“If you are proud to be Ukrainian, wear an embroidered shirt!” was the slogan of the march that was held in Kyiv for the eighth time on September 18. This non-political event ga-thered some 300 participants, mostly university students, although the youths were joined by families with children, as well as the elderly. All attendees were dressed in traditional Ukrainian style. The initiative’s organizers tried to draw attention to the Ukrainian ethnic dress once again. Serhii Sirko, who was among the march’s organizers, says that “a lot of passers-by welcomed it; I think such events prevent the people from being alienated from the Ukrainian culture, that is, their own native culture.”
At the same time, the author Serhii Pantiuk who joined the marchers, too, believes that ethnic dress is not only fine-looking, but does something greater: “a person in an ethnic dress is more open to the world around.”
This year’s parade of embroidered shirts proceeded along the following route: Golden Gate, St. Sophia Square, Kontraktova Square and Khreshchatyk. But one would be mistaken to think that the event consisted merely of marching from the point A to the point B. As soon as the participants came to their next stop, they had competitions waiting for them. Most active marchers competed in knowledge of Ukrainian history and geography, sang songs, as well as compared the parade’s key attributes, that is, embroidered shirts. There were competitions for the youngest participants, too, and, despite the questions asked being complex enough, kids solved the problems successfully. A four- or five-year-old boy tried to answer the question: “Who is the president?” After several minutes of intense thinking, his answer was: “He is the one that wants to say something to us,” prompting all present to smile and laugh. The next march is planned for May.