Celebration of Independence Day of Ukraine in Brussels 24 of August, 2008

26/08/2008, 15:51

On the 23-24 of August, 2008 a solemn celebration dedicated to the Independence Day of Ukraine was held in the capital of European Union. Celebration in Brussels was not held for the first time, it was started last year by European Association of Ukrainians and has already became a good tradition and manifestation of European integration of Ukraine. This year celebration was organized by European Association of Ukrainians mutually with Youth League of Ukraine “Youth Power”, and with support of the Community of football fans “For! Beautiful Football” and Ukrainian International Airlines of Ukraine.

Celebration was started with a big party, that was held on the 23th of August in Brussels and was realized under intitiative of Ukrainian community and support of European Association of Ukrainians and the Embassy of Ukraine in Belgium. Around 200 Ukrainians from all Belgium and neighbouring countries took part in the celebration. Organizers met guests with Ukrainian national dishes, drinks, and with an intresting cultural program. Olena Gracova, winner of the contest of young performers “Yalta-2008”, came to greet Ukrainians with this holiday.

On the 24 of August celebration continued with all Ukrainian’s might and European originality. About 10 thousands of persons visited world known statue of “Manneken Pis”, symbol of Brussels, which was dressed into Ukrainian national costume. After number of given out flags, ribbons and balloons in colors of Ukrainian flag, we have had an impression that Brussels has became very Ukrainian.

In the morning the representatives of municipality of Brussels together with a Society of Friends of Manneken Pis dressed a little boy in constume #791 – Ukrainian kozak costume which was made last year by European Association of Ukrainians and was presented in Brussels.

The accent on EURO-2012 was some special thrill of this year celebration, as association of Ukraine with next football championship of Europe may become a significant trait of formation of the positive image and will grant Ukrainian recognizability.

Square around the statue was decorated with Ukrainian flags, ribbons, and around the fence near Manneken Pis ported a banner “Euro-2012: welcome to Ukraine”. The atmosphere was inviting foreigners to visit Ukraine. A few thousands of yellow and blue balloons, five hundred Ukrainian flags and numerous Ukrainian souvenirs were presented to children, tourists and passerby people. Organizers have spreaded about 10 thousands of informational brochures, in which it stated about history, culture, and potential of Ukraine, as well as the next EURO-2012 hosted in Ukraine. At the same time League of Ukrainian Youth “Youth Power” has made a public opinion poll on the topic “Thoughts of youth as to preparation of Ukraine in EURO-2012”.

Big number of visitors of Ukrainian holiday was conditioned that the 24th of August was on Sunday, when Burssels is visited by a big number of tourists from the whole world. Chinese and Amerincans, Russians and Africans, French and Austians were keen to take photos holding Ukrainian flag with “Brussles kozak” on the background, and were greeting with Independence Day. All present Ukrainians were singing the anthem of Ukraine, and the foreign tourists were signing backups.

The celebration was visited by representatives of the Embassy of Ukraine in Brussels, Mission of Ukraine to the European Union and the Embassy of Ukraine to NATO.

At 14.00 in front of Ukrainian Manneken Pis in the restaurant a solemn reception was held by the organizers, during which Ukrainians raised a glass of Belgium beer for Independence of Ukraine and have sang Ukrainian songs.

The tradition of Manneken Pis has more than 300 years, nevertheless till the last year statue did not have Ukrainian costume. It was dressed by kings and presidents, and last year, this action was accomplished by Ukrainians. Ukrainians dressing for Manneken Pis – it is reconstruction of the costume of XVII-XVIII century of the kozak period. The dressing was accomplished in 2007 by an artist-designer Valentina Tyshchenko, chief of a sector of embroidery of the Museum of Ukrainian people’s decorative arts.

Ukrainian costume for world known “Manneken Pis” is composed of a line embroider shirt, silk pants, waistband, fur-lined hat, leather boots which were called cap’yanovi, leather “kalitki” (a bad for money). The shirt is embroider with white thread on white line by the techniques of an embroidery: hemstitch “lyakhivka”, “retyaz’”, “lushtva”, with a suture “behind the needle”.

Wardrobe of “Manneken Pis” counts today about 800 costumes. Ukrainian costume is under number #791 in the municipal museum of Brussels which is situated in a “House of the King” – historical palace on a famous old square Grande Place/Grotte Market.

Celebration of Independence Day in Brussels that was started in 2007, this year was a bigger and more solemn holiday, as it was supported by League of Ukrainian Youth “Youth Power”, the Community of football fans “For! Beautiful Football” and Ukrainian International Airlines of Ukraine which brought the holiday on its wings to Brussels. With our mutual effots we have reached a better result and popularized Ukraine as one of the host countries of EURO-2012.

Contact information:
• +38 050 462 05 97 (Kiev)
• +32 487 20 88 30 (Brussels)


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