Ukraine Celebrates 200th Birthday of Poet Shevchenko

Kyiv, March 9, 2014. Ukraine celebrates the 200th birthday of an eminent Ukrainian poet and artists Taras Shevchenko. On this day Ukraine’s capital, as well as numerous cities across the globe feature cultural events to pay a tribute to Ukraine’s national hero. Taras Shevchenko is a renowned Ukrainian poet, artist and political prisoner, who significantly contributed to the treasury of the world culture.

According to the outcome of the 37th General Assembly of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization UNESCO, 200 nations marked March 9 on their calendars as a birthday of Ukrainian poet. Throughout the world, numerous events will be held to commemorate the artistic contribution of Shevchenko.

In the light of recent events in downtown Kyiv, the sense of national identity reached its peak; currently the street in Kyiv are crowded with people wearing national clothing and carrying blue-and-yellow flags, proudly singing the national anthem. Thousands gathered in front of Taras Shevchenko monument to lay flowers for the reputed Ukrainian poet and artist. Additionally, Kyiv’s Independence Square, Maidan Nezalezhnosti, features plays and concerts, based on the artworks of Taras Shevchenko. Ukrainian national theater named after Ivan Franko and theater of Russian drama, named after Lesya Ukrainka hold plays, written by Taras Shevchenko.

Interestingly, the Russian-speaking city of Illichivsk, which is near the south Ukrainian Odesa holds an event to support Ukrainian language. Citizens of Illichivsk stated that they would speak solely in Ukrainian on this day despite what their mother tongue is. The event is aimed at decreasing linguistic and cultural differences, therefore bringing the West and the East of Ukraine closer. “Historically, it happened that Illichivsk is a Russian-speaking city. However, this does not imply that we are not proud of our Homeland,” reads the appeal of inhabitants to Illichivsk city council.

Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861) is considered to be the most recognized Ukrainian poet in the world. During the 47 years of his relentless life, Shevchenko produced numerous poems and artworks, which are valued with the deep respect and honor by nations across the world. A poet, painter, and humanist, Taras Shevchenko is one of the most outstanding figures of the Ukrainian art. One of the most significant contributors to the development of modern Ukrainian language he authored a number of internationally recognized masterpieces: Haidamaky, Hamaliia, Nazar Stodolia, Zapovit, etc. He played a significant role in the development of Ukrainian language and contributed to the formation of Ukrainian national identity.