Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lviv Memories, for Stefa and Bogdan (стефа и богдан)

It's the 50th anniversary week of the founding of the Peace Corps, so I'm remembering my time as a PCV in Ukraine.

Photo collage: Women of Ukraine meeting at Lviv Technical Institute, which included a fantastic visit from Ostap, a well-known bandura player (all organized by Stefa). The bandura is a 60- string instrument that sounds like a harpsichord to me. Under the group photo is cultural leader and hero Mikhail of Sokol, playing the trembita, a welcoming instrument. Upper right is the Lviv Opera House, with our travel group in front: Stefa, Tonya, Yulia, and Olga. We saw a great production of "Die Fledermaus." Below, far right and left, with Stefa and Bogdan, at their Vinitsia (just outside of Lviv) home. Stefa is in traditional Ukrainian dress (and me, too) and Bogdan is in his Ukrainian army best. These are two fantastically talented patriots who touched my life deeply. Stefa is also a fantastic cook and Bogdan a fantastic poet and singer with a deep baritone voice. He and Stefa can recite any poem or song, by heart, with great eloquence at the drop of a hat, and they regaled us with their talents. I can't speak their language, which is Ukrainian (it was hard enough speaking in Russian), but I will always remember. я всегда буду помниtь.

My dear friends in Lviv, Stefa and Bogdan, will love this poem. Actually, they probably know it well, because Ambrose Metlynsky collected and published Ukrainian folk songs in the 1850s, all of which Stefa and Bogdan know inside and out. They are fervent Ukrainian patriots who honor the past and have high hopes for a united Ukrainian future. They embody a wonderful heritage, sing beautifully and with great fervor every Ukrainian song ever written, and showed me a wonderful side of Ukraine. So I send this lovely poem to them (from Ukrainian Folk Music facebook page), with heartfelt thanks for the memories.

"Може, і пісня з вітром ходитиме,
дійде до серця, серце палатиме;
може й бандуру ще хто учує,
й серце заниє і затоскує...
by АМБРОСІЙ МЕТЛИНСЬКИЙ (1814-1870)

Translation:

Perhaps my song will dance with the wind,and touch someone's heart,
and set it afire;
perhaps someone will still hear the bandura, and his heart will ache, and yearn...
And a young cossack will remember both me and my bandura..."

Мои дорогие друзья во Львове, Стефа и Богдан,будет любить эту поэму. На самом деле, они, наверное, знаете это хорошо, потому что АмвросийМетлинский собраны и опубликованы украинские народные песни в 1850-х годов, все из которыхСтефа и Богдана знаю изнутри и снаружи. Онигорячо украинских патриотов, кто чтит прошлое ивозлагаем большие надежды на единой украинскойбудущем. Они воплощают прекрасным наследием, петь, красиво и с большим рвением, каждуюукраинскую песню когда-либо написанных, и показал мне прекрасные стороны Украины. Так что яотправить эту прекрасную поэму них (с украинскогостраница народной музыки facebook), с сердечную благодарность за воспоминания.


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