Celebrate Europe Day!

KIEV, Ukraine -- To acknowledge that Ukraine is a European country after all, Europe Day will be held here for the fourth time now, taking place in Kyiv on May 20 as well as two regional cities – Zaporizhzhya and Kharkiv.

Swedish band The Cardigans will visit Ukraine for the second time already, and will surely become the highlight of the Europe Day show.

As usual, apart from simply reminding Ukrainians that they are a European nation, Europe Day will offer plenty of cultural amusement that will allow Ukrainians to learn something new about Europe and simply have fun in the center of the city.

Apart from Ukraine, the countries taking part in the Europe Day 2006 are 21 European Union members and the candidate states – Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania and Turkey.

The tents placed in the European Village will provide lots of tourist materials and information about the geography, history, culture, people and cities of the participating countries. At most tents you’ll also be able to take part in games and quizzes and win some souvenirs.

The tents of some European states, however, will offer more than tourist booklets and information videos. For instance, Austria, which holds the EU presidency at the moment, will showcase the impact Mozart’s music still has today with an exhibition of paintings called “Modern Mozart” by the young talented children of Kyiv’s Children’s Academy of Arts.

The best work will be awarded a prize at a special ceremony. The main topic at the site of the Netherlands tent will be devoted to another genius – Rembrandt. At the Romanian tent you’ll be able to meet with the Romanian players of Dynamo Kyiv, and a common tent for Finland and Sweden will present their Children’s Art Gallery and offer information on Swedish and Finnish children’s writers.

All fans of debates shouldn’t miss the Public Discussion tent where they can take part in a Public Discussion Forum and discuss some controversial Europe-related such as “Ukrainian culture = European culture?,” “EU Enlargement: where does Europe end?” and “Europe from the inside: culture, society, economics” as well as other topics.” Discussion starts at 11 a.m.

Food connoisseurs and gourmets will surely enjoy themselves in the European Food Corner which will offer all kinds of culinary hits from all the famous European cuisines. Try out Austrian Apple strudel, Viennese slices with a variety of toppings and of course Viennese coffee; beer and Deskalides chocolates from Belgium; French Brochettes, Crepes Bretonnes and red and white wine; a great selection of sausages and potato salad from Germany and Irish beers and ales.

Italy will offer some of its signature dishes – Prosciutto Crudo (smoked ham), lasagna, pasta and Tiramisu, the Netherlands will prepare Frikadels (minced meat sausages) and sandwiches with herring and croquette, Portugal will offer some of its best sausages and biscuits, while Turkey will display traditional Doner Kebab, Lahmacun (Turkish pizza with meat), Borek (cheese pie), sweet Baklava and Turkish lemonade.

In order not to miss any of the delicacies arrive to Khreshchatyk in the morning or early in the afternoon because, as you know, the real tasty stuff may be gone very soon.

Most countries have also prepared music and drama pieces by their best performers that can be seen in the European Arts & Music Corner starting at 10:30 a.m. Turkish students studying in Kyiv will represent their country with the rock band Qatre, and the Finnish Sibelius String Quartet will play some classical music.

France will be represented by a 12-man brass band, Les Couak’on Joue, Hungary will offer some folk dancing by Rhythm, the German diplomats group jAAzz will naturally play jazz, Zorbas will do some traditional Greek folk dancing, the Kyiv “Koleso” theater will represent Austria by performing fragments of the play “Fruhere Verhaltnisse” (Earlier Conditions) by the Austrian playwright Yohann Nestroy, while Ukraine will be represented by the folk groups Shchedryk, Vesnyanka, Usmishka, Vesnadiya, Troyitskiy and Guldeste, performing folk dance miniatures, instrumental folk ensemble Chumatskiy Shlyakh and a performance of “Boyovy Hopak” – Cossack dancing.

As a special presentation, a mini-football tournament to celebrate the World Cup 2006 to be held in Germany (and Ukraine’s first-ever participation in this major sport event) was introduced this year. The competition, which will take place at the mini-football pitch at Khreshchatyk, will include a number of tournaments by a children’s, youth and women’s groups as well as a group that consists of dignitaries – politicians, diplomats, journalists, musicians and other celebrities.

As usual Europe Day will close with a concert at Maidan Nezalezhnosti starting at 6:30 p.m. The highlights of the show have already been announced, and they alone are reason enough not to miss the open-air show.

Apart from Ukraine’s own headliners TNMK and Vopli Vidoplyasova, expect Brainstorm from Latvia and the biggest star of the show – the Swedish band The Cardigans. The Cardigans have already visited Ukraine once, back in December 2003, touring in support of their previous album “Long Gone Before Daylight.”

Now they will come to Kyiv with their new melancholy rock album “Super Extra Gravity,” but surely they won’t leave their old hits “My Favorite Game” and “Lovefool” out of their performance.

Source: Kyiv Post