25th Jun, 2022

Traditional Ukrainian Vyshyvanka - the celebration of the embroidered shirt - to take place in Coventry tonight

A TRADITIONAL annual Ukrainian celebration will take place in Coventry and all over the world tonight.

Vyshyvanka – the day of the national embroidered shirt – was first introduced 16 years ago when a student from Chernivtsy University in Ukraine proposed all students to come to the lectures wearing embroidered blouses and shirts.

Everyone loved the idea and even teachers came to University wearing their Vyshyvnkas.

Over the years, this became so popular that nowadays Ukrainians all over the world put on their traditional shirts and blouses on the third Thursday in May.

The day unites Ukrainians regardless of their gender, social status, religious beliefs or political opinions.

A large gathering of Ukrainians will take place at 7pm this evening by the Godiva Statue in Broadgate. The event will also feature some speeches and a small concert featuring Ukrainian songs.

As well as Ukrainians from Coventry, those who have relocated to the city and Warwickshire after escaping their war-torn homeland will also journey to the event.

Ukrainian Iryna King, who lives in Coventry, told the Observer: “We have invited new Lord Mayor, councillors and representatives from different community to join us in celebrating Vyshyvanka Day and also to show our support for all Ukrainians in this difficult for their country time.

“Vyshyvanka is our history, our pride and national identity.

“There was a time when Ukrainians were not allowed to wear Vyshyvanka by the Soviets.

“You could be taken to prison or executed for this. Unfortunately, the history repeats itself in Ukraine nowadays and you can still be executed by Russian troops if they see you wearing Vyshyvanka.

“So today wearing Vyshyvanka means also freedom and independence for us.

“Sad to say but so many soldiers are dying every day to have this right to be Ukrainian and to wear freely their Vyshyvankas!”

The pictures in this article show previous Vyshyvanka events – scroll the ones at the top to see the full gallery.

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