First video is Ukrainian wedding march. There is tradition at a Ukrainian wedding: when guests keep coming to the wedding reception, musicians play wedding march tune to each group, which just arrived. Arrived guests suppose to stop for a minute enjoying the music. After wedding march is finished, guests have to pay to musicians for the performance – just some small money, like 10-20 UAH or so (well, maybe some more now, because of endless inflation – I don’t know, I haven’t been to Ukrainian weddings for a long time).
There are few different tunes of Ukrainian wedding march. Known Ukrainian music band Zirka from Toronto plays one of them, which is the most popular version of a wedding march in western part of Ukraine:
And here is my personal favorite Ukrainian wedding tune from Zirka band – “Bodai Cya Kohut Znudiv.” This is traditional Ukrainian song, full of humor and romance, and the name of the song is translated as “I wish roster get sick”:
Next video, which I want to share with you, is Hutsul wedding music, performed by Shaun Williams from USA. Ukrainian mountain music, which is, actually, a Hutsul music, is so different from a music of other areas of Ukraine – even from other areas of western Ukraine (Hutsuls are ethnic group from Carpathian Mountains, and Carpathians Mountains are located in western part of Ukraine).
Now, I would like to tell you more about Shaun Williams. He is a Peace Corps volunteer from Ohio; highly educated young man (two Bachelor Degrees) who decided to expand his life horizons joining a Peace Corps. Going with the Peace Corps, you cannot pick a certain country where to go, but you can give them an idea which areas and cultures of the world you would be interested in. So that’s what Shaun did: he told he would like to go to Romania, Molvoda or Ukraine, because he is interested so much in culture and lifestyle of these countries. So, they sent him to Ukraine.
Shaun’s first impression of Ukraine was not impressive at all: it was a weird situation because of some crazy rules in Boryspil Airport in Kyiv. But after spending 3 years in Ukraine and having a really great time over there, Shaun still doesn’t want to leave! He teaches English in a college of the city of Kolomyia which is in Carpathian Mountains. In 3 years Shaun studied Ukrainian so good that now he speaks Ukrainian almost without accent! More than that: Shaun learned how to play traditional Ukrainian music instruments, to sing Ukrainian songs, to dance Ukrainian dances and now he performs with Hutsulia orchestra and with Pokuttia Dance Ensemble on big concerts and festivals! (Both, the orchestra and the dance band, are very popular in western Ukraine).
Shaun became a real celebrity in Ukraine and especially Ukrainian Carpathians area: he even got a nickname American Hutsul! Everyone loves Shaun over there for his huge respect to Ukrainian culture, language, music, lifestyle, traditions and to Ukrainian people. Local newspapers were writing about Shaun many times; he was also on local televisions.
Shaun is not Ukrainian by his background, but I am personally so impressed of his Ukrainian! I would say he speaks Ukrainian so well - even with some West Ukrainian dialect, which is very pleasant for my ear (I am originally from western Ukraine). Besides, Shaun is very handsome young man, as you can see from the video. Many of his Ukrainian friends wish him to find a nice Ukrainian girl and settle down in Ukraine. They just don’t want to lose such a nice person who values so much Ukrainian treasures and just loves this country!
You know, I agree with them…
P.S. Here is one more video about Shaun Williams – in Ukrainian.