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December 2013 | № 12 (123) DO NOT MISS:
December 8 – Korchma on Borovskoye Highway December 22 — Korchma in Sadovo-Samotochnaya Street December 29 — Korchma in Pyatnitskaya Street December 29 — Korchma in Bochkova Street
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EVERY WOMAN IS A WITCH…
ViY: reTurNiNg premiere
30 january in 3d iNCredible asia: blood, sacrifices and cremation in Nepal
The New Year: tar barrels, flower offerings and mass spam
DELIVERY OF HOMEMADE UKRAINIAN FOOD AND HOTLINE
2 | guest
She brought together the opposite features of a beauty and a wicked witch in the role of Gogol’s Pannochka from the horror story Viy, in search of the best angle she could lie in a coffin for hours … She was chosen for the part from among thousands of candidates and the result surpassed all expectations… The new 3D version of Viy comes to theaters on January 30; meanwhile Bulba NEWS talked to Olga Zaytseva who portrayed the legendary Pannochka in the movie.
Olga Zaitseva: “Every woman is a witch…” – Olga, how did you start your work with the film creators? What is your secret? – It’s not a secret, really. We have been working together for long time, and working well. It all started at casting, like with all actors. I came in, and what followed next was ridiculous. I don’t know if we can even publish this in a magazine… – Try us! – Here’s the story. I came to the casting and asked the casting director: “Where is the director?” He said, “It’s casting, it’s not even the trials, it’s a long way till you finally meet the director… Let’s make a casting video first.” I agreed. So they started to film me when somebody cried out: “Stop! Walk like that! I am calling the director.” So I say: “You just told me it’s a simple casting video, that the director is away.” And the response: “No, he’s right here.” Then they dressed me up and made me up, then called back in about six weeks and said that I was hired for the role. – It wasn’t so simple really, they were looking for the actress to play Pannochka for quite a while. The photo archive contains more than two thousand actresses… Why do you think the producers chose you? – I don’t know… The director used to tell me: “I hired you for your forehead, you have a Gothic forehead and crazy eyes…” – Pannochka is quite a peculiar character: on the one hand, the ultimate beauty, on the other, the ultimate female evil… the vamp woman, the devil incarnate. How difficult was it to embody these two images? – Can’t you tell just by looking at me? (she laughs). It was quite a mystical story: as soon as the cameras started rolling, I would get this feeling that I turned into someone else… I remember I even burst out crying at one point… It was very creepy… – Speaking of mysticism, do you remember how well the film’s advertising campaign and PR service was organized back in the Soviet times? There were constant rumors about actors and crew of the 1967 film Viy, that lots of scary things happened to them. All this was published and only built up the heat around the film. When you were on the set, did anything unusual happen to the crew? – The most mysterious things happened at the place we lived… We stayed in a haunted castle. There was constantly this feeling of something otherworldly hovering over us. I was once lying in bed in my room, it was 4 a.m., I can’t explain it, but I felt there was something crawling on the bed… It scared the hell out of me… – Was there anything extraordinary during the shooting? – I was luring Khoma and suddenly fell under the floor boards…
– There is hardly any mysticism here! – Why not? The boards were quite secure, why would I fall? Khoma had to drag me out from under there. – How long did you spend at the set? – I never counted; my kid grew up at the Viy set. That was hard, I worked 16 hours a day… – How long did you shoot the key scene? The scene of three nights in the church? – About a month. We filmed it mostly in the studio, only exterior scenes were filmed on location. It took them hours to set the light, so I could nap in that coffin. I had no prejudices. It’s true that when you dream your own death, it means you will live a long life. That’s what I hope for (she laughs). – We cannot avoid comparing your film to the one with Nataliya Varley, which enjoyed unprecedented success: it was the first horror movie in the Soviet Union, it had huge box office returns – 32 million tickets were officially sold, 200 million people watched it… It was released in 13 countries. Do you remember when you first watched it? – I was a very young child then. I knew two scary movies: A Nightmare on Elm Street and
Viy. I wasn’t scared of Viy himself, I was terrified of the hands protruding from the wall. I could visualize them so vividly that it triggered panic. I remember hiding behind the chair… I think it’s a film for all times. We have 3D and all this new technology now, but we will never film like they used to before… – We hope your Viy will have the same success. Actress Nataliya Varley was all her life associated with two roles: Pannochka or a Captive of Caucasus. Now comes out Viy with you playing a very memorable role. Do you suppose you will be associated with Pannochka? – I doubt it. Several of my films come out in 2014, not one Viy. I also don’t believe that you can associate a person with one thing today. It used to be different, there were fewer films… Pannochka is Gogol’s character. I don’t understand how somebody may be associated with a classical literary personage. But of course, every woman is a witch to some extent. Gogol used to say: “All women are witches, and older women are witches for sure…” – Have you read Gogol? What other classical writers do you like? – Honestly, I didn’t like to read until recently.
guest | 3
What most people read when they were 16 to 18, I first read at 23 or 25. I am glad I did that because at 25 I could understand much more than at 18. Reading Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita in school is the stupidest thing, I would say. You can hardly make heads or tails of it, not even every adult is able to do it. – Did you make friends with other actors? How did you find Jason Flemyng? Was he very big-headed? – Flemyng is very cool, very positive. We had a very warm friendship. We could text each other on Instagram, for example. There was this story when we filmed a scene together in a tavern, after that he ran to see the footage, and then said to the director: “I don’t understand how she does it, but I feel uncomfortable when she’s behind me… it sends shivers down my spine, I can’t keep still…” – You have a very active and busy job always demanding maximum dedication. Where do you find energy? – In my kid. When you have children, you have obligations, and whether you want it or not, you need to keep those obligations. Naturally, you need energy for that. Every morning I look into my son’s eyes and realize what an immense supply of energy he is to me… No one else can give you that. – Do you exercise? – Of course! I play tennis, I work out in the gym, I swim, I do yoga, I snowboard in the winter, and bike in the summer. – Such an active lifestyle requires a corresponding diet. What do you eat? – I always have my breakfast. I never go out without eating yogurt or something else. Yogurt, cottage cheese, dairy products, or rarely cereal or eggs. I love cheese pancakes that the nanny prepares for my son. I can’t stop stealing them from him (she laughs). I try to merge lunch and dinner between 6 and 8 p.m. So, practically, I eat twice a day. In the evening I eat protein – fish, poultry. Maybe some vegetables, that’s all… I just love sweets, I can’t resist the temptation of a Kyiv cake brought over from Ukraine once a month. – Do you take any sports additives? – Categorically not! I vote for the natural products. When I was in the US I only shopped at the organic grocery stores. – Are you familiar with traditional Ukrainian or Russian cuisine? – Of course! My grandmother was a chef! – What is your specialty? – Varenyky with poppy seeds – they are the best in the Ukrainian cuisine. Pork fat is another special story. I once went to Kyiv and my mother asked me to get her some pork fat. So I tell her: “How do you picture me carrying it on a plane – it will smell in the cabin.” And she said: “Never mind, they can suffer it for an hour…” So I brought her pork fat from Kyiv. – What is you favorite food? – Chicken of all kinds. I like meat. I am a predator!
4 | premiere
The premiere of the Russian movie industry’s most mysterious film is scheduled for January 30, 2014. Our magazine invites you to immerse into the story of the filming and into the world of Gogol’s mystic secrets, true love, and incredible adventures.
VIY: Coming Soon
Of all the secrets in the world, the darkest is the one dwelling in this ancient abode. Chalk is the strongest charm against it. Draw a circle and it will protect you from the devil himself. But the death of the beautiful Pannochka awakened a great evil. In the shadows reins a powerful creature by the name of Viy. Back in 2006, producer Alexey A. Petrukhin and director Oleg Stepchenko decided that they wanted to make a film based on the horror story of Viy by Nikolai Gogol. But then two other projects based on Gogol’s tale were in production. In order to secure the title, they needed without any further delay to release the information on the forthcoming project. In the course of three days, they filmed a teaser trailer where the role of Khoma Brutus was played by Petrukhin himself. Only after that did the active production of the film begin. When the teaser was shown in theaters, the script was not yet written and the actors were not cast. The story kept growing and changing until it turned from a simple screen version into a big-budget fantasy thriller. The authors understood that the new times set new rules, so in 2011 they made a difficult but very important decision: they decided re-shoot the picture in 3D, even though half of the footage was already filmed. Conversion was out of the question. The decision to re-shoot was not just a PR trick. The re-shooting was taken seriously – the producers developed an innovative technology that had no parallels in the world. Viy is an intersection of two great storylines. One is the narrative from Nikolai Gogol’s horror story. The writers used the first edition of the story still untouched by Belinskiy’s proofs. The original version has quite different motifs and the whole narrative focuses on a different kind of drama. What’s more important, this version abounds in secrets and riddles. Thus Gogol’s immortal story will be screened without cuts. The second storyline is centered on a real person – Guillaume Levasseur de Beauplan (1595-1685) – a French traveler and cartographer who was the first to study the Ukrainian territories and their people and culture. His research is included in the book From Transylvania to Muscovy. The producers chose his figure because he was also the first to collect and systematize under one cover Slavic myths and legends. De Beauplan was a prototype of the film’s main character – Jonathan Green. Viy was shot in Prague at the Gatteo, Barrandov and Letnyany studios. These are world-renowned locations called a “European Hollywood,” home to the production of many blockbusters, such as Van Helsing, The Brothers Grimm, The Chronicles of Narnia, Casino Royale, Hellboy, Blade. The film’s crew consisted of top professionals with years of movie-making experience. Several actors were cast for the lead role of Jonathan Green: Vincent Cassel, Christian Slater, Tim Roth, Sean Bean, Keanu Reeves, Pierce Brosnan, and Jason Statham. The producers had official negotiations with each of the actors. It was Jason Statham who recommended his best friend Jason Flemyng for the lead. Flemyng was soon approved by the director and the producers – they had found a perfect match. Christian Slater, after seeing the footage of the film, said: “I would have killed to appear in Viy! Who is that agent that failed to make me a deal?” The castle in England where Green sets out on his journey is doubled in the film by the famous Czech Zamek Sychrov. Despite being a few hundred years old – it was built in 1693 – it is the newest castle in the Czech Republic. The legend goes that somewhere in the dungeons of the castle is hidden a treasure guarded by a “Black Lady,” a woman dressed in a black gown of mourning. In order to make her figure even scarier, some
premiere | 5
storytellers began calling the lady of the castle “the Black Widow.” The name became so popular that it turned into a cliché and is used every time a female ghost is depicted. It found its way into hundreds of legends around the world. But the locals take the story quite seriously. In order to not shock the tourists staying in the castle overnight, it is forbidden to move any furniture – by morning all of it will be in its original place. The castle guardians explain that “the lady of the house is putting things in order.” Zamek Sychrov serves as a film location for the second time already: in 1972 it was the set for Three Wishes for Cinderella. For the location shooting, a life-sized Cossack hamlet, with every historical detail thoroughly reproduced, was built. It included 21 households, a marketplace, a church, a tavern, a mill, a house of pray, and watch towers. Quite a town for several thousands residents! Some props were even donated later to historical museums as they were so realistic. The church – the setting for the three notorious nights – was also built for the film from scratch. During the filming of the three nights, the decorators burned over twelve thousand wax candles manufactured according to a special historical design. The carriage in which the protagonist travels was also designed and built at one of the most famous German automobile manufacturers. The vehicle turned out so modern that by its technical characteristics it could compete with the ultra-modern cars even though from outside it remains a piece of transport from the 18th century. The carriage cost $75,000. A second carriage worth $23,000 was also constructed to double for the interior scenes. Besides the carriage, the protagonist was equipped with other elaborate technical gadgets – cartographic tools, cryptographic equipment, and even a tablet computer. Costumes were designed by a legend in the Czech movie industry Yarmila Koneczna. She made almost 200 costumes. The main character alone owns six original suits, another seven were made for his doubles and stuntmen. Viy 3D is a complex production. All the stunts and fighting scenes were choreographed by Irzi Kuba – a world-famous Czech battle director often involved in Hollywood pictures. Even though Viy was Kuba’s 500th film, he confessed that it was one of his most complicated and interesting projects. Special praise goes to the monsters and ogres created specifically for Viy. There are three categories of monsters in the film: made-up artists, animatronics – puppet monsters animated by machines and stunt actors – and virtual 3D ogres. Special make-up artist Petr Gorshenin, who worked on Vysotskiy: Thanks for living on… and other films, said that his work on Viy was the most complicated and important. The film is shot in real 3D. Stereoscopic design of the film was done by the German company Stereotec. Their most famous recent work is Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters. Special proprietary technology was developed for the film’s 3D effects: rfg_BTS (Beyond The Screen), also called Touch3D. Thanks to this technology, the 3D effects are not only real, they become part of the viewers’ ambiance and the audience becomes part of the film’s action. The film’s cast includes some of the best Russian actors: Alexey Chadov, Agnia Ditkovskite, Andrey Smolyakov, Valeriy Zolotukhin, Nina Ruslanova, Viktor Bychkov, Yuriy Tsurilo, Igor Zhyzhkin, Oleg Taktarov, Anna Churina, Olga Zaytseva, Aleksandr Yakovlev, Aleksandr Karpov, Alexey Ogurtsov, Ivan Mokhovikov, Anatoliy Gushchin. One of the parts in the movie is played by a leading Czech actress Emma Czerna, another by Earlene Bentley, an actress, singer and composer known from the legendary Police Academy and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. The film also features the celebrated Charles Dance, recognized for his part as Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones. The lead actor Jason Flemyng talks about the film: “If Viy was made in Hollywood, its budget would have reached $200 million, no less. I am impressed by the scale of the production! I have developed a lot of good and friendly connections in the US movie business. I look forward to showing the picture to my close friends: Guy Ritchie, Tom Cruise, Jason Statham and Brad Pitt. I am sure we will receive good feedback.”
The 1967 Soviet production of Viy had astonishing success. Official data says the box offices sold over 32 million tickets. It was the first film released for international distribution: it ran in 13 countries, including the United States. Text: Dmitry PALTSEV
6 | culture
A Clear Conscience Is the Best Drug
When listening to a concert by the Ukrainian band Perkalaba you get the feeling that every cell in your body is filled with joy. You used to get the same feeling when you were a young child and your parents bought you a long-desired toy, and you would jump with joy and the world seemed to have stopped turning for a moment. “The Joy and Happiness Orchestra,” aka Perkalaba, is not like any other musical formation. Their music brings energy from the mountains and the flavor of a Ukrainian ethnic region – Hutsuliya. Their songs are full of clean air, sun, and serenity. This won them fans from Ukraine and abroad. Perkalaba’s white van is often seen touring Germany, Poland, or parked at a festival in Belarus… The band’s producer Oleh “Moss” Hnativ told Bulba NEWS about myth creation and songs like mantras. – Oleh, you were among the first who revealed the “real Hutsuliya” to the big world. The writer Mykhaylo Kotsyubynskyi celebrated this ethnicity in literature, the director Serhiy Paradzhanov in cinema, you are doing the same in your music. How does the big and bustling world in Ukraine and abroad take the Hutsul motives? – You do put us in a very worthy company. It’s a great honor for us! I should say that Hutsuliya’s phenomenon is in its vitality. When people feel this strong energy coming from the stage, they are changed, and changed for the better. We understand that the audience is becoming different. Myth creation is a very gratifying business, because by creating a myth you are building a new world. If your nature is inherently good, then you create this new world with joy. We hope that God will take this into account.
that your songs are like mantras, because when people recite the most famous and the strongest of all – Om mani padme hum – the darkness recedes. When your band performs your songs from the stage, their lyrics are short and repetitive, when you sing them, the audience starts jumping up and down. Who writes the lyrics? How do they appear? – Good job comparing our songs to the mantras. We are perfectly aware of that. We are guided by Chairman Mao’s words: “Individual is nothing, collective is everything.” We are all cogs in a great machine called Perkalaba. We don’t create individually, and we often declare that. Ours is a collective mind.
– I follow closely your news on social networks and online to know how your van travels throughout Europe and other places. How are the highlander rhythms and authentic Hutsul instruments – the hammered dulcimer, the tambourine – perceived abroad? – The last decade can be called a Balkan-beat decade; our music falls within that category as well. It’s a good sign that it’s gaining popularity now. It means that the whole world is rejoicing. Everywhere we go, we are met with great enthusiasm, because everything we play appeals to the audience on the level of energy. It matters little if people understand the lyrics or not, because they perceive everything coming from the stage on a subconscious level. No matter where we play – in Berlin, in Warsaw – because people are having fun everywhere…
– In recent years, authentic, ethnic music has started spreading around the world. On the one hand, the world is turning into a global village inhabited with cosmopolitans, on the other hand, people grow fonder of their roots. They take pride in being Ukrainians, of having their own culture. How do you explain that? – First of all, we don’t play folk music, we don’t play national music. Perkalaba offers an urban interpretation of our roots. As to the pride for being Ukrainian, Russian, or German, it all seems ridiculous to me. I am glad to have been born and glad to have been given two arms. I am a human being, brought into this world by God, and while I live, I should try to do everything to be human until the end. We are born small babies, and then we grow throughout our lives. This growth should be happening every day until death, because it doesn’t matter what kind of person you were born, it matters what kind of person you are when you die.
– Speaking of understanding or not understanding the lyrics… I recently found out
– How sincere is your love for Hutsuliya? – First, I was born there. Second, all people
who go to the mountains return infected with the virus of the mountains. How could you be insincere in living the emotions that come from there? Hutsuliya is a very hermetic thing, sealed off from the world, that’s why it succeeded in preserving so much authenticity. The energy originating there runs unpolluted like a clean river. In other words, Babel has not reached it yet. The language remains the same, the traditions… Yet, high on the polonynas (mountain valleys) we can already find discarded plastic Coca-Cola bottles. There is no commune in the mountains, communes belong in the plains, but highlanders live on their own. The Hutsuls have preserved their individuality, their self-consciousness, their identity. There’s no sense in doing this insincerely, we are not digging a hole in the ground, we are doing what we love… – Where do you find your inspiration? In Kusturica’s films a carnival is intertwined with depression and melancholy. A similar thing is noticeable in your work; after all, Hutsuliya is not always picturesque and colorful… – It’s important to stay aware of the world around you and of your place in it. The best drug is a clear conscience, which brings you this understanding. When you learn that, when you perceive the reality in all its dimensions, you will start noticing both sadness and happiness, and as a result you will have lived a full-fledged life. – Where did you tour this year? – Primarily in Germany, Poland, we had some tours in Ukraine. We had lots of work. Thank God, we have enough work and it brings us joy. This is what’s important, because every artist’s greatest worry is having no concerts. Then the paranoia sets in. This is not our problem. Text: Stepan Hrytsiuk
in memoriam | 7
He was a great trickster and connoisseur of human souls, his was both romantic and tough, he liked to invent and tell his friends most incredible stories, so that in the end it was impossible to tell truth from fiction. Together these features produced the phenomenon still sending ripples on the water: for many decades, Sergei Parajanov’s name has been on the list of world’s top film directors. His triumph began after the release of his Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (called Wild Horses of Fire in foreign distribution), filmed in the Carpathian Mountains, in Western Ukraine. According to critics, if the human race was to send a message to extra-terrestrial civilizations, this film would be perfect for such a task. It has everything, most importantly – it explores the emotions and complicated relationships between people. On the 9th of January, Parajanov would have turned 90.
Sergei Parajanov: “The scariest thing is to miss the beauty…”
Sergei Parajanov was born in Tiflis (now Tbilisi, Georgia), in the family of Armenian antiquarians. Throughout generations, this profession was passed on from father to son in the Parajanov family. That’s why his father was deeply convinced that his son should inherit the family business. It happened otherwise. The boy was hardly the brightest student in school. He graduated with only two excellent grades: in natural sciences and drawing. The hard sciences didn’t come easily to the young man. But in spite of that he decided to enroll in the Railway Transportation Institute, from which he dropped out a year later… In 1945, the future director ended up in Moscow Conservatory, a year later he was a student at the Directing Department of the VGIK film institute. This period of his life was a time of a tragic love story. Young Parajanov met a girl and fell in love. Her name was Nigyar, she was a Muslim Tatar who came to Moscow from Moldavia. It was love at first sight, and very soon the couple got married. But when the girl’s brothers came to Moscow and learned that she got married without her family’s consent, they demanded that the husband pay the brideprice. The price they set was so high that the student Parajanov could not afford to pay. So he wrote a letter to his father asking for a loan. The father refused point blank – he was still holding a grudge against his son. As they received no money, the girl’s brothers insisted that she should return home with them. Nigyar said no, and her brothers pushed her under a train… Parajanov’s road to success and recognition was never short nor easy. He started as a director’s assistant. Then he tried to make a film of his own. His first individual picture was his graduation work Adriesh. Upon graduating the young director moved to Ukraine to work at Kyiv Feature Film Studio. He directed several films there, but they went unnoticed by the critics. Parajanov later skeptically disowned these early works as ‘garbage’. The year 1964 was a turning point for Sergei Parajanov. It was then that he filmed his Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors based on the novel by the Ukrainian writer Mykhaylo Kotsyubynskyi. It was his masterpiece which collected 39 international awards and 28 film festival prizes. The tragic story of two Hutsul lovers – Marichka and Ivan – was so highly praised that Parajanov started to receive letters from all over the world… Greetings came from Fellini, Antonioni, Kurosawa, and the Polish director Andrzej Wajda knelt in front of him and kissed his hand. The Polish magazine Ekran wrote: “It is one of the most wonderful and refined films that have come out in the last few years. It’s a poetic novel that lies on the verge of fact and fantasy, reality and imagination, authenticity and
fairy tale… Parajanov’s imagination seems to have no limits. The red tree branches, geometric composition in the tavern with its scarce props on the white-washed walls, barefooted Palagna riding a horse under her red umbrella, the brutality of the burial ritual and the washing of the dead body, the orgiastic scene at the end… Through folklore, customs and traditions, Parajanov discovered the authentic cultural ritual reflecting how the reality responds to the anxiety and tragedy of the individual…” The admiration was well deserved: an Armenian by origin managed to explore the ancient Ukrainian ethnicity – Hutsuliya. The film reveals its genuine nature: the magic, the dances, the hate, the pagan rites and customs. It is worth knowing that at the beginning of filming the whole crew checked into a hotel, but later one by one they moved to live in villager’s huts. Parajanov was the first who declared he wanted to stay in the authentic Hutsul home, to eat the Hutsul food, to see what the people wear and to listen to their language… The man who lodged the director during the filming period is called Petro Soriuk. His house now serves as a museum of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. Older villagers still fondly recall those times. After his dazzling success Parajanov never forgot his Hutsuls and invited the community to the film’s premiere night in Kyiv. The highlanders came and brought with them all kinds of Hutsul treats and gifts. They say the celebration lasted a whole week… After that, Parajanov’s star began to decline. The USSR could not forgive the director his international fame, nor did it want to tolerate his poignant critique of the political regime. His projects were banned, he was convicted on charges of homosexuality and imprisoned. Such charges did not guarantee him a long life behind bars… but after the inmates learned who served the term with them, they developed a deep respect for the director. He was released five years later due to the intervention of his foreign friends who relentlessly appealed to the USSR government with pleas for pardon for the genius. But the author of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors couldn’t get back to his previous creative routine. He moved to Armenia and, in an interview, he confided: “Everyone knows that I have three Motherlands. I was born in Georgia, worked in Ukraine and I’m going to die in Armenia.” Sergei Parajanov died on the 21st of June 1990. He was buried at the Komitas Pantheon in Yerevan. Text: Stepan Hrytsiuk
8 | traVelling
ЭКСПЕДИЦИЯ В НЕПАЛ И НА ТИБЕТ СВАЛИЛАСЬ НА МЕНЯ, СЛОВНО СНЕГ НА ГОЛОВУ. ЕЩЕ ЗА МЕСЯЦ ДО НЕЕ Я И НЕ ПОДОЗРЕВАЛ, ЧТО ВСЕГО ЧЕРЕЗ НЕСКОЛЬКО НЕДЕЛЬ БУДУ ШАГАТЬ ПО АЗИИ С ПАЛКАМИ В РУКАХ И НЕМАЛЫМ РЮКЗАКОМ ЗА ПЛЕЧАМИ. ПОДСОЗНАТЕЛЬНО МЕНЯ ТЯНУЛО В ТЕ КРАЯ ВСЕГДА, НО, КАК ОКАЗАЛОСЬ, ВОСПРИНЯТЬ ТАМОШНЮЮ ЦИВИЛИЗАЦИЮ Я БЫЛ НЕ ГОТОВ. ПЕРВЫЕ ДНИ ОШАРАШЕННО ХОДИЛ С ОТКРЫТЫМ РТОМ И КРУТИЛ ГОЛОВОЙ. НИ СДЕЛАТЬ ДОБРОТНОЙ ФОТОГРАФИИ, НИ ВЕСТИ ЗАПИСИ В ДНЕВНИКЕ НЕ МОГ. ОТ ЗАПАХОВ, ЗВУКОВ И ВСЕГО, ЧТО ТАК ВНЕЗАПНО МЕНЯ ОКРУЖИЛО, ПРОСТО ОСЛЕП. ТАК БЫВАЕТ, КОГДА НЕОСТОРОЖНО ПОСМОТРИШЬ НА СОЛНЦЕ. СВЕТ НАСТОЛЬКО СИЛЕН, ЧТО ТЫ ВИДИШЬ ТОЛЬКО ТЬМУ.
nePAl: BlooD, sACriFiCes, AnD CreMAtion The trip to Nepal and Tibet came out of the blue. A month earlier I couldn’t even conceive that in some while I will be trotting Asia with trekking poles in my hands and a heavy backpack on my back. Subconsciously, I have always been drawn to that part of the world, but I was totally unprepared to meet its civilization. I spent the first few days gaping and taking everything in with my eyes wide open. I couldn’t force myself to take one decent photo, to make a note in my journal. I was stunned from the smells, sounds, and everything else I found around me. It was like looking at a midday sun without sunglasses: the light is so bright that everything else is pitch black. The founder and manager of the Korchma Taras Bulba chain of restaurants, Yuriy Beloyvan, is what you call a “professional traveler.” He reached both poles, he climbed the Everest, he swam in the Ganges and even got lost for several days in the Papua jungles. This man is not easily surprised. But after we landed in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, he was, to put it mildly, taken aback. Without any planning we found ourselves at a bloody festival of Gadhimai Mela. It’s a national Hindu festival that involves sacrifices of dozens of thousands of animals: water buffalos, cows, goats, chickens. Close your eyes for a minute and imagine this. You are aboard a modern plane, with A/C and gracious flight attendants. Then the airport and a few-minute drive to the city after which you enter
into a totally different world. Lopsided houses built with no layout, electrical poles occupied by monkeys, narrow streets speckled by pools of blood. There is so much blood that the smell makes us dizzy. Some locals lead on new bullocks mad from the fear of forthcoming death. The others busy themselves cutting the heads off the buffalos right there on the street, still others carry those heads away in their baskets, while some others scorch the carcasses on the straw piles under the buildings. The smell of blood is mixed with smoke and burnt meat. The children and adults walk in the pools of blood. A good illustration of all that is happening is a girl standing next to a cart with dead buffalos, a pool of blood forming at her feet with bloodcolored toenails. The whole composition and the scenery may well be staged. The festive bustle is emphasized by the Hindu sculptures that seem to be lurking everywhere. They are multi-handed, large-toothed, angry-eyed. Their mere look has a scary impact on the delicate European nerves. And right next to them are erotic pictures illustrating copulations of dozens of couples… The day climaxes with a warm downpour. The dirt mixes with blood and runs away in filthy streams… It is very easy to get lost in Kathmandu, as we soon discovered. Our hunt for interesting shots and souvenirs took us so far that we soon lost track and our way back to the car. We could have easily wandered there for hours if we hadn’t met an
angel (the Christian Gods, obviously, kept their watch on us). The angel’s name was Bijay and he was incarnated into a local teenage boy. He wore bright-yellow rubber slippers, jeans with a bright-yellow belt and just as bright yellow ribbon behind his left ear. The boy followed us for a while and asked questions in broken English: where we came from, what are our names are, etc. First our answers were short and irritable – we grew quite tired of the aimless wandering. Suddenly one of us decided to show the local boy our map. As soon as we opened it, he pointed his finger to the place where we were and how to get back. He took us there and asked to buy him a book as a return favor. Our first reaction was to look at each other in surprise. In my head I immediately came up with a story about a local boy who has no money and begs foreigners to buy him not just any kind of book, but a Nepali-English dictionary. But when we see that the bookstore is closed because it’s practically night, and then opens after he knocks on the door, we realize he is trying to trick us. We laugh, because that is modus operandi of all the Nepalese. Not all of them have courage to ask for money, so they ask foreigners to buy them any kind of merchandise, even food, saying that they’re hungry. Later they return everything to the store and keep the money, naturally, after sharing with the storekeepers. When we told Bijay that we would have given him
traVelling | 9
money anyways, he could hardly hold back tears. We gave him another two hundred rupees in addition to the book and he ran away happy. Right then a huge shouting crowd of men ran past us driving a big bullock somewhere. It was fighting back, kicking and trying to escape in the narrow street. He met his end from a machete. Before we got into our car a local woman approached us. She was wearing a red cassock and her eyes were so dark you could drown in them. She was selling necklaces made of colorful gemstones. When we gave her five dollars, she smiled nicely, thanked us, and went away. It’s a lot of money for her. The girl smelled cheap cologne, but we could distinguish a faint and much more delicious scent piercing from under it. What was it? Some tar, some oil?.. We are not the only ones who learned to kill the natural with artificial. The Gadhimai Mela festival was only a start to Nepal. The farther we went, the more we saw, the more surprises it revealed. Even more surprises wait for travelers in the other part of the town, on the banks of the holy river of Bagmati, at the main Hindu temple of Kathmandu – Pashupatinath. Pashupatinath is the place where most Nepalese start their last journey. In the wake of death they come here to die and to be later cremated on the banks of the Bagmati River. Dozens of bodies are cremated daily on special open platforms called ghat. When we were there, the sad ceremony was taking place on eight of such platforms. Bodies of the deceased are placed on firewood, wrapped in colorful cloths, and oils and scents are poured on them. If the deceased is a man, he should be set on fire by his older son; if it is a woman, by her younger son. The fire is supposed to flame up from a piece of sandalwood placed in the mouth. Later, the ashes and the remains are swept into the water. Children keep a close watch on the procedures to later gather rings and earrings from the bottom of the river… They gather the jewelry to later sell it, and so the circle of life in Nepal never stops, the holy is indistinguishable from the sin, serious things balance between a spectacle and profanity. How do you explain incessant crowds of tourists photographing every cremation, mingling with the bereaved family? It’s hard to imagine anything like it here, when the Europeans are burying their family members. The Nepalese also find our customs of burying the body in the ground exotic, but would they be photographing or laughing at moments like these? Speaking about Nepal and Kathmandu we should also mention ascetic monks – sadhu – also called “holy drug addicts.” They are painted in all colors of the rainbow; they sit unperturbed on the river bank, smoke hashish, and observe the cremations and monkey fights, the wandering cows, the clothes and plastic bags floating in the river, the smoke rising from the fires… No one touches them and everybody respects them: the sadhus are thought to be wise and rational. For years, they grow their hair to look like Shiva God, and Shiva is not to be joked with in Nepal – the faith here is steadfast. When we photograph the monks, they laugh and offer us to smoke some hashish. We sit next to them, look down and keep silent. Text: Stepan HryTSiuk Photo: yuriy BELoyVAn
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10 | news from “korchma”
the VerteP DEVIL, HEROD, DEATH, ANGEL AND YOUNG SHEPHERD… EVERY YEAR IN THE BEGINNING OF THE WINTER THESE CHARACTERS RETURN TO ANNOUNCE THE MESSIAH’S BIRTH. THE “KORCHMA “TARAS BULBA” RESTAURANT CHAIN TRADITIONALLY ORGANIZES THE UKRAINIAN VERTEP. MORE INFORMATION WILL FOLLOW.
А ТАКЖЕ ЖДИТЕ НА УКРАИНСКИЙ ПРАЗДНИК С ЭЛЕМЕНТАМИ КАРНАВАЛА –
to MAKe A reserVAtion, PleAse CAll:
THE BEST UKRAINIAN CUISINE OF KIEV
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A free tour of Kiev after lunch in Korchma!
Kiev, Pushkinskaya Street 2-4/7 Phone: +38 (044) 270-7248, +38 (093) 342-3868
traditions | 11
The Ukrainian Carnival The She-Goat, Malanka, Basil, the Old Man, the Gipsy, the Horse, the Doctor – these characters hit the streets every winter, on the eve of January 14, in towns and villages, to celebrate the advent of the old-calendar New Year or St. Basil’s Day. This feast is called Malanka, and is a very similar to the carnival. In Ukraine, it had been celebrated for thousands of years, but during the Soviet times this tradition, as many others, began to fade away. Now it’s being actively revived. And so the streets again are flooded with thousands of people who play skits, revel, and sing carols. Malanka is most widely celebrated in the land of Bukovyna, in Vashkivtsi. The scenes here illustrate the passion of the local people. Not only Ukrainians, but also guests from abroad come here to see and experience the authentic traditions. Preparations for the Malanka feast begin in the evening. In every village, young people come together at somebody’s house and celebrate around a festive table with moonshine vodka – samohon. Samohon fuels the carolers all night long and also keeps them warm. After the feast, the performers begin to lead the She-Goat on a leash (it is called “vodyty kozu”) who usually is a young man in disguise. The choice of the goat isn’t accidental as the goat is a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Other characters also walk with the Goat. People gladly open their houses for the carolers, since a new year begins and it should be met with joy, not to lose heart later on. People watch the carnival and invite the performers to their tables. After such hard partying, people sometimes cannot tell the difference between the Goat, Basil, and Malanka… At the end of the skit, the She-Goat begins to butt those present with her horns. She is subsequently shot and dies. Her death symbolizes the time of cold weather and the death of all vegetation. However, the climax of the ritual isn’t the killing of the Goat, but her resurrection. All the people present try to bring her back to life. Then the Doctor gets down to work explaining his actions in obscene language, which makes everyone laugh. He counts the Goat’s teeth to determine whether she is young or old. Shameless methods are applied – people even try to milk the Goat. Traditionally only boys dress up as the Goat, so this trick usually quickly brings her to her senses… The resurrection of the animal symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness. The Malanka feast is most widely celebrated in Bukovyna (Western Ukraine). There it is called Pereberiya (disguising) and by its scale can only be compared to the Brazilian carnival. Traditional characters entertain the public alongside contemporary personages – policemen, politicians, soldiers, Cossacks, dictators, and pirates. They walk on foot, drive in cars, ride bikes, and sail in boats. The performance is accompanied with violent clashes between men disguised as Bears. There is no age limit. Despite the cold season and severe frost, you can meet different evil spirits outside. It is not so easy to defend yourself from them. You are lucky if all you get is a few bruises from a broom, much worse is to
get a bucket of water or soot thrown at you. People celebrate all night long, and at the break of dawn they walk out on to the road and stop cars and buses. Drivers and passengers have two options: either to pay a ransom to the carolers or join them at least for a couple of minutes. The celebration always ends with the Malanka performers swim in the small river Teplytsya, which originates from an underground spring and never freezes in the winter. People believe that by swimming in the river they wash off evil spirits that may have “stuck” to them during the carnival. This symbolizes the ritual of demon exorcizing. The swimming procedure cannot be skipped; moreover, no one has ever got sick after it. The Malanka feast in Bukovyna started a whole new craft industry. There are special craftsmen who create masks and costumes for the performance participants. Such garb, however, can cost a bundle. Plenty of other traditions are connected with the Old New Year celebration or St. Basil’s Day. For example, in some villages, people would bake a special kind of bread. After the woman kneaded the dough, she, without washing her hands, would go together with her husband to spook the nonbearing trees. Her husband would bring an axe or a stick and she would bring a bandage made of straw. Upon approaching the tree, the husband would beat it three times and say: “Pear tree, why don’t you bear fruit? I will cut you down and chop you for firewood!” Or: “If you won’t bear fruit, I will cut you down, but if you’ll be fruitful, I will honor you.” And the woman answered on behalf of the tree: “Don’t cut me, but belt me with the bandage and I will come in handy.” Then the woman would wipe her hands from the dough on the tree and belt it with the bandage. People believed that after such invocations the tree would be scared and bear a good crop, because on the feast of Malanka, especially on New Year’s Eve, plants can understand people and even animals can speak the human language. By the way, farm animals on that night were able to complain to God about their farmers. That’s why people tended to their cattle even more closely than usually, fed them well, and cleaned them. Text: Viktoriya Kholodna
New Year’s Carol Our Malanka, the woman of the house, Washed spoons in the ice-hole... /2/ Dropped the spoon, dropped the bowl. /2/ Fetched the spoon, fetched the bowl, Dipped her white apron in the water. Our Malanka went to the Dnister, Drank water from the Dnister, Washed her feet on the rock, Dipped her white apron in the water... Dipped her white apron in the water. Blow, the wild wind, Dry the delicate apron, Blow, the wind, from the ravine, Dry the apron better than heat. Blow, the wind, from the swamps, Dry the apron better than gold. Blow, the wind, blow it out, Dry the apron, I’ll go out.
12 | Calendar
The New Year: tar barrels, flower offerings,
January 1 The New Year
January 2 Prisoner’s Day
and mass spam
On a frosty winter night, when the clock chimes midnight, we raise our champagne glasses and ring in the New Year. All the following days are marked with continuous fireworks, greetings from friends and relatives, Father Frost and Snow Maiden, and the long-established tradition: a trip to the main New Year tree of the city. This is a time for romance and fun. Probably this is why for the Slavs the New Year period is the happiest of all celebrated holidays. However, New Year traditions differ from one country to the other. Some people are fascinated by our usual snow and cold; we, in our turn, are astonished at somebody else’s traditions. On the eve of 2014, Bulba NEWS features the most exotic New Year celebrations.
Orthodox Christmas January 8 Calendar Day
International Thank-You Day
Day of Prosecutors in the Russian Federation
Old Calendar New Year
January 19 Epiphany
Day of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea
International Hugging Day
Day of Unity and Liberty in Ukraine
Students’ Day (Tatiana’s Day)
Day of the Discovery of Antarctica
Chinese New Year
In Brazil, January 1 falls in high summer, which means it is a time of sun, heat, and beaches. The Brazilians celebrate the New Year at home, in clubs, and in restaurants, just like the Ukrainians and Russians. Brazilians usually celebrate this day by dressing in white and presenting various small gifts. More significant gifts are exchanged at Christmas. When the clock hands move closer to midnight, people rise from the table and start counting aloud the last seconds of the passing year. They also wish each other “Feliz Ano Novo!” which means “Happy New Year!” Brazilians also have other interesting authentic traditions. For example, on the New Year night they eat twelve grapes and make a silent wish. The most prominent New Year celebration happens in Rio de Janeiro. All the folk come to the ocean front and bring offerings to Imanje, the fertility goddess. This ceremony dates back to the time when Brazilians were still pagans. In order to blandish the patrons, people throw white flower petals into the water and light candles and sail them on small boards. Just imagine how beautiful it must be: thousands of people dressed in white stand on the beach, the waves are covered with flowers, and the sky explodes in colorful fireworks...
England In England, the New Year approaches with the sound of bells. They start chiming some time before midnight, but very quietly, because they are wrapped in blankets in order not to offend the passing Old Year with its loud ringing. When the clock strikes 12 a.m., the English people go to the city halls and towers, “undress” the bells, and then their polyphony becomes audible all over the city. Lovers start kissing when the bells chime. They traditionally do it under a branch of mistletoe in order to ensure that they will be together the entire next year. No wonder that mistletoe in England is thought to have magic powers. The British also have the tradition to say good bye to the Old Year. To do this they open the back door to let it out of the house and open the front door to welcome in the New Year. English Santa Clause traditionally sits under the main Christmas tree and children climb on his lap to whisper their wishes into his ear.
calendar | 13
Japan New Year in Japan is the most popular holiday. Children especially like to celebrate it; they put on new clothes for this occasion. This formality is thought to bring them success and health. The Japanese also send one another letters and greeting cards. They send them by post not via email. They express gratitude for the support of everyone with whom they spent the Old Year. These are business partners, colleagues, friends and relatives. By the way, the Japanese take special efforts to make a handmade card for the nearest and dearest. Everyone sends several hundreds and more of such letters depending on the status. As a result, the post office can’t cope with all this work and is forced to employ students to assist them. Besides sending out cards to everyone, they tidy up their homes, while TV channels show how monks dust off Buddha statues in their temples in anticipation of the happy event. At midnight, monastery bells chime 108 times informing everyone about the approach of the New Year. Every strike breaks one of the bad habits that rule humanity. On New Year’s eve, children put pictures of their dreams under the pillow. A pine tree prevails in the floral compositions as it symbolizes long life and tolerance. The Japanese believe that it is very important to burst out laughing in the first seconds of the New Year, so that happiness won’t leave them for the next twelve months.
Scotland Scotland greets the New Year with a special torch light parade. In addition, people set tar barrels on fire and roll them down the streets. That way the Old Year is “burnt” and lights up the way for the New Year. The following morning is considered to be more important than the very New Year night: the first visitor of the house defines the future of the host’s welfare. People believe that a dark-haired man brings the greatest luck.
Austria The Austrians believe that in order to be happy, it is necessary to eat at least one piece of a pig head or a snout on New Year’s eve. They call this tradition “participation in the pig’s good luck.” Tables are decorated with figures of pigs and piggies made of marzipan, paste, or chocolate. Green peas have a special place among the “luck-bringing” dishes as they symbolize the inflow of money, and horseradish symbolizes health. One type of entertainment is fortunetelling on lead. The metal is melted and poured into water. Judging from the shape which the metal forms, people guess what fate awaits them.
“Everybody has to taste how delicious and tender crabs are” is a slogan that was found on posters of the distant Soviet times calling on consumers to eat crab salad. At that time, the advertising industry was quite weak and such a slogan was indeed worthy of respect. The appearance of this product in the food industry was boosted by its well-organized promotion as well as a great buying craze. It is not surprising because the experts explained to the people that the crabs they were selling were the best in the world. They were caught in the Pacific Ocean and canned directly in the fishing area, on the crab fishing ships… No wonder that each citizen of the USSR dreamed about tasting this exotic wonder. Indeed, there was a reason for pride. Till 1928, Japan was the only supplier of canned crab in the world market. To change the situation and oust the competitor, the USSR government had to establish its own crab fleet. That’s why at the end of 1927, a sales representative in Japan was instructed to find a ship where the necessary equipment could be fitted. So the Taya Maru dry cargo ship was bought for 350 thousand rubles. But the Soviet Union didn’t stop at that. Next year Soviet specialists bought the Chase American ship with a lifting capacity of 2674 tons. It was the beginning of the development of a new industry. It was soon made a proud part of the Soviet Union export policy. The canned crabs were indeed delicious and nourishing. The quality of the raw material and the production process on board was thoroughly monitored to ensure high-quality products. For example, to prevent the contact of crabs with a can, the can was lined with a special parchment paper. The Main Fish Sales Enterprise assured, “Canned crabs aren’t only a good snack. Dozens of different delicate dishes, starting with a salad and finishing with hot main courses, can be prepared with them.”
14 | health
in the winter period, when long eVenings follow short days and the freeZing weather makes walks in the park challenging, a lack of sunlight causes a so-called season depression, which results in tiredness and apathy. serotonin is the happiness hormone that contributes to one’s mood, behaVior, and wellbeing, but during the winter it may not be secreted in a sufficient Quantity because of ultraViolet absence in a human body. people who work from morning till night and see the sunshine only from their office windows are in at risk.
thE haPPy hormonE
The level of serotonin highly increases in euphoria and decreases in a state of depression. Stimulation of the happy hormone in the winter can be achieved through easy methods. First of all, it is secreted during sports activities as well as during brisk walks in the fresh air. So, you should go to the gym, do a morning workout or jog. If you have the possibility, you can go skiing in mountains. Extreme sports aid the secretion that results in a surge of energy, vigor, and a good mood. Besides exercise and getting enough sleep, it is possible to increase the serotonin level with a proper diet. Foremost, it is necessary to consume products with complex carbohydrates and products containing B vitamins: beans, whole-wheat bread, durum wheat pasta, and porridge. Omega polyunsaturated fatty acids contained in trout, salmon, and herring are also required. It is advisable to include fruits, especially apples, bananas, and grapes in your diet. In a limited quantity, you can eat sweets, especially dark chocolate, as sugar in the blood stimulates the release of the happy hormone. Please remember that in the winter period the Korchma Taras Bulba restaurant chain can help you to boost your spirits. The Korchma’s team have been thoroughly preparing for the cold season since autumn. Therefore, every restaurant is like a storeroom of a forethoughtful host. There you can taste natural juices, fruit drinks, fresh fruits and vegetables, herbal teas… The home-like atmosphere will also make your winter comfortable and not allow you to fall into sadness and depression.
SALMON BAKED WITH HERBS 130 gr. – 470 rub.
BUCKWHEAT WITH BACON 150 gr. – 140 rub.
mineralization 1-2 g/l chemical composition of water Sodium+potassium (Na+ K+) Chlorides (Cl) Sulphates Hydrogen carbonates Calcium Magnesium
CURED HERRING WITH POTATOES 75/100 gr. – 120 rub.
mg/l 4.5 3.5 4.6 95 77.2 20.67
news from “korchma” | 15
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magazine Bulba Press’ Publishing presents a new for children in 2014 – Tarasik.
YOUR KIDS DESERVE THE BEST CHILDHOOD!
4 4 7 7 0 8 (495) 7
DUCK STUFFED WITH APPLES
Ukrainian cuisine – made with love! Restaurants’ location:
MOSCOW, Aviamotornaya metro station, 6 Krasnokazarmennaya St., (499) 763 5741
Avtozavodskaya metro station, 6 Velozavodskaya St., (499) 764 1532
Akademicheskaya metro station, 16/10 Profsoyuznaya St., (499) 125 0877
Alekseyavskaya metro station, 3 Bochkova St., (495) 616 6754
Airport metro station, 64 Leningradskiy Prospekt St., (499) 151 9011
Baumanskaya metro station, 23/41 Bakuninskaya St., (495) 956 5580
Borovitskaya metro station, 8 Mokhovaya St., 24-hour, (495) 644 8020
Krasnye Vorota metro station, 47 Myasnitskaya St., (495) 607 1762
Leninskiy Prospekt metro station, 37 Leninskiy Prospect St., (495) 954 6466
Novokuznetskaya metro station, 14 Pyatnitskaya St., (495) 953 7153
PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS:
• Duck – 1.5 kg • Fresh apples – 200 g • Butter – 20 g • Salt, pepper, coriander, rosemary – to taste • Buckwheat porridge – 200 g
Rub the duck with salt, pepper, and spices. Remove the core from the apples and cut them into wedges. Stuff the duck with the apples. Tightly cover the duck with foil and roast it. Remove the foil, then remove the apples and split it into two halves. Roast until brown. Place the duck on a plate, pour melted butter over it, decorate with an orange, garnish with buckwheat porridge and apples, sour cabbage and pickled cucumbers. Decorate with dill. Bon appétit!
DUCK STUFFED WITH APPLES 1/2 pcs. – 770 rub.
Novye Cheryomushki metro station, Nametkina St., 13 г, (495) 331 4211
Smolenskaya metro station, 12 Smolenskiy Avenue. St., 24-hour, (499) 246 6902
Tsvetnoy Boulevard metro station, 13 Sadovaya-Samotechnaya St., 24-hour, (495) 694 0056
Chekhovskaya metro station, 30/7 Petrovka St., (495) 694 6082
Yugo-Zapadnaya metro station, 6 Borovskoye Road, (495) 980 2051
Vystavochnaya metro station, of 1905 year, 27 Shmitovskiy Passage, 24-hour, (499) 256-4660
KIEV, “Teatralnaya”, “Zolotye Vorota”,“Kreschatik” metro station, 2-4/7 Pushkinskaya St.,+38 (044) 270-7248 357 West Broadway, NYork CITY, NY 10013 phone: (212) 510 75 10
LOOK FOR THIS TASTE TREAT IN OUR MENUES! Certificate of registration PI № FS 77 — 19940. Circulation is 5 000 copies.