Where I am From

I am slowly coming back to life after the death of my amazing mama and my emergency trip to Ukraine in June 2012. I am US citizen, I feel that I belong here with all my heart, however my childhood and young adulthood was spend in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Thus ‘that blood’ is also in my veins. And this is my tribute to the city where I am from…

This poem ‘Where I’m From’  was written by my daughter Julia (15 y.o at that time) after our earlier trip to Ukraine in 2003.

Where I’m From

I am from out houses
And crazy drivers who don’t wear their seat belts,
From statues of Lenin,
And clothes hanging out to dry.

I am from the most beautiful sea
With pebbles instead of sand for a shore,
And warm sweet berries
Begging to be picked off their vine.

I am from a sun that winks,
(Yet secretly knows it will color the skin auburn by bed time),
And mountains that play hide-and-seek with the clouds.

I am from a different name
And a different language,
Where potatoes and water were my three meals.
From “do it right, or don’t do it at all”,
And Christmas celebrated on a different day.

I am from something what words cannot describe
Just how astonishing it is.
I’d never change it for entire world
For this is where I’m from.

On the way to Ukraine

Painting on the building shows the city life in XIX century.

Painting on the building shows the city life in XIX century.

Old (one of the city’s central buildings) and New (McDonald’s)

One of the city’s central buildings

One of the city’s central buildings with soviet symbols still embedded on it (part of the former Soviet Union history forever)

Close up – part of the former Soviet Union history forever.

Another part of the former Soviet Union history forever on the city government office building.

Part of the former Soviet Union history forever – it says “Lenin”

Part of the former Soviet Union history forever – it says “October Revolution (1917)”

Beautiful old part of Kharkiv

Blagoveschensky Cathedral

Blagoveschensky Cathedral

Blagoveschensky Cathedral

Art souvenirs from local artists.

Uspensky Cathedral – built in 1771-1777 in the style of Russian Baroque.

Old historical fountain.

Beautiful flowers everywhere.

Local artists selling their paintings in one of Kharkiv’s central area (prices are just so low if you do conversion grivnas to dollars)

Local artists selling their paintings in one of Kharkiv’s central area (prices are just so low if you do conversion grivnas to dollars)

Local artists selling their paintings in one of Kharkiv’s central area (prices are just so low if you do conversion grivnas to dollars)

Pokrovsky Monastery – 20 years ago we were not allowed to believe in God, we were forced/ brainwashed to believe in Communist Party (aka current President). Now seems like churches are everywhere and people can go there freely.

Pokrovsky Monastery

Pokrovsky Monastery

Uspensky Monastery

Pokrovsky Monastery – The Holy Shroud Cathedral on the right – build in 1689 – oldest building in city preserved by miracle.

Pokrovsky Monastery from the back – it was so beautiful and so peaceful there.

Pokrovsky Monastery from the back – it was so beautiful and so peaceful there.

Pokrovsky Monastery from the back – it was so beautiful and so peaceful there.

Pokrovsky Monastery

Pokrovsky Monastery – back view

Chestnut trees in the central park Gor’kogo – just like I remember from my childhood.

 

3 thoughts on “Where I am From

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