Remembering Taras Shevchenko

Anastasia KorobkaMay 17, 2021Life and Death

Ukrainians, like many other cultures, try to remember those who have passed. It does not matter whether they are important figures or our relatives and friends. On the first of November we always celebrate Remembrance Day. On this day, Ukrainians traditionally visit the graves of relatives and hold memorial services there. Moreover, our nation is very proud to have and remember a lot of prominent people who have enriched different spheres of our lives. The most famous Ukrainians are Anna Yaroslavna, Pylyp Orlyk, Volodymyr Khavkin, Mykola Amosov, Sergey Koroliov, Alexander Dovzhenko, Kazymyr Malyevych, Lesia Ukrainka, and many others.

Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko was an outstanding Ukrainian writer, a classic of Ukrainian literature, a wonderful painter and a philosopher. He is our national hero and a real symbol of Ukraine. He is one of the most popular personalities in Ukrainian culture and art. Among his legacy there are 237 poems, 11 prose works, and over 1,000 paintings. Kobzar is also a person who devoted his life to abolish serfdom in his motherland.

On the 100th anniversary of his death, a famous literary critic, Vira Vasovchyk, published the article “The Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Taras Shevchenko's Death in Hungary” (1964). The 150th anniversary was celebrated at the All-Union level. Kazakh art critic Olena Vandrovska has compiled a catalog "The Catalog of the Exhibition Dedicated to the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Taras Shevchenko" (Alma-Ata, 1964). On the 200th anniversary of the poet the following actions were planned at the governmental level: the creation of design documentation for the iconostasis of the Assumption Cathedral in Kaniv; the formation of the International Cultural and Information Center, "Shevchenko’s House"; edition of "Shevchenko's Encyclopedia" in six volumes; the creation, restoration and reproduction of films about the life and work of Taras Shevchenko; and the holding of joint Ukrainian-Russian events to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko's birth in 2014.

Inter TV channel and the Podrobitsy information portal have created an interactive map of objects dedicated to Taras Shevchenko. On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the poet, an edition of Donetsk Shevchenko was published in Donetsk. On March 7, 2014, the National Bank of Ukraine issued a commemorative coin, "200th Anniversary of the Birth of Taras Shevchenko."

There are numerous monuments of Taras Shevchenko in Ukraine and abroad. The monument in Kharkiv is considered to be the best. Large monuments to the kobzar have also been erected in Kyiv, Dnipro, Donetsk, Lviv and other cities. Abroad, monuments to Shevchenko have been raised in Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg), the United States (Washington), Canada (Winnipeg, Toronto), Poland (Biel Bir, Warsaw), the Czech Republic (Prague), Belarus (Brest, Gomel, Minsk, Mogilev, Slutsk), Georgia (Tbilisi), Hungary, Paraguay, Uzbekistan, France (Paris, Montargis), Australia (Canberra), and China (Beijing).

A lot of Taras Shevchenko museums are located in Ukraine and abroad. The largest memorial complex dedicated to Kobzar is the Shevchenkivsky National Reserve at the poet's burial place on Tarasova Hill in Kaniv. The Taras Shevchenko National Museum is located in Kyiv and its branch is the Literary Memorial House-Museum. In Toronto, Canada, there is a museum dedicated exclusively to Shevchenko.

A huge quantity of Shevchenko’s works were staged during the poet's lifetime. In the jubilee years – 1939, 1961 and 1964 – a lot of plays dedicated to Taras Shevchenko were staged, too. And the first operas based on the works of Taras Shevchenko were "Katerina" by Mykola Arkas and "Mr. Centurion" by Kozachenko.

Shevchenko and his work became an inspiration for cinematographers who made about eight films based on the famous works "Katerina," "Zlyva," "Koliivshchyna," "Prometheus," "Nazar Stodolya," "Lily," and "Mercenary." Many documentaries and television movies have been made about the poet.

Since 2014, the annual all-Ukrainian charity festival "She.Fest," dedicated to the Kobzar, has been held in the village of Moryntsi, where Taras Shevchenko was born. Lots of settlements, streets and squares, educational and artistic institutions, and mountain peaks were named in honor of the poet. Many philosophers, writers, and his acquaintances left memories of him.

Furthermore, ordinary Ukrainians are pleased to remember this prominent person in Ukrainian history, too. Almost every family in our country has an embroidered portrait of Kobzar. Every year on the ninth and tenth of March, all Ukrainian schools have a contest for reciting Shevchenko’s poems by heart. There are lots of pictures of the famous Taras in our classrooms all over the country. Overall, Ukrainians feel themselves a lucky nation because of so many outstanding personalities who have done a lot of good things for this world.

Anastasia Korobka is in the ninth grade and lives in Kyiv, Ukraine. She lives with her parents and enjoys reading, especially novels and crime thrillers. She also adores writing poems, painting, swimming, drawing, and doing crafts. When she has free time, her friends and I play volleyball or go to the gym. She is fond of taking pictures from different angles, having picnics, and spending time with her friends.