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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope


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28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.

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Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.

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Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.

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Ukraine Abroad

A New York Slice of Kyiv

The next time you find yourself in New York and feel a homesick pang for a bowl of borsch or the sound of Ukrainian, head to Little Ukraine for a taste of home.
Nestled in Manhattans hipster-overrun East Village, Little Ukraine dates back to the 1800s. Though the exact lines of demarcation vary depending on who you ask, the area is generally outlined by Houston and 14th, to the north and south, and to the east and west by Third Avenue and Avenue A. According to some estimates, up to a third of the Ukrainian Americans who live in New York have settled in Little Ukraine.

Planning a trip soon? Make sure you take in the Annual Ukrainian Festival on 17 May the areas streets shut down for the whole in celebration of Ukraines national cuisine, music, and culture. 
Food, Drink and 

Souvenirs Ukrainian Style 
Locals know that the East Village Meat Market on Second Avenue is the best place to get good kovbasa. The stores owner, Julian Baczunsky, 89, migrated to New York in 1949 after spending several years in a German labour camp. He opened a store on Avenue B in 1955, but closed it before opening the Meat Market in 1970. The store has drawn a number of Ukrainian celebrities, including the first President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Hrushevskiy. 
Local bar Sly Fox, or Lys Mykyta, is designed to look like a log cabin in the Carpathian Mountains. Locals in the know affectionately call it Karpaty Pub. 
Another place to check out is Veselka, one of the best known Ukrainian restaurants in New York City, located nearby on 9th and Second Avenue. The restaurant regularly appears in movies and has been featured on shows like Gossip Girl. Veselka was originally founded by the late Wolodymyk Darmochwol in 1975. Like Baczunsky, Darmochwol lived in a labour camp in Germany before immigrating to the US. 
For Ukrainian books and media, you can count on Surma Book & Music Company, which dates back to the 1800s. The store also boasts an Andriivskiy-Uzviz-worthy collection of matrioshka dolls and traditional Ukrainian souvenirs and gifts.   

Other Key Sites
Little Ukraine continues to thrive; after the collapse of the Soviet UNI0N in 1991, Ukrainians were able to immigrate to America and a new wave of Ukrainians arrived in Manhattan. Though rising rents have driven out many recent émigrés, the area is abuzz on weekends, when Ukrainians drive in from the suburbs to enjoy a taste of home. Many bring their kids to St Georges or the Kyiv National House for Ukrainian language lessons. Once there, they can participate in PLAST or CYM, two international Ukrainian youth groups similar to the Boy Scouts, but that reward children for learning Ukrainian songs and poems. The Roma Pryma Bohachevska School teaches Ukrainian folkloric dance nearby. 
Since its construction in 1905, St Georges Ukrainian Catholic Church has been the heart of Little Ukraine. Its Easter masses are often so popular that crowds of worshippers spill out into the streets. The Church runs a school nearby, St Georges Academy, where students can take Ukrainian lessons. Nearly 250 students are currently enrolled in the school, which is located on East 6th Street and Taras Shevchenko Place. 
Make sure you check out the Ukrainian Museum, located on 6th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. The Ukrainian National Womens League of America founded it in 1976 and it is the largest Ukrainian heritage museum in the US. In 2005, the museum moved into its current home, a cutting-edge facility designed by Ukrainian American architect George Sawicki. Donations from Ukrainian American New Yorkers funded the US$5 million complex. With folk art, fine art, and archival materials at its core, the museum organises regular exhibitions, with catalogues written in Ukrainian and English. 

A Home for Exiled Scholars 
Although it is not located in Little Ukraine proper, no discussion of the Ukrainian diaspora in New York is complete without mentioning the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences (UVAN). Located on 100th Street, UVAN is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of Ukrainian studies. UVAN was created in 1950 and was initially known as the Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences, as it counted many exiled scholars among its members during Soviet rule. Home to a Ukrainian-language library of 55,000 books and 500,000 museum archival holdings, it is the largest Ukrainian-language archive outside of Ukraine. In addition, the Academy has published over 140 books and journals, including seminal works on various aspects of Ukraines national culture, architecture, and history. It also organises lectures, conferences, concerts, and art exhibitions featuring Ukrainian artists and luminaries. 

A Home Away From Home 
Businesses like Veselka and East Village Meat Market are brick-and-mortar testament to the tenacity and courage of the Ukrainian spirit. The Academy, where scholars huddled over Ukrainian texts banned during Soviet rule, is living proof of the indomitable Ukrainian spirit and casts the ongoing national language debate in a new light. 
As the Frank Sinatra song goes, New York, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. Ukrainians have not only made it in New York, theyve made the city their own with businesses and organisations that have withstood the test of time and will continue to serve as a home away from home for Ukrainians across the Atlantic.

Larry Binter

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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt Know We Had

    Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.


    Kyiv Culture

    Pulling Strings
    Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.

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