Vyshyvanka Day celebrations in Taipei raise awareness of Russian invasion

05/22/2022 03:45 PM
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CNA photo May 22, 2022
CNA photo May 22, 2022

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) A public event for Vyshyvanka Day, an annual holiday celebrating Ukrainian folk traditions, was held in Taipei Sunday, with organizers saying they hoped to raise awareness of the ongoing Russian invasion.

The celebration was held at an outdoor venue near Guting MRT station and featured a picnic and market selling Ukrainian food, beer, and souvenirs.

The event had been organized by Taiwan Stands With Ukraine (TSWU), a volunteer organization founded in Taipei in response to the Russian invasion.

TSWU member and Ukrainian Oleksandr Shyn told CNA that Vyshyvanka Day was dedicated to the traditional embroidered vyshyvanka shirts, which have become a celebrated symbol of Ukrainian culture across the globe. 

CNA photo May 22, 2022
CNA photo May 22, 2022

Shyn added that while Vyshyvanka Day was normally celebrated on the third Thursday in May with festive events such as picnics, markets, and parades, war was preventing people in Ukraine from enjoying it to the fullest this year.

"But here in Taiwan, the picnic is a great opportunity to show people that Ukrainian culture matters and that it is a beautiful culture," Shyn said.

Shyn said that he hoped the picnic would raise both awareness and donations, adding that all the funds raised at the event would be donated to groups providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees.

"The war is still going on even though people talk about it less, it is still happening," he said. 

Anastasiia Palamarchuk and her motanka doll. CNA photo May 22, 2022
Anastasiia Palamarchuk and her motanka doll. CNA photo May 22, 2022

As well as selling Ukrainian drinks and snacks, visitors to the picnic could also buy one-of-a-kind "Ukraine+Taiwan" embroidery patterned stickers, as well as make their own traditional "motanka" dolls.

Anastasiia Palamarchuk, a Ukrainian currently in Taiwan on an Academia Sinica scholarship and who was responsible for teaching people how to make the motanka dolls during Sunday's event, said the dolls were kept by Ukrainians to protect and bring blessings to their homes and family.

Motanka dolls were originally associated with fertility but have latterly become associated with healing, protection, and ancestors, Palamarchuk said, adding that while in Ukraine, she also made these dolls to send to soldiers to wish them luck.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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