Maybe a man is a head of the family, but a woman is a neck, - that`s what people in Ukraine say
Orest Levitskii writes about very interesting tradition. In eighteen-nineteen century if a girl didn`t want to marry a guy who made a proposal she could… give him a pumpkin. And she did it in front of his relatives when he came to her house to ask a permission to marry her. Yes, it was a humiliation but a girl had a right to do so and no one would ever judge her.
If all the girls in the village refused to marry a guy, he could go to another village and try his luck there.
If a family had nubile daughter in the family, they would decorate a house with colorful stripes so every man could try his luck there.
Even in twenty first century matriarchy plays important role in live of Ukrainians. Men rely on women very much. Very often women plays first roles in the family.
If he knows your name - he has a power over you
In the age of paganism people believed that name mirrors your soul. In tenth century Vladimir brought Christianity to Kyiv Rus` and forbidden pagan names.
G. Losko in his article “Out true names” says: “But people wouldn`t refuse of their names so fast. So they would carry two names: one for the Church they didn`t believe. And another one is true.
With the time pagan name could transform into a surname. For Example - “Vovk” (Eng: wolf) became Voichenko, Marich - Marchenko etc.
No bonfires! No! No! No!
It is known in Ukraine never burned witches. And even the definition of witch is not the same as all over the Europe. In Ukraine witch is known as Vedunya ( Eng: Who knows everything”). These women were respected. Usually they worked as midwives and nurses.
Oleksii Verbovii, a lecturer in Kyiv National University says:
“Inquisition never had real power in Ukraine. Another reason no one talks about is a pest. Usually bonfires started in the moment pest came to the town. It was a very good explanation why all these people should be executed. In Ukraine there were no pest, no inquisition and no bonfires”
Verbivii says during the inquisition the most beautiful women were killed. In Ukraine all this women survived and gave birth to new generations.
How about werewolves?
Not so many people know that Ukrainian ataman (Eng: leader) of Cossacks was called first werewolf ever.
Ivan Sirco was born at the beginning of sixteen century. During his life he won about 65 battles and never lost. He`s been fighting against Turkey.
Famous Ukrainian scientists Kostomarov writes: “Among Turkish he was called “shaitan”. It means “devil”.
Cossacks were crusading very often. During their trips they saw how at night big black dog they never saw at sunlight left it`s shelter and went somewhere.
In the morning Ivan Sirco appeared to know everything about location of the enemies and their weak and strong sides… like he`s been there. Or did he?
In small cities and towns even now Ukrainians stick to their traditions. They know how to predict bad weather looking at bird fly. And they celebrate day Ivana Kupala`s Day.
Ivana Kupala Day
On July, 7 young boys and girls dance around bonfires, sing songs. Girls gather flowers for wreath and put it to the river. The wreath will flow away down the river and the boy who finds it is that girl`s future husband.
Sometimes boys cheat - they follow the girl, figure out which headdress is hers and directly swim to get it.
They dance till the end of the night, celebrate Ivana Cupala Day and invite everyone to experience full brightness of life.