Hovirnyk: Galician Dialect Videos

The western Ukrainian news outlet ZIK released a series of videos explaining the origins and meaning Galician words and phrases. Traveling around the region, including to Lviv, Ternopil, and the Hutsul region, the hosts tell interesting stories about the word as well as examples of its usage. Below are a […]

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Galician Culinary Dictionary

To supplement my “diaspora” dictionary, here’s a list of Galician culinary terms. Some I have on my list, but here are many more. ГАЛИЦЬКИЙ КУЛІНАРНИЙ СЛОВНИК -А- Аєрконьяк – яєчний лікер Андрути – перекладений вафельний торт, вафлі. Аниж – аніс Арак – алкоголь Афини – чорниці -Б- Баняк – горщик, […]

Galician Culinary Vocabulary

Recently on Facebook, “Пані Стефа” shared a post about Galician cuisine using Galician culinary vocabulary. I’m familiar with many but not all words. Original post found here. Баняк, ринка, миска і тареля в креденсі. Зупа з ляним тістом і росіл з клюсками, налиті кохлею в таріль. Салатка в салятерці. Мізерія […]

Soccer Terms in Interwar Galicia

Recently, Gazeta.ua published an article (in Ukrainian) about soccer in interwar Galicia, and it includes a list of soccer terms used in Galicia in that period. In the diaspora we still call soccer (football) копаний м’яч (literally, “kicked ball”), the term that was used in pre-WWII Galicia. Today in Ukraine, […]

The Ukrainian Alphabet and the Soft Sign

There are several differences in the Ukrainian alphabets used in the diaspora and in Ukraine, in particular, what we call the alphabet, the way we pronounce the letters, the melody we use when singing the alphabet (or the lack thereof a song), as well as the difference I only recently […]

Maramaros: ‘The Lost Jewish Music of Transylvania’

“If the real Jewish music of Transylvania is gone, this disc makes sure it will not be forgotten.” – See more here.

Boyko Music: ‘At the Foot of the Carpathian Chain’

My paternal grandfather was born in the village of Lybokhora (Turka District), the “capital” of Boyko instrumental music. His parents, who were from the Sambir and Lviv regions, moved to this Carpathian village in the early 1900s to direct and teach at the local school. This is a picture from […]

Orkiestra św. Mikołaja: ‘From the High Field’

“Z wysokiego pola” (From the High Field) is one of my favorite songs by Orkiestra św. Mikołaja. The melody of the song is Hungarian, while the text is a Polish ballad from the region near Zamość— an ancestral land.  In the early nineteenth century my great 4x grandfather had an estate in Zalesie. […]

‘The Last Hutsul Musical Magician’

I bought my tsymbaly (hammered dulcimer) from the Tafiychuks—a family of musicians and instrument makers that lives in the Carpathian Mountains. Mykhailo Tafiychuk, or “the Last Hutsul Musical Magician” as Cobblestone Freeway dubbed him in this article, makes many different ancient instruments such as the hurdy gurdy, tsymbaly, and duda (Ukrainian bagpipe). […]

The Living Fire: Documentary about Dying Tradition of Shepherding

A documentary film was recently released about the dying tradition of shepherding in the Carpathian Mountains. The film, called The Living Fire (Жива Ватра), was directed by my acquaintance Ostap Kostyuk. “ЖИВА ВАТРА” (The Living Fire) Ukraine, 2014, 77’ “A four-year-long project documenting three generations of Ukrainian Carpathian shepherds in […]

Chornobyl Songs Project: Living Culture from a Lost World

Last month, Smithsonian Folkways released an album of ancient songs from the Chornobyl region, songs all but forgotten due to the nuclear disaster that wiped out the nearby villages. Fortunately, some of these songs have been preserved thanks to ethnomusicologist Yevhen Yefremov and Ensemble Hilka: “Under the musical direction of Yevhen Yefremov, an ethnomusicologist […]