11 August 2009

Pichne (Пихні) Festival

I've been wanting to post this for 2 weeks, but the connection has always timed out until now.

This festival was really cool -- because it was in a real Rusyn village.  And because (some of you won't believe I'm saying this) it was done with the help (via they mayor and Ministry of Culture) of the Rusyn-Ukrainians.  Today in Slovakia, that's almost a mark of quality (ala Good Housekeeping) because it denotes a certain hardcoreness.  But when the functionary from Prešov had to read from a script in Ukrainian, it just proved even more how not Ukrainian we are -- especially when everyone else spoke purely in Rusyn, which was too beautiful to have to listen to all day.  

In the video, starting at about 4:55 is a girl who I swear has the possibility of being the next big star -- she was powerful live.

Towards the end you'll see a semipro kid's group from Užhorod. They did Rusyn and Ukrainian stuff - which was popular and they were very good, but you could really see the difference between the local Rusyn culture (+ some, very little East Slovak) and the Subcarpathian, and definitely a huge difference between local culture and red-booted Ukie culture.

After the cultural program, we had some dinner, went for a walk, and went back to the festival where they were trying in vain to have a zabava (not enough electricity for the band's amps, unfortunately) and over some beers we heard the frustration of some folks about the RusynhyphenUkrainian-ness of the festival and village activities.  These people know who they are (even by negative definition, that is, not Ukrainian), so can we all work on getting over politics? 

No comments: