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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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Ukrainian Culture

Swap Pancakes for Varenyky For a Ukrainian Maslyana!

Maslyana is like being transported back to pagan roots. Ethnic clothing, songs, dance, food and drink all designed to symbolise the end of the long, cold Ukrainian winter. As with all pagan celebrations, Christianity adopted it, making Maslyana week the last before The Great Fast, a lengthy period of abstention ending with Easter. Modern Ukrainians often skip the fasting part, instead celebrating Maslyana with gusto. Copious amounts of pancakes are synonymous with festivities. However, while pancakes are ubiquitous across the Slavic world, Whats On suggests you embrace some authentic Ukrainian traditions this year.

In parts of Ukraine, Kolodiy is another word for what we know as Maslyana, but while the latter is a unified Slavic tradition promoting the predominantly Russian dish bliny (pancakes), Kolodiy is purely Ukrainian. The name of the holiday originates from the Ukrainian word kolodka a stick, or a log and is connected with an old ritual: unmarried young girls would tie the stick to a leg of a bachelor. The stick used in this ritual was decorated with colourful ribbons and wearing it brought shame as being single in Ukrainian tradition was frowned upon. However, it was all in good humour as all the guy wearing the stick had to do to earn his freedom was grant the girl a dance. Traditionally, the celebrations had a last chance sense of urgency. In keeping with tradition, Kolodiy or Maslyana is the last week before the 40-day fast in the lead-up to Easter, so for Christians it was the last opportunity to party with drinks, food, music, singing and dancing before the long period of abstention began.

The Feasting and The Fasting
Speaking of food, the main dish for any Ukrainian Maslyana/Kolodiy celebration is varenyky (dumplings)! Firstly, because varenyky are generally known as a Ukrainian dish; secondly, because in that last week before the fast, Christians were not allowed to eat meat, but could still eat dairy products. That is why varenyky for Kolodiy would be stuffed with cottage cheese and served with sour cream and butter.
For proof Varenyky should be intertwined with the Ukrainian tradition you simply need to look at the history of the dish. As with many holidays in Ukraine and across the world, Maslyana is a mixture of ancient pagan and later Christian traditions. The Pagan tradition was connected with the end of the winter, saying goodbye to snow, cold and frosts and about welcoming the advent of spring. The Christian part of the custom marks the start of the fast before Easter. Varenyky predate Christianity in Ukraine, and this dish has always had a symbolic meaning for Ukrainians: filled with cheese, they symbolised prosperity and wealth. Varenyk also means a pregnant woman, so eating them for Maslyana could be seen as symbol of fertility and rebirth, notions linked with spring for eons. Following this logic, a kolodka tied to guys leg should prompt him to think of his lifes achievements and plan to get married.

Celebrate
In modern Ukraine, all these traditions pagan, Christian, Russian and Ukrainian have melded together making the event a colourful cocktail of interesting open-air activities and dishes to try, so heres a list of the places where you can explore all of them!

The Russian-style and probably largest celebration of Maslyana complete with bliny (pancakes) is waiting for you at Expocentre of Ukraine (Akademika Glushkova 1). Called Nova Maslyana and organised by major Ukrainian TV channel STB, the celebration will occupy nearly 300 hectares of the park-zone in the Holosiivsky district. Columbian chef Hector Jimenez Bravo, of TV's Master Chef fame, promises to cook more than 100 types of pancake! The entertainment programme is various as well folk ensembles and finalists from numerous TV talent shows will perform throughout the day, while the main guest of the fest will appear on 17 March at 20.00 Oleh Skrypka with Le Grand Orchestra!
16 17 March at 11.00 21.00
Expocentre of Ukraine (Akademika Glushkova 1)
Tickets are 40 100hrv

Authentic Ukrainian Kolodiy celebrations will take place at Mamayeva Sloboda. Beware, if you are single and unmarried, you might get a kolodka tied to your leg! But dont worry, when having it removed, you can always invite a girl to dance thats after brushing up with a master-class of Ukrainian dance as well as live music. All activities are outdoors, so drinks like medovukha, mulled wine and strong Ukrainian moonshine will warm you up. Traditional Russian bliny wont be neglected on the contrary a competition of varenyky versus bliny will show which tradition is stronger in Ukraine, so get ready to eat a lot!
16 17 March from 12.00
Mamayeva Sloboda (Mykhaila Dontsya 2)
Tickets are 50 100hrv, kids 20hrv

Hata Pana Savky, a working museum, invites you to celebrate Kolodiy in the authentic surroundings of a Ukrainian village. The schedule of activities includes tying the kolodka, calling for birds to come home, motanka master-classes, traditional Ukrainian dishes cooked in a real ancient stove not only varenyky, but also borshch, baked potatoes and salo. The host Pan Savka will also show you how ancient Ukrainians used to farewell the winter: preparing a huge effigy of hay and cloth, symbolising winter, as soon as darkness falls he will set it ablaze to burn winter away and make spring come faster!
17 March at 13.00 18.00
Hata Pana Savky (Novi Petrivtsi Village)
Tickets are 300 350hrv

Ostriches are not typical in Ukraine, but this does not mean an ostrich farm in Yasnohorodka cant hold a celebration of Maslyana! In addition to an excursion around the farm, where youll see not only ostriches, but also goats, pigs and sheep, youll also have a chance to try pancakes with different fillings and warm mulled wine. Kids can participate in outdoor activities and competitions, while adults can jump over fire. Hopefully the ostriches will also enjoy the celebration!
16 17 March at 13.00
Yasnohorodka Ostrich Farm (Yashohorodka village, Kyiv region, Pidlisna 32)
Tickets are 40 60 hrv

Mystetsky Arsenal is putting together a Maslyana for artisans and lovers of art. Instead of drinking and eating to your hearts content, consume a little food for the soul with Mystetska Maslyana a three-day festival featuring all manner of traditional Ukrainian handi-crafts from embroidery to paper-cutting. Kids will love this weekend with a fabulous array of outdoor games planned, plus a workshop on spin art (a favourite of Damien Hirst, by the way), as well as a musical programme provided by Anzhelika Rudnytska a well-known Ukrainian singer, TV-host and artist. Of course, you wont go hungry either pancakes and varenyky are on the menu!
14 17 March at 11.00 20.00
Mystetsky Arsenal (Lavrska 10 12)
Tickets are 30hrv, kids under 12 free

Kateryna Kyselyova

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  • When Walls Can Talk
  • Rights We Didnt Know We Had
  • The Path to Europe Begins Here...
  • Documenting Life
  • Head into 2014 Healthy

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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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