On 22 May, 2016, participants of the Vyshyvanka Parada, an event, held in the capital city for the fourth time, walked approximately 6 kilometers along the streets of Warsaw. It couldn’t have been missed by members of the Open Dialogue Foundation. This year’s march showed that the vyshyvanka unites representatives of many cultures: Ukrainian, Polish, Belarusian and Tatar.
The organisers of the event were: the Euromaidan Warsaw Foundation, the Open Dialogue Foundation, the Society of Friends of Ukraine and SUP (Student Ukraine-Poland). The parade set off from Sigismund’s Column on the Zamkowy Square, but not before the word of introduction was delivered by the organisers of the event, including Natalia Panchenko, as well as a representative of the Embassy of Ukraine Vasyl Zvarych, who stressed that we should remember those who will never wear vyshyvanka again; those who he died in ATO so that other Ukrainians can wear it freely. Following the speech, the march participants sang the anthem of Ukraine and walked through the streets of Warsaw, carrying colorful embroidered towels, as well as Ukrainian, Polish, Crimean-Tatar and Belarusian flags.
Followers, watching the colourful column during the march, had the opportunity to learn more about Ukraine. Natalia Panchenko was approaching passers-by with the microphone and checking what Poles know about their neighbour, for example, what the colours of the Ukrainian flag symbolise, or she asked them to name a few cities in Ukraine. The experiment with the poll facilitated a better contact between participants in the parade and watchers, observing the parade from behind the tables of nearby cafes.
Also, a contest for the most beautiful embroidery was announced, and those who persevered to the end of the march, found out its results. Along the way, the parade stopped twice at the Embassy of Ukraine, with a commemorative plaque installed to honour the Heavenly Hundred Heroes, and at the Taras Shevchenko Square. The participants laid flowers at the memorial statue to the Ukrainian poet, while one of the students, Oksana, sang the folk song ‘Oh, Petre, Petre, Ivane’.
The parade ended at the Pole Mokotowskie Park, where diplomas were handed to the winners of the competition for the most beautiful embroidery, and blue-and-yellow and white-and-red balloons were released to the sky. Then, the integration continued at a barbecue to the sounds of the guitar.