28 August 2006

Big event

A few days ago we happened upon a lot of people outside of our beautiful Opera House. We hadn't heard of anything big happening, so we went closer to investigate. There was a screen set up in the square, showing people inside the Hall and someone giving a speech. There was also a banner commemorating the 150th anniversary of Ivan Franko's birth. We stood and watched for a while, and I realized we were the only people under 50 in the entire crowd, and certainly the only people not dressed up for the occasion. A few young people passed by, but seemed uninterested to stop and find out what was going on.

At a pause in the speeches the camera zoomed in on a familiar face. It was the President of Ukraine, right there in our own Opera House. He was listening intently, up in the balcony with an empty seat on either side of him. Later, he addressed the audience. The audio outside in the square was bad so I didn't catch much of his message. It was brief, and at the end people outside applauded politely.

You can read about it here, but the translations are strange, and I think the message is somewhat lost. It's interesting, nonetheless. I was especially struck by the crowd, 180 degrees different from the one we were immersed in a few days earlier at a "hip-hop" concert.


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