, but now in the Ukrainian language. Now batiars are the playboys of the Ukrainian Piedmont, as Eastern Galicia is sometimes referred to, and are easily identified by exquisite manners, stylish attire, and an obligatory attribute of every batiar lyaska, a staff or a walking stick.


(Bohdan Rybka, batiar)
(Ivan Radkovets, Lviv Studies specialist)

A woman of a batiar could not have been called a batiarka, manners didn't allow. However, to become a batiar's koliezanka[3] that was an honor for a dame.

(Miroslava Sydor, batiar's koliezanka)

Cultural influence[edit]

The Batiar's Day in Lviv replaced the Soviet holiday of 1 May (the Labor Day), the Day of Worker's Solidarity.[5] Batiars also adopted the proletarian motto: Batiars of all countries unite!.

At the time of the rise of batiar's culture, Lviv's Polish-Jewish poet Emanuel Szlechter wrote lyrics for a song that became well known in prewar Poland, Tylko we Lwowie ("Only in Lviv") which became the anthem of batiars,[6] and the accompanying music was written by another ethnic Jew, the Polish Henryk Wars.[7] The Ukrainian repertoire of that song is performed by Yurko Hnatovsky (in retro-psychedelic style)[8] and Zosya Fedina.[9]

Batiars of 21st century[edit]

The urban subculture of today's Lviv continues to develop with different styles arising out of its ferment. Among the most prominent representatives are Vova zi Lvova,Orest Lyutyi, and many others.

See also[edit]