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29.02.2020

To save and renew the cultural memory of our region, Ukrainian language teacher from Kramatorsk created a community on social networks called “Authentic Donetsk region”.

Everyone who is interested in education and culture knows Oksana Proselkova in Kramatorsk. In addition to her main work, she organizes festivals and competitions, promotes children’s readings, and takes care of the problem of eating at schools… She has long been interested in folk singing, and now she started to spread information about the real Ukrainian Donetsk region.

According to her, the request for such information is insane. Because on the one hand, people are ruled by the myths about the “Russian” Donbass, on the other – they do not perceive unpromising “educational” propaganda from the state. But everybody wants the historical truth.

– It is necessary that people begin to get acquainted with the authenticity, so that there will be less incorrect thinking about Ukrainian culture, – the teacher says. – Because now those costumes that children put on folk performances – are nothing. Songs that they sing – are nothing. They are not identical.

Oksana Proselkova says that pseudo-folk fakes do not contribute to the rooting in the land of Dyke Pole, on which our ancestors lived for many centuries. That is why everything in her community, which works entirely on a volunteer basis, is real.

What is there already? Archival photos, ancient and modern reconstructed folk system, amulets, jewelry, towels, records of singing of grandmothers (some songs are 200 years old), singing of rural folk groups and trip photos from ethnographic museums.

What does Authentic Donetsk region need? An active participation in filling of materials. The community will accept from you: old photos of your relatives or acquaintances in Ukrainian community, photos of your family Ukrainian relics, audio recordings of songs, rituals, recipes from your grandparents, text recordings of stories from older neighbors.

Facebook community, created by Oksana, has over 1.200 subscribers today, and their number is growing. The intention of the teacher is to involve in the exchange of information of like-minded people from Dobropillya, Bakhmut, Sloviansk, Pryazovia, and to make expeditions to the villages of the region where the bearers of unique cultural heritage still live.

Oksana Proselkova admits that she is not a specialist in ethnography. Fascination with the local culture is her hobby, as well as the desire to remind that in the ancient times our region spoke Ukrainian:

– We need to unite, show that we are one and find joint interest. If we do not, there will be those who will tell us someone else’s story. Therefore, we find the strength to continue this affair.

Valeriia YASKO/Gromada Skhid No. 3 (12) 2020