Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Language of Music

A few weeks ago, I was honored to be invited to go to an Ukrainian Folk concert in my oblast capital, Cherkasy. The featured artist is the daughter of the 4th form teacher and sister of the student English teacher, Tamara, at my school. Their family had me over for dinner several weeks ago. I knew they were kind people by the fact they invited a complete stranger into their home. But after spending an evening listening to their life stories of marriage, four daughters by birth, four sons by adoption, new grandchildren every year, and constant dedication to their family, I was humbled by their passion for people. I was invited to 'return anytime as family not a guest' which means I am in their 'inner circle' - something very important to Ukrainian people - and they are in mine.

The third daughter in this family is the singer in the photos below. Her concert was amazing. It was held in grand hall far greater than anything else I've seen in Ukraine this winter. All of her music was in pure Ukrainian so I was able to understand or recognize most of the words. As you will see, she wore the native costume of Ukrainian as did the orchestra. I have to get one of these outfits. The detailed thread work and colors and ribbons are a sight to behold. Listening to her voice was like feeling the first fresh breeze of spring sweep past your ears - which did happen today! Refreshing, exhilarating, and over too soon. During the songs, there was a slideshow of various photos of Ukraine. At one point, photos of the an older folk singer began to appear. This woman was the mentor of the, now, famous folk singer. She was dedicating a song to the woman who taught her, helped her. I am not quite sure if the mentor is still living or deceased but the singer sang with a feverous passion during the slow, deep toned dedication. I wept through most of the song. I don't know why. I don't know this singer or her mentor but I do understand having someone give to you, do for you, and support you towards a mutual goal. When the music turned back towards cheerful and the audience began to clap, I pulled myself together and joined them.

I am so very glad to have another family, another home I am welcomed at in Syhnayivka. I don't deserve such and I do my best for next 21 months proving they made a good decision. I love Tamara's family more and more through each conversation as I further understand their passion for music, their village, and all the kids running around their house. 

Enjoy some photos!

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