The role of the winter folk song cycle in the Ukrainian experience (in Canada and Ukraine)

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Vachichin, Svitlana
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This thesis examines songs of the winter cycle (Christmas koliadky and shchedrivky), folklore, traditions, and rituals both as manifestations of the creativity of an ethnic culture in conditions of accelerated urbanization, and as a way of preserving Ukrainian identity. The topicality of the subject is evident in the global problem of retaining national identity in a multi-ethnic environment. Knowledge of the festive-ritual culture plays an important role in such efforts at retention. In the context of the preservation of the culture of Ukrainians in Canada, the link between the diaspora and Ukraine is especially important. This link is often made through the communicative-informative system of Ukrainian traditions and rituals. Although in the rituals and traditions of the culture of Ukrainians in Canada many changed in the lexicon and content have occured, what remains unchanged is the essence, which serves to link Ukrainians in Canada with the culture and creativity of the Ukrainian people as a whole. Ukrainian customs, holy days, rituals, and the winter folksong cycle (koliadky and shchedrivky) were developed within a peasant environment. By adapting to urbanization, they counteract the movement towards a denationalized, homogenized everyday life. Even when the folk holy days and rituals undergo change and transformation through the influence of time and circumstances - and sometimes are even forgotten - the spiritual values and components of these rituals continue to live in other aspects of the culture. For example, koliadky and shchedrivky have been moved from the sphere of traditional folk culture to the sphere of art, the professional creativity of soloists, musicians, and choirs. The popular shchedrivka "Shchedryk, Shchedryk"- "Carol of the Bells" is one such example. The thesis examines aspects of Ukrainian traditions and folklore in Canada and the reasons why these traditions have been passed on.