Every people’s culture is unique, full of riddles, mysteries, traditions, customs and stories. We are exorbitantly happy that within the framework of the festival of cultures of peoples of the world OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL our team creates a venue to exchange the most interesting among different countries and peoples.
The world is closer than any of us can imagine, the world is more open that it seems at first glance. Most important is the desire to share and tell about your country, traditions, people… Because it is culture that unites and demonstrates that people from all over the globe have much more in common than they have different.
For the fifth time OUTLOOK Project has become the guide for citizens and guests of Kyiv on their friendly tour around the world. Each year we try to increase scale, surprise our visitors and bring them joy. 5th OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL was no exception. This time, more than ever, we wanted to make the gala day unforgettable, transfer every visitor into the atmosphere of unity, bright festival colors and pleasant aura that no words can describe. So many smiles and friendly hugs…
This year the OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL took place with grant support from Ukrainian Culture Foundation – state institution created in 2017 that operates aiming at fostering development of national culture and arts in the state, at ensuring favorable conditions for development of both intellectual and spiritual potential for individuals and society, at broad access of citizens to national culture heritage, at support of cultural diversity and at integration of Ukrainian culture into cultural space of the world. We are sincerely grateful to the Ukrainian Culture Foundation for their trust and support; together we do a great thing; its goal is to strengthen principles of tolerance, mutual respect, friendship and peace, to increase awareness of Ukrainians as to palette of cultures of the world and to promote the achievements of Ukraine.
As always our festival began with the official opening ceremony that was participated by the Wife of the President of Ukraine, head of the Ukrainian Culture Foundation Mrs. Maryna Poroshenko, Minister of Culture of Ukraine Yevhen Nyshchuk, over 20 Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Director General of GDIP Pavlo Kryvonos, Deputy Ministers of Culture of Ukraine Svitlana Fomenko and Yuriy Rybachuk, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Oleksandrp Yarema, representatives of Kyiv Oblast State Administration and Kyiv City State Administration. Also, congratulations were addressed to the festival from Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine Ihor Zhdanov.
Ms. Daria Kariakina, supervisor of the OUTLOOK Project opened the event: “I want to thank everyone who has believed in our project and supported it for 5 years of its existence and Ukrainian Culture Foundation that helped us this year, the year of our anniversary, to increase its scale and hold it at one of the best exhibition locations in Ukraine. Our festival is a unique event that has no peers in Ukraine. With so many peoples, cultures, states uniting in their desire to express respect and esteem towards each other’s heritage, demonstrate own distinctive features and define accents that unite us – it isn’t just valuableto be the organizer of such a festival, it is also a responsibility – to provide a venue for intercultural dialogue. All the excitement for the event each year, greater and greater number of visitors every time who line up to get to OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL motivates us to move forward because demand for this kind of cultural initiatives is immense.”
Guest of honor at this year’s festival was the wife of the President of Ukraine, head of the Ukrainian Culture Foundation Mrs. Maryna Poroshenko; upon visiting every themed area and shaking hands with Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of countries participating in the festival, when on the stage, Mrs. Maryna noted: “I am sure that ties between different states are the passport to development and the way to freedom and peace and this is why Ukrainian Culture Foundation supported the festival of cultures of peoples of the world OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL. Today we are the witnesses of a culture dialogue between the East and the West, when we begin to understand traditions of different peoples better and preserve cultural diversity of the world. This lays foundation for new, more potent cooperation, offered by the new era.”
In his salutatory speech Minister of Culture of Ukraine Yevhen Nyshchuk emphasized that respect towards cultural diversity is one of directions of Ukrainian Culture Foundation’s work. The Minister noted that it was important, that within the framework of such festivals Ukraine has an opportunity to show international community its cultural achievements and historical origins, find similarities, demonstrate selfhood and show that Ukraine is open to cooperation in the field of culture.
On behalf of the Diplomatic Corps in Ukraine, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkmenistan to Ukraine Nurberdi Amanmyradov, the dean of the Diplomatic corps, had the floor. “I would like to express gratitude to Mrs. Poroshenko and the Ukrainian Culture Foundation for the support of and attention to this event; Minister Nishchuk for development of friendship and cultural cooperation belween peoples; and the organizer of the event, Director of the OUTLOOK Project Daria Kariakina for her colossal work and contribution to cultural diplomacy in Ukraine. I can confidently say that the OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL took a rightful place in cultural and social life of Ukraine because its mission aims at promotion of perpetual values : good, peace, mutual understanding and friendship between peoples”.
Cutting of the ribbon became a bright beginning for the work of all themed locations, activities and rich concert program.
In the capacity of the hostess, area of Ukraine greeted guests – this year to make international community even better familiar with our achievements we decided to make it less exhibition-style, but more interactive instead. Right after crossing the threshold, you could immediately plunge into the atmosphere of Ukrainian Vechornytsi – Kalynovyy Hay Company and lively folk Ukrainian music ensemble Roksolania were in charge of creating mood there. Authentic workshops helped touch antiquity and plunge into the whirlpool of Ukrainian craft. It was impossible to leave empty-handedly: clay pots and whistles, dolls with herbs, traditional Ukrainian belts – those were self-made souvenirs the guests would keep as souvenirs. Weaving workshop, exhibition of author’s carpets of Bohuslav region by craftswoman Valentyna Tkach and an exhibition of Ukrainian towels from private collection of Oleksandra Herasymova added ethnic color and authenticity.
Diversity of traditions was also demonstrated by Crimean Tatars. The aroma of fragrant coffee that dwelled the air was as if inviting the guests to step by the Tatar’s nook; there one could get closely familiar with traditional ornamentation, taste some delights and have a look at magical patterns on household items and ceramics and to imagine what traditional costumes of Crimean Tatars looked like a hundred years ago.
Moving on from the location of Ukraine, we get to hospitable area of Kazakhstan. This year the Embassy presented to the guests of the OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL the achievements in picture arts. Paintings of a Ukrainian artist Natalia Mkrtchan on Kazakh subjects were presented in the themed area. It wasn’t just traditional art that one could enjoy but also national dishes – bawyrsak, chak-chak, samosa and pastry straws left no one indifferent. And for last, everybody could make a flower, the symbol of Kazakhstan – a paper poppy– to remember the country by.
Distance from Kazakhstan to Iraq constitutes over four thousand kilometers but there are no borders or boundaries at our festival and some five meters away you get greeted by mysterious Iraq. The embassy of the country from the Middle East invited the guest for a “visual tour” around main landmarks, picturesque streets and bright markets on paintings of famous Iraqi artists. Besides, the guests could make colorful photos with the beauties wearing traditional outfits and treat themselves to traditional delights.
Exotic Malaysia was next. There one could get acquainted with the art of batik and Tarik (cooking of milk tea) tea ceremony traditional for the country – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Malaysia to Ukraine and his charming spouse were personally in charge of the presentation. In addition, all “travelers” were getting the taste of the country by trying anchovy fritters, banana cake and Pandan cake.
Embassy of Romania prepared an exhibition of national costumes, traditional bags and headwear. Improvised cinema demonstrated a short film about Romanian habits. Ambassador Cristian-Leon Țurcanu was personally conducting the tasting of Pálinka and kozinak (nut-and-honey bars).
This year location of Turkmenistan was dedicated to one of the greatest achievements of the country – to the carpets. This actual work of art has been the symbol of power and wealth and, according to some sources, had sacred meaning. To create rich colors, only natural and vegetable dyes were used. Handmade Turkmen carpets, with their prevailing color being dark-red, are produced at home, made of wool, cotton and silk. Not only could the guests of the event see these miracles with their own eyes, but also touch them and learn more about the mystery of their creation. Besides, exhibition of paintings of a folk artist of Turkmenistan Annadurdy Muradaliev was presented at the festival. And it is impossible to imagine a Turkmen home without fragrant pilaf with Pishme buns.
United Arabic emirates invited guests to a true Eastern market; there was fragrant coffee with cardamom, sweet dates, presentation of Bakhoor burning ceremony and even an opportunity to write own name in Arabic. Charming Ukrainian women could get themselves a true Arabic make-up and become acquiated with Arabic perfumes. Also, many managed to feel like a real Arab sheikh – especially on a photo in an authentic marquee.
At the themed area of Australia the guests of the OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL managed to appreciate the beauty of unusual works of art that depicted historic events and sacred kingdom of the forefathers and brightly reflected sensation of identity - all within the framework of the presented exhibition of artists - natives of an Australian Arnhem Land Peninsular . The Old Masters exhibition consisted of works created during 1963-1984 by artists born before the invasion of colonialists to their lands and their culture. Men, the artists, were ritualistic leaders, politicians; they favored culture and were responsible for painting. Their works have brought indigenous art, one of the oldest incessant artistic traditions, to the new era where it took a rightful place in the world of art. Photo area with an emu ostrich urged many people to purchase a ticket for a trip to Australia to see one for real.
Colorful Armenia greeted the guests next to Australia. For the visitors of the event representatives of the expatriate community prepared a bright exhibition of unusual works of a Ukrainian artist with Armenian roots Maryna Sarkisyan. Panel picture "Khachkar @ Petrykivka" consisted of 80 paintings on 25x25 canvas united by the topic of the general work. The author came up with the idea of making a huge panel as a sense-bearing topic of linking two powerful cultures, two interesting and one-of-a-kind authentic arts. Petrykivka Painting is the soul of Ukraine, Khachkar is the heart of Armenia. And the main idea of this concept is to present a single space of Armenian-Ukrainian friendly relations. Besides, the guests could touch real works of art of local craftsmen and master Armenian alphabet.
Eastern country of Palestine was warmly welcoming the visitors, inviting them to touch ancient plots, depicted in sophisticated olive wood, exquisite adornments and traditional cross-stich embroidery that resembles our own in a way…
On dastrakhan, traditional Uzbek table, there was fragrant pilaf, vapors ascending from it. The highlight of this year’s display from the Embassy of Uzbekistan was an exhibition of unique ceramics, purposely brought from Motherland, among the samples there were items of world-famous Rishtan ceramics. Lyagan plates, teabowls, vases, khum jars, pots and painted toys - all so different in shapes and convenient to use, they have enjoyed popularity since olden times and they still do. Also, everybody who was willing had an opportunity to learn more about sacred meaning of Uzbek patterns, see traditional satin and adras fabric made using an original ikat technique, light kurpach matrasses that decorated traditional pieces of furniture called tapchan. The guests could see a traditional araba (horse-draw vehicle) with their own eyes.
Area of the Embassy of Kyrgyzstan was dedicated to the history of the famous nomad people. Employees of the Embassy gladly shared information on arrangement of a traditional yurt, distinctive features of national clothes, their comfort and usability, on why felt of all others is the main material for making Kyrgyz clothes, footwear and headdresses and on music instrument called komuz. Paintings depicting life and household of the Kyrgyz people, exhibition of paintings on leather and felt items were presented to the guests of the OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL. A separate corner was dedicated to literature genius of Kyrgyzstan, to Chinghiz Aitmatov. And in order to transfet true atmosphere of this Central Asian country, Kyrgyz beauties treated the guests to baursaks and honey.
Nora Iniesta is an Argentine painter, main theme of her art is Homeland. It was exhibition of her artworks that the Embassy of Argentina presented to better familiarize Ukrainians with their modern culture. On blue-and-white paintings, just like the flag of Argentina, plots, details and images are depicted in surrealism genre – for the author they resonate with her home. Also an exhibition of Argentine adornments, household items and traditional dresses was presented at the festival.
Fame of Lebanese cuisine has travelled far beyond the borders of the country. Gourmets all over the world enjoy exquisite dishes, in which Mediterranean and Arabic motives are skillfully combined, so in the Embassy of Lebanon they knew what to emphasize on during our festival. A head chef shared his tricks during an improvised workshop on cooking a meat dish called Kibbeh and Tabbouleh salad. Ladies eagerly asked about sequence of actions, spices and main stages of the process of cooking those dishes. We are sure some have already tried to use knowledge obtained during the workshop at own kitchen. The whole thing didn’t go without tasting of the abovementioned dishes, and there was also coffee with cardamom and Lebanese wine… Representatives of the Embassy of Lebanon provided for an exhibition of paintings of Huseyin Djoumma – famous painter whose works are exhibited around the globe, particularly in France, Australia, Cuba and Brazil. Djoumma is an honored member of Lebanese Artists Association and one of the founders of the syndicate of craftsmen and authentic producers. Everyone who has visited this location, flaunted in front of cameras wearing a fezz and got own name written in Arabic.
Meanwhile in the area of Montenegro a family greeted the guests: a mother, a father and two children all dressed in traditional outfits. Montenegrin national clothes are considered one of the brightest and most expensive in Europe due to golden sewing and use of expensive materials of highest quality. Its production was complicated and demanded from the sewer to have not just extraordinary skills but also artistic taste and flair. Clothes of this country by the origin are the only ones in the world that followed festive outfits of their reigning dynasty and nobility. Most valuable element of a woman’s costume was chemer belt – it was made of silver and adorned with precious stones; for men it was, of course, weapons that were also decorated with precious stones.
Embassy of Moldova in Ukraine prepared their national stand in the style of Casa Mare – a Big Hut that reflected its festive nature according to ethnographic descriptions. The stand was decorated with handmade items by Moldovan craftsmen, holy images, pillows with distinctive embroidery, towels and lacework, ceramics and carpets with bright roses. During the tasting, placinta with meticulously selected wines spread among those, who were interested in the Republuc of Moldova from gastronomic point of view, in no time. A stand-alone adornment of the festival was performance of the Academic Dancing Ensemble Sonechko with Serbetoryaska dance.
A particle of eternal summer was brought to the festival by representatives of the Embassy of Indonesia. The country that consists of 17 thousand islands and has an amazing history, traditions and culture, unveiled some of its mysteries for our guests. Upon plunging into the exotic atmosphere, the guests managed to get better acquainted with the culture of Bali and Java Islands and main character of these two cultures, Barong, who left none of the guests of the festival indifferent. A number of authentic music instruments, that everyone who felt like it could try and play, created constant music accompaniment in the area.
Mysterious beauties in traditional Indonesian outfits became live exhibits that inquisitive glances were reaching for, and indeed, it was impossible to go past those works of art, one couldn't but examine every stitch of embroidery, patterns of ornamentation and stones on peculiar crowns. But this wasn't the end of exotics from the Embassy of Indonesia, the guests of the event had an opportunity to try traditional pastel buns that added even more color to this bright area.
Sea, sun, holidays - these are the words that come to mind when thinkung about bright Croatia. So, in order to leave as much warmth in the hearts of the visitors of the festival as possible, the Embassy of this country prosented an exhibition called The Flash of Diversity by photographers Mario Romulich and Drazhen Stoyichich. On the puctures of the authors 56, 500 square kilometers thatnthe country is spread on, are depicted; they have such a diverse landscape there is no concentration of various kinds like that anywhere else. Every era has contributed to the relief, three very different types of climate prevail there and human culture has left a perpetuate imprint from the Age of Copper through ancient times and Middle Ages to modern civilian society and turbulebt 20th century. According to the artists, perception of a traveler who is heading to Croatia, may not be completely ready for the onslaught of diversity that the country offers. Photos of this exhibition may be the best way to prepare the visitors for such a diversity flash.
Have you ever heard of the art of suzani - the art of embroidery that is extremely popular in Tajikistan? Tajik people has been famous for ceations of its tinkerers and craftsmen since olden times. It is believed that suzani is not just a part of culture and art but also a state of the entire people's soul! This type of embroidery was used to decorate dwellings and adorn clothes. Suzani is traditionally created by women. Tajik centers of embroidery are Ura-Tyube, Khijand and Isfara. Patterns are mainly created on cotton to be later embroidered with silk or mouline threads using special seams called kandahiel and basma. The sun and the moon, grapevine and flowers, birds and fruits are all popular motives in suzani and they became available to the visitors of the festival to look at thank to the efforts of the Embassy of Tajikistan in Ukraine.
To play backgammon on a Bakuvian street is an entrtainment of the citizens of the capital of Azerbaijan, so why not bring it to our festival? You know the rules - go ahead and play, but in case you don't, coordinators of the themed area and diplomats of the Embassy of Azerbaijan were glad to share all the secrets. To feel the atmosphere of the East, enjoy the look of carpets that any Azerbaijani house is impossible without, drink some tea with thyme, try pastry and dolma, discover a taste of Azerbaijani wine that not all people know about - yes, all that was possible, too! Interestingly, our festival coincided in time with the festival of pomegranate in Azerbaijan therefore main emphasis of the location was on this fruit. Painting on pomegranates and a bright photo area gathered both the youngest and those who had a knack for painting. The workshop was hosted by representatives of the expatriate community Rena and Sabina Safarova, who, by the way, also exhibited in the location own paintings, that show sophisticated execution of traditional plots.
Odour of Ethiopian coffee spread far beyond the themed area of this country just like the line of those eager to try the beverage. It seemed like one came to visit sincere hosts who warmly welcomed Ukrainian guests with interesting stories and coffee ceremnoy. Distincive African color along with photo areas is now captured in pictures and adorns Instagram and Facebook pages of the visitors of the OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL.
And a bit about the concert. With countries and bright national outfits shifting one by one on the stage, it felt like in a whirlpool. Various languages of songs and different melodies, lively dances and sophisticated graceful moves - every people manifestated itself in own unique way . And for three and a half hours this mix filled the stage of the festival. And it was the shared feeling that united all performers on the stage - love towards own Motherland and desire to demonstrate it in its finest.
Indian dances, African drum rythms, Greek folk pas, German folklore, Egyptian moves from Saidi dance, exquisite Hawaiian and Polynesian wobbling, lively Georgian melodies, sounds of Armenian dhol and Kazakh domra, Lithuanian salutatory dance with hats, Congolese folk singing - all of these will be remembered for a long time by the guests of this year's festival. We really wanted our guest not to merely watch several-hour-long concert but also to be able to demonstrate own talents. Therefore we organized two dancing workshops. First one introduced everyone to folk Argentine dance Chacarera and the second one returned everybody to dim and distant past of our ancestors - foreign guests and Ukrainians learned moves of functional Ukrainian dances.
This year the stage also became a venue for the defile in national costumes. Lithuania and Malaysia managed to impress with elements of their dresses and tell about their peculiarities. Men's Baju Melayu, for one, consists of a shirt, trousers and adornment that is very similar to a skirt that is tied around the waist; such an outfit is completed with sonkok headdress. Models of the show were employees of the Embassy of Malaysia in Ukraine. As to Lithuanian outfits, representatives of the Lithuanian Community of Ukraine demostrated outfits of different regions of the country: Aukshtatija, Dzukija and Zhiamatija.
Japanese origami art, though isn't ine of the simplest, still attracted lots of those eager to master techniques of making paper figures. The line of guests willing to decorate own hands with fancy mehndi patterns was also being replenished over the entire time of the festival and right next to it Bangladesh Culture Community entertained with a workshop on Bengali calligraphy while Iran was represented by Persian calligraphy Farsi - Nasta'liq. Art of painting on water - ebru - won hearts of young visitors of the event who took home self-made pictures depicting tulips, symbols of Turkey, and not just them.
An itegral part and a focus of our festival has always been exhibition of national costumes. We replenish this sophisticated collection every year. Palette of countries becomes more and more diverse. Afghanistan, Ghana, Cameroon, Chad...
We really wanted to see happy faces of our visitors and the team of the OUTLOOK has spared no effort to make this day bright and unforgettable. Therefore we are overwhelmingly grateful to all the participants, embassies, performers, craftsmen, volunteers who have participated in our anniversary festival of culture of peoples of he world OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL. Each of you has contributed something unique, beautiful, distinctive to our gala event to make it amazing and bright, a memory that will keep warming our hears up for a long time.