Ukrainian Culture Festival in Poland
A festival of Ukrainian culture has taken place in Warsaw. The event featured folk songs, dances and workshops
The arrival of Spring celebrated through Ukrainian folk songs and dances in the Polish capital.
For the second year in a row, the Ukrainian Materynka school in Warsaw held its Hayivka festival. For Ukrainians living far from their homeland, the event is an opportunity to get together, to keep their traditions alive.
“We love the very idea to bring together the Ukrainian community in Poland and have fun like Ukrainians used to in the old days. They created their own celebrations for adults and children alike. It was very moving and warm. We need celebrations like this. We brought a ‘wheel’ — the symbol of the sun, movement, and never-ending life. It is held by a tall man, while other adults and children hold the ribbons and go around together. It’s a symbol of unity of sorts,” director of the Yasno-Krasno group Olena Vydrych said.
For those not so energetic, there are master classes — where visitors could make candles from beeswax or put together a motanka doll from the thread, straw, and herbs.
“Master classes, games for children, a concert program — all of this is totally interactive. You won’t see artists perfuming and the audience just sitting and applauding. Everyone here is taking part,” a teacher at Materynka school Natalia Balatska said.
“I made a motanka doll from threads. I used two kinds of thread, pink and blue. First I made the body, then the head and arms. And I got a doll. It doesn’t take much time to make one. About 15 minutes,” a girl says.
Ukrainians have long believed that MOTanka dolls can bring health and happiness.
“For example in a motanka like this, they put a lot of medicinal herbs: chamomile, mint, lemon balm. While making it, one should think about health and wellness. They used to put one in a baby’s crib for the child to grow up healthy. My mother was here today and said that she used to make these together with grandma. It’s very nice that we managed to revive this tradition in a different country. It’s very important for Ukrainians,” a teacher Larysa Vyshivska said.
By creating the atmosphere of traditional national holidays, the school hopes that children can learn more about Ukrainian history, culture and art.