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"Oi u luzi chervona kalyna" as the symbol of Ukrainian resistance

Illustration: #AlonaShostko


Among the symbols around which Ukrainians unite during the full-scale war against Russia, the song Oi u luzi chervona kalyna (Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow) occupies a prominent place. It was written back in 1914 by Stepan Charnetskyi, who lived in Lviv and was fond of the culture and history of Ukraine, he was a theater actor, translator, poet, and writer. Charnetskyi was inspired by Cossack folk songs when he wrote Oi u luzi chervona kalyna. Later, this song became the anthem of the Sich Riflemen, a unit of the Ukrainian People's Republic army.

And a century later, the song again raised the fighting spirit of Ukrainians. In the first days of the Russian full-scale invasion, the famous Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvniuk joined the territorial defense of Kyiv and sang the anthem of the Sich Riflemen in the center of the capital with weapons in hand. His song rendition flooded playlists and radio airwaves, and people across the country started singing Red Viburnum.

This song was sung in bomb shelters in the subway during shelling, when it was necessary not to panic and remain in good humor. It rang out from the military on the front lines, from the ambulance medics and rescuers. Red Viburnum was performed by children and elderly people, and videos with them spread on the Internet and gained a lot of views. It is difficult to imagine a rally of Ukrainians abroad without this anthem. And in Ukraine, records are set for the largest number of performances of Red Viburnum: on Constitution Day, June 28, more than a thousand people sang the song at the same time.


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