Above and below, people in Pidhajtsi wait to board buses chartered to take them to Ternopil to a rendezvous point where they got on another bus that took them to Kyiv. Tickets for the bus were a hot item this day; a lot of disappointed people were turned away. There was such excitment in the air. Notice in the photo below Oksana Kolodnytska who has been featured on this blog a few times.
One of these fellows is my second-cousin Ostap. I was lucky--or krutyj enough, apparently--to be invited to go along with the Pidhajetski kruti (the cool guys of Pidhajtsi) on their chartered marshrutka direct from Pidhajtsi to Kyiv. Most of the guys spent most of the night drinking and eating on the bus. I joined them for half the night, and then did my best to get some sleep. Since I succeeded in doing so, I looked much better in the morning as we arrived in Kyiv than those guys who had partied the whole night (see below). . .
To be fair, most of the guys recovered quite well with some more horylka and slivjanka, food, and coffee for breakfast; indeed, they needed to get restored and in tip top shape because they had all come to Kyiv not just for the inauguration but to perform their Orange Xmas Skits. . .
Above and Below: I think that I wrote on this site--or maybe it was on my photopages--about how Xmas caroling (or mumming, as the older term goes) is still quite alive and well in Western Ukraine. A group of kids at a school, or some people at their church, or some friends together with other friends or family, will get together and come up with a skit that involve traditional characters, themes and carols (koljady) and some improvised stuff, and will proceed to go from house to house performing. They expect in return some shots of booze, some food, and some small donation. So these fellows from Pidhajtsi last year put together an Orange Revoluton themed skit, and they took the show to Kyiv for the inauguration. They apparently made a good deal of money. There is definitely one HUGE problem with this tradition: a traditional character in the skit is the stereotypical money-grubbin' Jew. I wrote about this problem to my list serve last year, and I will try to post that peice to Orange Dykun this week sometime.
(Update: I don't know why this particular picture below will not open into a larger window after posting onto my site; you can see the unfortunate, stereotyped and racist character of the Jew in the front row, third person from left. . .)
More pictures tomorrow at OrangeDykun.