On November 9 we honor Nestor the Chronicler, the author of The Tale of Bygone Years. In Ukraine we celebrate Day of Ukrainian Writing and Language.
To quote Lina Kostenko: “Nations die not from heart attacks. First, their language is taken away.” And that is so. Ukraine’s struggle for independence and freedom has been a struggle for the right to speak our own language.
Prohibition to write in Ukrainian, the destruction of Ukrainian theater and cinema, censorship, targeted Russification, linguistic repression – all this was aimed at destroying the national identity and genetic roots of Ukraine.
I myself was born and grew up in a region where Ukrainian was not used everyday and on official levels. Even in Kyiv, until recently, speaking Ukrainian was “not fashionable and not prestigious.” A person who spoke Ukrainian was considered suspicious. We were a few steps away from losing our own language.
But today I am very happy that the youth of Ukraine speak Ukrainian, that we have wonderful books and translations, films, songs in Ukrainian.
Today Ukrainian is cool!
Researchers say that the Ukrainian language is extremely alive – it develops, forms, crystallizes. This is one of the main attributes of our nation’s development, of our creative achievement and progress.
Happy Day of Ukrainian Writing and Language!