During October 6-7, the 140th anniversary of the prominent Ukrainian cultural and public figure, writer, ethnographer, composer, musicologist and bandurist Hnat Khotkevych was marked in Kharkiv region. Notably, almost the entire life of Khotkevych was connected with Kharkiv. He was born in Kharkiv, studied in Kharkiv Polytechnic, worked and played bandura in Kharkiv, and was executed by communist secret service NKVD in Kharkiv. His body was buried in a mass grave on the outskirts of Kharkiv.
On October 6, contemporary musicians played the traditional Ukrainian musical instruments such as bandura, kobza, lyre at the Kobzar concert at the assembly hall of the Kharkiv regional center of culture and art. Muravsky Shlakh Ukrainian folk band took part in the event.
The following day, people honored the memory of Hnat Khotkevych, laid flowers at the place of his burial in Kharkiv Lisopark, where the memorial to victims of the Stalin’s repressions was created. Priest Andriy Nasinnyk conducted a memorial service.
On the same day, in the house-museum of Hnat Khotkevych in Vysokiy village, Kharkiv region, the kobza musical instruments performers’ concert traditionally took place. Also, local children’s folklore band participated in the concert.
In addition to formal events, Poltava artist Tetyana Panybog ran a master class on traditional Ukrainian painting. Also, the local schoolchildren read extracts from letters of his daughter Halyna Khotkevych. Furthermore, an excursion on the museum’s exposition was organized. Following this, priest Andriy Nasinnyk consecrated the museum’s memorial rooms.
Kharkiv tour guide and activist Victoria Sklyarova, who attended the celebrations, told that in every country where there is Ukrainian diaspora, Sunday schools with Chapel of Bandura-players often perform Khotkevych’s works. According to Sklyarova, Khotkevych is not just a famous person but an extraordinary phenomenon in Ukrainian history.
The event was organized by Kharkiv Kobzar Workshop, Kharkiv Literary Museum, Fund of Ethnic and Cultural Initiatives named after Hnat Khotkevych and the Ukrainian Youth Union.
Reference: Hnat Khotkevych was born on December 31. Having in mind that this date overlaps with New Year and Christmas festivities, organizers decided to find another date for celebration. Eventually, they selected weekend days before October 8, when Khotkevych was executed in 1938 in the age of 61.
Text: Natalia Ivanova