Ukrainian culture: Born to be free
Society18:18 Aug. 30, 2016
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Born to be free

Ukrainian culture preserved and reconstructed through ages. The descendants of outstanding Ukrainians nowadays follow the direction, once paved by their talented ancestors

This 26-year-old man is a descendant of Taras Shevchenko, one of the most talented Ukrainian poets. Vasyl Babych graduated from a musical school of Mykola Lysenko, now he plays cello in the presidential orchestra. His wife is into music too - she is a violinist. His elder brother is also a musician, living and working in Austria. Babych, in turn, has chosen to live and work in Ukraine. He adds though in the contemporary world of globalization the place of residence is not that crucial.

Vasyl Babych,  descendant Of Taras Shevchenko: "Our world has become a global village. Have a glimpse at my brother. Though living in Austria, he is able to do much more for Ukraine than I do. He earns more, so he can send more charity money for the Ukrainian army."

This woman is ready to tell of her biggest pride. Mariana Yevtushenko is a grand-daughter of Ostap Vyshnia, an outstanding Ukrainian satiric writer. One of the rooms in her flat is turned into a museum. There she keeps all the artefacts once used by her famous grandfather. When showing the family heritage, Mariana wears a traditional Ukrainian vyshyvanka. She says her ancestor belonged to the so-called Ukrainian Executed Renaissance. The term describes a generation of Ukrainian writers and artists of 1920-s and 1930-s, executed or repressed by the Soviet totalitarian regime. Ostap Vyshnia was lucky enough to survive after the persecutions.

Mariana Yevtushenko, grand-daughter of Ostap Vyshnia: "First, my granddad was sentenced to death. In the very last moment, the authorities changed the death penalty to 10 years behind bars. In 1937 he was sentenced to be executed again. It was long cold winter, so the prisoners were not escorted to the execution site on time. And when they finally arrived, the commandment had changed, so the sentence was abolished."

Neither Babych nor Yevtushenko are sure if they are on the right way, as their famous relatives would wish them to follow. Nevertheless, they say, the task for today is to further preserve Ukrainian culture and transmit the national values to younger generations.

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