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?