Culture News, 24/05/2020

Kharkivites Celebrate Vyshyvanka Day in Unusual Way

Kharkiv joined the celebration of the International Vyshyvanka Day, the Ukrainian national costume, which this year was set for May 21.

Several events took place in the city on the occasion of this day. Due to the quarantine regulations, Kharkiv residents did not hold the traditional Vyshyvana (Embroidery) March. Instead, several pro-Ukrainian and volunteer organizations initiated the “Vyshyvaniy Maidan” (Embroidered Square) action. The event took place near the “All for the Victory” volunteers’ tent on Maidan Svobody (Freedom Square) in the Kharkiv downtown.

A huge embroidered shirt measuring approximately 20×20 meters has become a part of Maidan Svobody. Both old and young participated in the event.

According to the event organizer Halyna Kuts, the teacher of Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, activists could keep their distance as quarantine regulations required painting an embroidered shirt on different squares. They chose the traditional Slobozhansky floral ornaments in black, white, and red colors as Kharkiv is located in the heart of the Slobozhansky region.

Those who could not attend the event had the opportunity to join the celebration online. Anyone who wished posted their photos in embroidered shirts on social networks.

A festive bicycle race also took place in Kharkiv, which was joined by fans of two-wheeled transport. The participants dressed in vyshyvankas (embroidered shirts) decorated their bicycles with Ukrainian symbols.

“Our bike ride is a form of celebrating the traditional Vyshyvanka Day,” noted Oles Shtefchuk, the event organizer. “It was held this way due to quarantine as we can’t hug each other or gather in large groups. We try to adhere to restrictions. But we didn’t want to cancel the campaign and we came up with the idea to hold it in such a way.”

The race started near Taras Shevchenko monument. Later, the participants cycled to Maidan Konstytutsii (Constitution Square), where Avtomaidan activists took over the baton driving around the city in cars decorated with Ukrainian flags and symbols.

Reference: The International Vyshyvanka Day was started in 2006 by Lesya Voronyuk, a student of Chernivtsi National University. Initially, embroidered clothes were worn by dozens of students and several faculty members. During the following years, the holiday turned into the national day and became international while the Ukrainian diaspora together with supporters of Ukraine around the world joined the celebration.

Text: Natalia Ivanova

Photo: depo, Boris Redin