Christmas arrives with a warm overjacket on its shoulders. At night it brings warm light of the first evening star and in the morning it wakes you up with shine of white but warm sun. If my great-grandmonther’s grandmother had been asked about her Christmas feelings, I believe, her words would have been identical to mine. Because together with a bowl of kutia, generations of Ukrainians transfer their traditions from hand to hand.
Traditional Ukrainian Christmas wiped windows of calendars with its mittens to mark all 13 days of its stay - from Christmas Eve on January 6 to Theophany of Jesus Christ on the 19th.
Back in the days they used to prepare for holidays in advance. They cleaned houses and surrounding territories, and by whitening houses they gave their dwellings new clothing to fit show-white piles and welcomed holidays wearing new looks. They never forgot outfits for the family, too, stored up fabric in advance, embroidered ornamentation with cross stitches at taught kids and youngsters various kolyadkas and shchedrivkas in the meantime.
Christmas Eve that comes right before Christmas, on January 6, is a good time to have some culinary art practice because there should be as much as 12 dishes on the table, all Lenten only. The finest bowl this night is taken by kutia – mush made of cereal grain, it is it that the treat starts with. When somebody lightens first shimmering star with a Christmas match up there in the skies, only than it is allowed to have the first spoon of food in a day.
Together with the family that attempts to gather in full muster on this day of all others, spirit of forefathers, didukh*, joins festive dinner. It is brought into khata as the star begins to shine however it is assembled long before Christmas holidays from last harvest’s cereal ears. When adorning it for the dinner, they put bead strings made of guilder rose berries on it, tie a tie made of colorful ribbons or decorate it with dried flowers. Didukh takes the most dignified spot – by holy images. The way it looks is a statement of respect towards ancestors and representation of immortality of the family, welfare and rich harvests.
Christmas paints bright pictures: piles of white crunching snow, footpath winding among them from house to house, carved window shutters half-covered with white blanket after a snowstorm and bright spots of girls’ holiday kerchiefs in the endless sea of white: red as heat, green as grass, blue as cornflowers in the field. Chatter and clutter of girls catches up with deep voices of young men to join in Christmas kolyadkas and greetings for hosts. “We say good night to you, the master of the house…” (“Dobryy vechir tobi, pane hospodaryu..” in Ukrainian). Different regions of Ukraine had own days for caroling. Some expected guests after Christmas Eve, others on the very Christmas day and some – even after that. And each had own timing and direction: small children more often than not only visited neighbors to get sweets, nuts and other delights from hosts after singing. Adult boys and girls tried covering larger routes; they visited almost every khata in a village.
Bethlehem start was a must-have attribute for all carolers; it was usually made of stuff at hand: mainly paper of yellow, orange or golden color and decorated with spangles, ribbons and lanterns. Christmas image could be placed in its centre.
And sure enough there was no way a holiday could have gone without nativity scenes! Nowadays there is hardly a toy house that surprises. However back in the days people looked into small boxes that contained miniature decorations and characters that depicted Biblical story. Frequently those weren’t mere figures but a whole puppet theatre that developed into a live story thank to voices and skillful moves of actors. With time nativity scenes escaped small boxes so more and more often it can be seen with human-size characters.
Theophany of Jesus Christ doted all the i’s of Christams holidays. In its run-up Ukrainians celebrated Malanka holiday. On such days youngsters and teenagers hid behind masks to fall into personas of folk characters and animals for loud sounds of shchedrivkas to be heard in towns and villages till late at night.
Their song, Sho Z-Pod Duba, is featured in the Fargo series and the commercial with David Beckham, Thai schoolgirls teach Koliskov in a music lesson, and their concerts are eagerly awaited around the world. Continuing a series of inspirational stories about talented Ukrainians in the “Know Ours” column, Outlook tells about the most original, controversial and popular Ukrainian team “DakhaBrakha” abroad.
A mini toast, a slice of cheese and a sip of strong coffee. "That is not a buffet!" a waiter will pronounce indignantly, looking at the disgruntled tourist’s face. The generous Ukrainian soul cannot understand how locals manage to eat their full with that. Therefore, before going to a new country, you need to know exactly whether in the evening you should prepare a couple of sandwiches to indulge them in the morning, whether you need some vegetables, or even some extra litres of water!
The village of Nemyryntsi of the Ruzhynskyi district in Zhytomyr Oblast hosted the All-Ukrainian Festival of Traditional Culture “Kupalski Rosy”.Kupalski Rosy is a festival visited by guests not only from Zhytomyr Oblast, but also from different parts of Ukraine and the world. Organizer of the celebration is Pavlo Zhebrivskyi, Ukrainian politician and his sister Filia Zhebrivska.
Traditional Ukrainian clothes are absolutely unique, bright and distinctive. So there is no surprise that they still remain relevant for both Ukrainian and foreign fashion-mongers. In recent years designers of the world create entire collection based on the main symbol vyshyvanka (embroidered clothing) and many celebrities now and then put on shirts with magic ornamentation believing them to be the summit of elegance.
OUTLOOK was lucky to visit hospitable Uzbekistan and get better acquainted with crafts of this amazing country. Today we tell you about art of straw work, about materials that craftsmen use and what secrets and unique features of this craft are. Feel the world with us!
The free fight has not feminine face. The good girl could smile in a pretty way and care colorful dress but not strike out wildly. But in the fierce Ands such gentle flowers do not grow. The true Bolivian cholit will be quick on the uptake, and it is able to fill in if necessary. But on Sunday, having gathered the starched skirts, she will desperately go to fight
Ice cream with a taste of horse meat, pickled insects, fish with deadly venom, etc – Japanese cuisine has things to surprise, amaze and shock you with. And truth be told, enumeration of these dishes doesn’t help my appetite at all. But we are not after exotic stuff. True culinary tourism is an attempt to comprehend mindset and feel national distinctive color through traditional cuisine – not try most exotic dishes. Parts of people’s souls, its history and culture are actually concentrated in national dainties.
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue, sensed fragrance of violets that a neighbor of mine was growing on her balcony and a recollection of Funtik from floor 5 and his tail evoked a flush of tenderness towards the shaggy monster.
The Embassy of Uzbekistan in Ukraine and Ambassador's Spouses Club Kiev welcomed the Ukrainian public and foreign guests with the national art of the Uzbek people, traditions and principles of creating pieces of art made by the folk artists and artists from Uzbekistan.
In every art there are formats and rules – once in “mainstream” an Artist won’t have to starve. Even more so in totalitarian times when every sphere of people’s life is controlled and affected and selfhood has to be forgotten as such. It is probably in the face of a system natural talents emerge for their work to become immortal. Today Outlook recalls one of them, artist Kateryna Bilokur.
Spoiled with home-made borshch, holubtsy and cotlets, we are under an illusion that we know Ukrainian cuisine like the tips of own fingers and there is nothing distinctive about it while in fact gastronomic heritage of our country is far richer than a grandma’s ingenuous menu. Time has come to recall original Ukrainian dishes that were undeservedly forgotten in the era of semi-cooked products and fast food.
Only dancing and wearing mask, Korean peasants were able to express their disgust towards rudeness or greed of the hosts or apply to some deity with extraordinary request. Keeping anonymity, the people played out the scenes from life, cried, and laughed. At the end of the performance the destiny awarded the good characters and punished villains.
Over several years of our project’s operation we have created large amount of features, both texts and visuals, about various countries, visited numerous cities, got acquainted with huge number of peoples. And now, on the day of 25th anniversary of Ukrainian independence, Outlook with love and joy continues its series of features with the one about native country. Most interesting facts about Ukraine and Ukrainians are next to come.
Three years ago Austrian tour operatorslaunched an unusual touristic tourdesigned for fansof singing style called yodel. Hikers wander through the Ziller Valley, a broad trail narrows opening the way for only the most avid travellers, then track leads upwards. Tourists look into the interactive station shaped as a giantsonorous walk-in cowbell, then they go around thelargest alpine horn and head to place where Alpine herdsmen used to have unhurried musical conversations with their flocks.
Small ethnic groupshave been always interesting for scientists and artists, who sought inspiration in their lifestyle. The Bajau Sea Gypsies who formally can be correlated with Malaysia, are one of the most popular ethnic groups today.
On Valentine's Day, OUTLOOK shares kissing facts and smooching statistics you never knew, but really should! And icing on the holiday cake will be three star places where few people would resist uttering "Kiss me!"
When you first hear about them, you do not believe your ears; when you first see them, you do not believe your eyes. Their passports have no photos, they do not pay taxes, do not do military service, they wear plain clothing, drive horse-drawn buggies, insulate themselves from modern conveniences, and, of course, have the most delicious food in the USA. Would you like to learn more?
Till the beginning of 2018 there is little time that’s why in case one hasn’t decided yet where and how to celebrate the most popular holiday on our planet, Outlook offers the list of the brightest cities for the celebration. There all the wishes and dreams will, definitely, come true!
A little son came to his father and suggested to run away from mom and granny to the North Pole? Now, do not indulge into tragic speeches of severe frosts, pitch darkness of the polar night and hungry polar bears! Give a conspiracy wink to a little brave one, and give him a real man's job for his school winter holidays that is to learn how to build an igloo, night shelter in ever-frost lands.