This post is also available in: Ukrainian
Hundreds of families were treated to the best of Ukraine’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, music, dancing, poetry and crafts at the Spirit of Ukraine festival at Forty Hall Enfield on Sunday 6th Sept The festival promoted the positive image of Ukraine at one of England’s finest historic houses.
The amazing atmosphere showed the love in the heart and souls of the Ukrainian people with members of the public finding out more about the country’s vibrant culture.
The celebration showcased traditional Cossack and Hutsul dancing, singing, embroidery, colourful headdresses, jewellery and art with children experiencing egg painting (pysanky) and face painting.
Talented accordion, mandolin, bandura, guitar, and violin and players and drummers, and singers and choirs and dance bands mesmerised the audience with their memorable melodies and songs, whilst festival goers sampled varenyky, holubtsi, borsch and Ukrainian beer from Lviv, Kyiv and Chernihiv.
Guests included the Deputy Mayor of Enfield Bernadette Lappage and Ihor Kyzym, Charge d’ Affaires a.i. from the Ukrainian Embassy who warmly greeted all present and declared the festival open The entertainment programme included a Ukrainian and English poetry recital featuring work by Taras Shevchenko the voice and hero of the Ukrainian people. Also on hand was food star Olia Hercules “the Observer Rising Star of 2015” who signed copies of her cook book Mamushka casting a spotlight on the special recipes inspired by her grandmother that make her award winning dishes a delight for the taste buds.
Beautiful singing and flamboyant dances were performed by members of the Waltham Cross, London, Acton, Coventry and Stockport Ukrainian communities, and the event was crowned with a dizzying spinning Kolomeyka dance joined by members of the audience and followed by a big Ukrainian traditional sing song on the lawn led by Coventry’s musicians.
The festival was organised by the Association of Ukrainians in GB Waltham Cross branch in partnership with Friends of Forty Hall Park and supported by Forty Hall Estate and the Ukraine Charity.
Jo Ann Brown of Friends of Forty Hall and Hatice Abdullah of Enfield Council in particular are commended for helping showcase the joyful traditions of Ukraine and strengthening the friendship with the public.
The compering of the first half of the festival was by Iryna Terlecky who also addressed the festival as Vice President of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, and the second half was compered by Ihor Madylus, long time stall holder at Ukrainian events with his wife Slava and also a long time compere at events. A big thank you to you both for your professionalism!
A special thanks has to be mentioned to Liliana, (as performer and sponsor) Mark, Alex, and Ruslan of LuckyWheel Ltd http://www.luckywheel.co.uk for sponsoring the festival stage area dance floor. Your generosity is most appreciated!
Christina Modla Thomas –
Spirit of Ukraine organising committee press officer and Ukrainian Youth Association in G.B. Waltham Cross Branch Secretary.
Stepan Pasicznyk –
Spirit of Ukraine organising committee and Association of Ukrainians in G.B. Waltham Cross Branch Cultural Affairs representative.