Saturday in Kiev
Sat 16 Apr 2011 14:27
A day we learned a great deal
First stop â Caves
VERY long walk to this holy site, Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. Itâs a massive complex of cathedrals with caves underneath. What really struck us was how devout people are here, kissing the hands of the many orthodox priests walking around, and receiving blessings. In the churches, which are very ornate & beautiful, everybody participates in the services which seem to go on all the time. I put on a very fetching âskirtâ, over my trousers, & we lit a candle & shuffled through the tunnels (caves) where saints are entombed in glass lidded coffins, which people kiss & pray to. (must be a health and safety nightmare, there was no way out except forward, at snails pace, but nobody seemed perturbed).
Stop 2 â famine memorial
Ukraine had a massive famine in 1932-33 (âHolodomorâ, lit. killing by starvation; you can google this, there are some appalling images). The facts behind this famine are still the subject of much discussion but it seems to be widely agreed that Stalinâs collectivisation of agriculture in the 30âs affected Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and much of the Soviet Union. In Ukraine, the famine is viewed as a genocide because control of farming was so aggressively eâstoleâ any food from his own fields. If communities failed to hand over their quota of grain to the state, they were levied a 15x penalty. They were prevented from trading or leaving their community , and left to starve. The Soviet Union denied Holodomor had happened until the 1980âs. It is now unlawful in Ukraine to deny Holodomor.
I never knew any of this (stef)
The pics are stef in the skirt you have to wear in the caves, and plumbing/wiring in the stairwell of our apartment