From Ukraine with love: Dnipropetrovsk is my native city, but I like traveling very much!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cossack village

Trade Union bonus: a trip to the authentic 200 y.o. Ukrainian Cossack village.
The beginning of summer started with a trip to Galushkovka – an authentic 200 year old Cossaks’ farmstead.  The one hour bus drive from Dnipropetrovsk through pastoral countryside was pleasant.
The bus was met by a young rider with a flag to show the way. When the tourist group disembarked from the bus a cannon blast represented a loud greeting to the newcomers.
At the entrance to the farmstead the hosts in the traditional dress met the group in a traditional Slavic way – with freshly baked  bread and salt and a welcome drink of a homemade vodka. The Cossak tradition requires to drink  vodka without touching the glass  with one’s hands .
The glass is placed on the side of a sabre which one  holds with both hands.. Using the sabre as a kind of a serving tray the guests lift the vodka glasses and drink them.
Welcome drink (without using hands, on sabre)
           Traditional Ukrainian village houses are used as a small ethnographic museum. In one house (‘KHA-TA in Ukrainian ) one can see an authentic interior with ancient household utensils – oven fork, oven spade, hot irons, cold irons, etc. One can see a traditional oven and solid wood  vessels used for making dough and baking bread. Old spinning wheel reminded us how linen and woolen cloths were made in old times.
Samples of   old weapons were presented as well – guns, shot guns and “o- ‘zhy -ha” – kind of “machine gun” used by Cossaks.
            The other house was used as a workshop by traditional craftsmen. The lady was making traditional hand painting on walls and wooden utensils. A local man demonstrated the skill of making hats and other objects and decorations from wheat straw. A hat, for example, requires 20 meters of the flattened straw band.
            A Cossack homestead had several horses. Some of us enjoyed horseback rides, others had a ride in a horse cart around the village.
            After the ethnographic lecture about the old peasant tools we enjoyed the Cossak show which included demonstration of old time games and exercises, horse riding skills, and other tricks. The 3 meter whip cracking was particularly enjoyed by the audience.
            After all the fun in the shade of a tent we had traditional lunch snack: Ku-‘leesh (a thick gruel with bacon rashes) and tea with step herbs. Some simple village sweet breads were also offered.
            After the snack we had some time to explore the   farm yard and meet the animals – from the traditional cats and geese to more exotic: goats with   kids and sheep with lambs. The baby animals were very cute and requested treats.
            On the way home all the participants shared the experiences and photos.

Look at more pictures here ;-)

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