Вже Українка?

“Did Vika tell you to come to my shop with her now?” asks Natalia.

“No, but I will come.” I answer.

Tea and chocolates with Natalia, Vika, & N’s mom in the fabric shop.

“Now let’s go on an excursion to the Черемшина museum where my husband works. We can have a photo session!”

“Okay.” (Why refuse? I have no immediate plans. I wonder what this photo session will entail…Ukrainians love a good “foto sesia” (Фотосесія).)

At the museum I am introduced to Petro, Natalia’s husband, and his mother, who shows us around the museum. Marko Cheremshyna (1874-1927) was a famous lawyer — he rubbed elbows with the likes of Vasyl Stefanyk, Ivan Franko, and others — who came to reside in Sniatyn (hence the museum dedicated to him).

“Who will put these on? Tammela?”

“Okaaay…” begrudgingly, but with a smile.

First, the long nightgown-like under-dress. Then the cloth wrapped around my waist folded up in front and secured with a woven belt. Next the fur-lined leather vest (to be changed later for the full coat version, and then for a light vest in a Sniatyn-specific pattern). On my feet go the clunky wooden shoes — how could they walk in these? The clothes are heavy, too.

Natalia tells me where to stand/sit as she snaps photos and laughs happily.

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5 thoughts on “Вже Українка?

  1. Kira says:

    I love how so many different cultures have the wooden shoes! I feel like most people in the US now just associate them with the Dutch, when in fact many Europeans wore them. (Well, except the English. They thought the shoes looked too French.) If one is wearing thick enough socks, walking in them isn’t too bad.

    Hard to believe it’s been nearly a year! Sounds like things are going really well. Best of luck with the semester! Oberlin starts tomorrow, which has the town in a flurry of activity.

  2. Tammela says:

    You’re right, Kira — Ukrainians (and other cultures) would’ve worn thick knitted socks with their wooden shoes.

    I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year, and this is my second fall since graduating from Oberlin — lucky you to still live there and experience the excitement along with everyone else. 🙂

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