Saturday, June 21, 2008

КРАЇНА МРІЙ (Country of Dreams)

Country of Dreams

We spent most of the day in Kyiv at a Ukrainian cultural festival called "Country of Dreams". It was so much fun to see everyone taking pride in the history, language, and culture of Ukraine. You didn't just look at it from a distance, but actually participated. Everyone was encouraged to wear traditional clothing and show off anything that was Ukrainian. Of course Edna and I both wore something traditional.

Edna looking Traditional
(As I took this picture Edna had just spotted Sasha, a girl from our English Club in Bila Tserkva. Sasha was so happy to see us taking an interest in Ukrainian culture.)

Greg wearing a vyshyvanka
Me wearing my vyshyvanka (вишиванка)

Ukrainian Maiden
My Ukrainian Maiden

The festival was very family friendly and had lots of food, music and demonstrations of art, dance, and traditional skills like blacksmithing. I would definitely recommend going if you live close enough to Kyiv. We had to pry ourselves away to make sure we could catch the last shuttle van home. We didn't even make it through all of the exhibits.

Every girl loves a man in a bear skin hat
Every girl loves a man in a bear skin hat

All Natural
"Certified Organic"

The most interesting thing that I noticed was how people from totally different walks of life seemed to all be united by one common factor, a love for Ukraine. Old people, children, business men, and even rebellious youth were all having a good time together under the blue and yellow banner of Ukraine. I hope that as Christians, we can remember to do that in our daily lives. That we can come together as one body undivided by culture or minor differences of opinion. So often we begin to segregate ourselves and wrap ourselves in the banners of doctrine or denomination. Let us not forget that as Christians we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

Traditional Ukrainian Clothing

Ukrainian Woman

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. - 1 Corinthians 1:10


Carochka said...

Great photos! (that's the norm on your blog, huh?!) :) I am SO BUMMED I wasn't there for that! I love that festival. But I am still here in Prague (after Foundations in Hungary) tying up loose ends (can ya believe it?!?!) :) but will be back in good ol UA soon.

Sarah said...

I love the poster advertising the festival - the coca cola bottle decorated with Ukrainian embroidery is worthy of a cultural analysis of globalization (:

Do you know who the woman is on the poster? A saint perhaps? I tried to do some research awhile back on the post-Soviet revival of stories of Bereginia (Berehynia) - an ancient Ukrainian goddess. It didn't turn up very much but some pictures I found looked like that poster. Have you heard of her?

Greg & Edna Silva said...

Thanks again. Our camera is pretty old and beat up, not the best quality to start with so I'm glad you like the pictures. Someday when we get high speed internet, I can post more than one photo every half hour. :(

By the way, if you like modern Ukrainian music, Скрябін will be playing at the Chicken Fest on Saturday, June 28th, in Kyiv. We will be at our church picnic or otherwise we would be going.


I agree about the Coca-Cola bottle. In Business school we would call that "thinking local and acting global", or something like that. I've traveled to a lot of places and no matter where I went there was always Coca-Cola, even in the Gobi Desert. My theory is that if we could print Bible verses on Coca-Cola labels, the world would already be evangelized. ;)

Good eye Sarah! I'm impressed. That is indeed Berehynya (Берегиня), the mother protectoress of Ukraine who stands guard over Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv. I've taken a few pictures of Edna with Berehynya in the background. Anyway, here's a great site for learning about all things Ukrainian and this particular link mentions Berehynya being used in embroidery. Hope you like it.


Conor & Koren said...

I can't believe no one has commented on how good Greg looks in that shirt!
You should wear that shirt"everyday"!

Edna, let us know how it's going.
send us an email soon...
Heard what happen! Praise God!


ukrainiac said...

It was fun to meet you guys the other day...

These are GREAT pictures!

Greg & Edna Silva said...


Thanks for pointing out the obvious. I was actually going to post an anonymous comment and say the same thing. You saved me the trouble. I actually do wear that shirt everyday, but usually under my clothes.


It was great to meet you and your husband as well. We'll be sure and say hi the next time we're in Kyiv. Thanks again for everything.


Conor & Koren said...

Greg, You are the only one that gets me man! I appreciate your sense of humor so much! Conor

bryan.stupar said...

that shirt looks great on you Greg!!

Greg & Edna Silva said...

I'm thinking that Ukrainian shirts may someday eclipse the ever so stylish Hawaiian shirts that Pastor Chuck made popular. Come to think of it, I've never seen you in one of those colorful hibiscus prints. What's the deal with that? :)