photography

Ukrainian Day in Golden Gate Park

 

What’s the easiest way to get me to go outside? Sports. Second easiest way? Slavic festivals.

Did you know California is home to a substantial Ukrainian-American population? It’s true! Los Angeles alone has at least 34,000 residents that identify as Ukrainian, and there are at least as many spread throughout the Bay Area.

The first Ukrainian to come to the Bay Area was Agapius Honcharenko, who arrived in America in 1865. He called his homestead Ukraina Ranch, and its official address was Hayward, Ukraina, California. Agapius hated gophers, according to the pamphlet about him that I picked up at today’s Ukrainian Day in Golden Gate Park.

Hopefully no gophers snuck into today’s event. There was dancing and singing, beautiful traditional costumes, but unfortunately no food. Ukrainian food is some of the best on the planet. Though I saw no mention of food on the festival website (click the kozak!), I held out hope that food would make an appearance. It did not.

Mad Men's Paul Kinsey has the best, most useful pickup line:
Mad Men’s Paul Kinsey has the best, most useful pickup line: “Do you like Ukrainian food?”. Так, Paul. Так.

Today’s event follows the 24th anniversary of Ukraine’s declaration of independence, which falls on 24 August. This is the second year in a row that the celebrations have taken place while Ukraine is fighting illegal Russian occupation in its Crimea region. And just this week, two Ukrainians were sentenced to 10 and 20 years jail time for the act of “terrorism”. After their sentence was read, the men sang the Ukrainian anthem. In the Russian courtroom. Because Ukrainians are badass.

How badass? One of the folk songs performed today described Ukrainians defending their land from invaders (a common theme throughout their history, Ukraine’s so great everyone wants a piece). Included in its introduction was the phrase “You can have our land, but only for your graves”.

Gangster. Folk gangster.

And Cossack men wear a super rad punk rock haircut:

Sviatoslav I, athiest son of Saint Olga, rocking a chupryna haircut.

Check out the photos below to see more from today’s event in Golden Gate Park. Please be a conscientious citizen and learn and share information about the situation in Ukraine; Vice News is a good place to start. And find a Ukrainian person—they’re everywhere—to show you how to cook delicious food.

yarik
Yaroslav from Kiev with his Ukrainian flag and trizub t-shirt. The trizub, or trident, is a symbol of Ukraine.

leap

vinoki
Two girls wearing floral headdresses called vinok.
vinokandvyshyvanka
LIttle dancers wearing their best vyshyvanka embroidered shirts and headdresses called a vinok.

sleepy
Being this adorable all day is extremely exhausting.

sassy

braid

andrewmark

bluewhitedancer

dancers5

dancers6

alexbike
Alex in his Ukraine biking shirt.
alexshirt
Alex and his vyshyvanka shirt.
marinchka
Marinchka’s outfit! My spirit animal! All red everything.
redshoes
I made sure to wear my red shoes, and so did the dancers. I like this dancer’s boots a lot.

flagwrap

costume

embassy
Sergiy Aloshyn from the Embassy of Ukraine read a proclamation from San Francisco mayor Edwin Lee declaring August 24 2015 Ukrainian-American Friendship Day.

flaflrg

Advertisements

1 thought on “Ukrainian Day in Golden Gate Park”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s