Public initiative asks for Ukrainian song at Song and Dance Festival

Signature collection is ongoing on the public initiative site for the inclusion of a Ukrainian resistance movement song in the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration. The festival's organizers are not yet making any promises, Zemgale Television reported on April 25.

The Ukrainian resistance song Ой у Лузі Червона Калина has already been sung by many musicians in the world in support of Ukraine. Andris Niedra, the initiator of the signature collection, said:

"For Latvians, the choir is, I think, the dearest thing we have, and in the world, the worst thing is the war in Ukraine. When we sing at the beginning of July, the war in Ukraine will continue at that moment. At a moment when we will rejoice, somewhere in Ukraine, one of the heroes of Ukraine will fall in the trenches."

Niedra has also received a lot of criticism about this step that there is no need to mix Latvian culture with another nation's culture, but he believes that expressing support is essential.

The National Cultural Center said that this initiative has been noticed, but does not yet promise the inclusion of this song in a festival grand concert.

The director of the National Cultural Center, Signe Pujāte, noted: “For the repertoire of the choir, I am in no rush to respond at this time. This must be a decision of the artistic groups, but I can promise that we look at the possibility of including a Ukrainian song during the Song and Dance Celebration Week in one of the festive events.”

Meanwhile, Guntis Pavilons, the head of the mixed choir “Zemgale”, believes that overall the idea is not bad, but it is important to be aware of the true purpose of such a step, and to understand that in such a short time such a performance might not be of high quality.

Pavilons said: “I've listened to several versions of this song recently, and if I were asked to perform a choir arrangement, I wouldn't know where to go, because the song is so Ukrainian, and whether we Latvians will be able to discover the true beauty and depth of this song, I'm not sure.”


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