FROM PAST TO PRESENT ONE CUSTOM

My dear little Friends,

I am happy to see you visiting my blog. Hope all of you are doing well and enjoy your weekend. I am a bit not too frequent blogger last days, but I have a serious accuse. My work on my book is steaming and coming to its final word, which makes my heart jump from delight. Moreover, I cannot refuse a little pleasure and share with you

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my shutterstock image

some teasing fragments to gain your reader’s appetite. This is an excerpt from the last chapter of my book devoted to Ukrainian customs. Some fascinating description of one of the most mysterious holidays with roots from Pagan times (and do not forget to look at my shutterstock gallery where there are many new images https://www.shutterstock.com/g/anrostudio?language=en:

 

“My sweet Reader, in summer we have one more holiday, which may be particularly interesting for you as it is not so popularized and talked about, but absolutely beautiful and even mysterious. At night (July 6-7)  Ukrainians dive to water to celebrate Ivana Kupala. This holiday is related directly to water and the sun, and is celebrated on fresh air. I see your hungry faces – I will tell you all I know.
It is impossible to name the exact date of this holiday now. Somebody assumes that its first recall falls to XII century, however, its story goes deep down. The majority of researchers are of the opinion that this holiday existed from the early period of family-tribe relations. The talk is about the ancient trypilska and skiff-sarmatska cultures, i.e. the day of Ivana Kupala was celebrated minimum three thousand years ago, which is confirmed by many archeological excavations.
It is certainly known that for Slavs Ivana Kupala’s day was not the only entertaining holiday, but the basic concept of their Slav’s world. The point is that in ancient times this holiday fell on Midsummer day – 20th of June according to the old style. Heavenly body attains its maximum peak and power reminding about the fact that time turns to winter and the nights get longer. Slavs were obstinate sun-worshipers and could not accept the situation, and therefore the tradition of making large fires became their salvation. It was believed that the sun feeds on new energy so that darkness cannot win. At present, Ivana Kupala holiday is the bright example of interlacement of pagan and Christian customs, which is tightly related to the day of John the Baptist that is celebrated July 7 complying with the new style.
In accordance with the tradition at Ivana Kupala’s night, many various rites were performed. And even today Kupala’s night is found to be one of the most powerful when everything around fills with healing and magical properties. The main forces are water, fire, and herbs.
Mass bathing is one of the main rituals of Kupala’s day. It was reckoned that at this day evil spirits vanished from lakes and rivers so that people could swim without being afraid. Slavs also believed that at this time water was of some magical power that helped you to clean your body and soul from evil. Those ones, who lived far from any water source, used home saunas and baths.
One of the peculiar features of Kupala’s night is cleaning fires. The old custom to jump through fires is still one of the most popular favorite entertainment. Girls and boys who jumped the highest were expected to be happy and live long lives. Also was deeded that this-day-fire could deprive of illnesses and diseases.
Ivana Kupala’s night is indeed the magical holiday. Slavs believed that even plants and animals could speak at this day. People were haunting for different plants and herbs that are found to be magical. It is the holiday of many beliefs and expectations, Ukrainians still follow its main rituals and add new ones to enjoy it to the full!”

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See Ukraine Through My Eyes (Advertising My Book)

BackgroundHello, my dear Friends,

Hope you are doing well and enjoy this weekend. Sunday has arrived and I cannot leave you without fresh food for your brain. In case you have a free minute and wish to relax, why not to read this little excerpt from my book, which is waiting to be finished by its always-busy author, and let me know what do you think about it:

BEING UKRAINIAN
The talk about Ukrainians as a nation requires an insight into our past. Ukrainian mentality was influenced by many factors: geographical location, specific climatic conditions, and tragic historical destiny. We have been known as hard-working, thrifty, skilled farmers emotionally attached to their land and family. It is historically proven that Ukrainians are Aryan descendants. Are not you impressed? Recently, Germans have made a serious DNA research, which confirms that Aryans were our ancestors, and also proved the fact that Ukrainians and Russian HAVE NEVER BEEN BROTHERS. We have different DNA genes. I knew it!
In Ukrainian culture there are a lot of elements related with the ancient Indo-European tribes – nomadic cattle-breeder, who called themselves “aryans”. They occupied the current terrains of Ukraine. Aryan soldiers similar to Ukrainian kosaks wear the same hair style, i.e. head is shaved with only one tuft of hair remaining. Also, Aryans were known to wear a battle waistband with different weapons. This waistband is still used in traditional clothing of Western Ukraine.

And now let us have a look at the modern Ukrainian. Ukrainians have always treasured a realistic look at life. We are mostly not given to artificiality. Ukrainians do not follow the rule of “a plastic smile” at their faces. Only natural feelings are stamped on our faces. Instead, our passions burn low but strong and steady. There is tendency to fall into moods; we may be sad, then suddenly burst with unabated optimism and infectious vitality. Our sense of humor is bitingly ironical. Surprisingly, the Ukrainian proverb “simplicity is not a sin” (direct translation) can serve us as an innocent excuse and who will argue about that. You cannot be sinful if your attitude towards things is just simple, without any second thoughts. You just follow your instincts and act according to your mind and heart. There is nothing bad – we are the children of Mother Nature. These features are reflected in typical Ukrainian character. In case you know the author of this book, then you are likely to have observed them. This book written by her is the most appealing fact…

To be written further…

Have a great Sunday and lovely forthcoming week! Appreciate every minute and smile!

Love you all,

Yours Writer

 

 

As Cool as Cucumber

Hello, my dear Friends,

Today is Sunday and many of you get your pretty bodies out…I guess you are not in front of your computer screens now. And this is very right, weekend is the time to relax with  bodies and souls. I was also out, thus could not prepare a new Sunday Series video.  “Oh, no!” somebody of you will say…but do not be in despair, I’ve prepared something delicious for you,  I beg you pardon, something cool! Cucumber-4

Cool cucumbers dropped in for the summer photo session to me. I was taken aback by their willingness and serious interest in presenting their shapes as best as possible. They are very different from human models. Not so capricious, not so demanding (no private massage, no diamonds left afterwards, etc) and very easy-going. They can turn to any sides and take any pose. What a delight!

Cucumber-2Their road to our tables was a very long one. Foreigners from India captured our vegetable world quickly and painless. We happily met them and quickly sliced  to our salads. Also we found an approach to them and persuaded  to reproduction. Awareness that there can be more little cucumbers at our tables brought peace to our minds and welcoming sounds from our stomachs. Cucumbers are so delicious and useful to be neglected as very healthy vegetables (though in some countries they are regarded as fruits, lol). Just chewing them makes us loose calories and wash our bodies with the water filtered through their veins. No wonder the feeling is great when we apply cucumber slices to bruises under our pretty swollen eyes.Cucumber-5

Cucumbers are familiar to every Ukrainian. As an agricultural country we harvest cucumbers every year and try to supply every home with juicy and crunchy taste. However, last several years Ukrainians faced problems growing them. Due to global warming and raise of ozone layer climate in our country has drastically been changed. Our always rich soil has been conquered by many pests and lack of rain. Consequently, we harvest less cucumbers every year, which automatically rises the prices at the markets. Unfortunately, farmers use their methods to fight against it. As a result, cucumbers may be not free from nitrates that turns this veggie to not useful one. What a shame!

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Cucumbers are great in salads, smoothies and by themselves, but many people are discovering that along with all of the above benefits, cucumber water is a healthy, refreshing beverage. This treat used to be found at spas but is fast becoming mainstream.

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As to Ukrainian cuisine, cucumbers dance together with tomatoes. We have never been warned that cucumbers and tomatoes are not compatible. None of us ever thought that such beautiful red and green colors are not in tandem, even more when they reach the stomach and the process of fermentation starts, the acid released in the abdominal cavity for digestion can cause numerous digestive problems. Who would have thought? Tons of such mix has been consumed and probably will be more no matter of sound aftereffects. We still love it!

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Did you get used to pile cucumbers? Do not do it again. Eating cucumbers with the peel provides the maximum amount of nutrients. And their peel is so crispy! Cucumbers can be eaten fresh or pickled. They can be enjoyed as a  snack or used to add flavor in a variety of dishes. If you have a Ukrainian friend or you have ever been to any Ukrainian home, you know that Ukrainians cook a lot of home tins with pickled cucumbers. Receipts can be different as well as tastes, however, there is nothing better than to open a tin of your cucumbers at cold winter days.

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July is the high season for cucumbers. You must have cucumbers at your gardens. They are very gracefully growing with the yellow flower first. Later you can spot a cute baby cucumber who grows as fast as sun kisses its head. Growing them can help you release your stress and improve your daily life. They are very healthy and photogenic! I believe my photo session was pretty successful. Thank you for my models and thank you!

Do you have cucumbers in your menu today? No, then I am coming to you! Ha-ha!

Have July Sunday!

Yours Food Specialist

P.S. This post was sponsored by…”CUCUMBERS Association of Ukraine” !

 

A Book Written By Heart and Soul

My dear Friends,

Today I would like to introduce the prologue of my BOOK:

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PROLOGUE
While standing on the peak of this unknown mountain with a film camera in her hands Ann could scarcely make out the land hidden behind. A large orange drop of sun lingers on the horizon and spreads welcoming early morning beams around. The instant buzzing drone sounds approach Ann’s ear. She curiously lifts her head up and catches the first glimpses of flying object. It looks like a small plane on a serious mission. And truly its mission is very important, it smoothly inspects the endless unknown terrain and films stunning views. The colors visible through the tiny remote control are difficult to describe, the palette is the brightest as ever. A prominent artist will give them an appreciative look and imprint them in his/her creative mind. Later this picture will be presented to you at one of the markets, but you might pass them by being intrigued by stupid something. There is no time to admire art. Our minds are too often occupied by unnecessary thoughts, it is better to remove the clutter – the thoughts, the worries and the fears, and you will see that life roots at this moment. This is a perfect early sunrise on the green hill to meet a new day, a new life, and a new challenge. “That is, indeed, a real challenge!” Ann’s mind silently whispered to her. This little girl in a strikingly violet coat with her blond hair flowing with the wind has got this mysterious smile, the kind not seen in a while. She firmly presses her precious camera to her chest as if they are bonded. There is something in the way she looks, the way light sparkles in her eyes. It is weird how she doesn’t know, she attracted his attention the instant he laid his eyes on her. She does not see him, right behind her elegant back he throws admiring glances. However, she glances back and flirtingly smiles. Their glances sealed in a love dance speak for themselves. Their knot is tight, their souls are in tandem, both enjoy the same. He is a skillful master, she is a dream lady, and each of them knows what to do like the details of one wheel that circles well. He inspires her and she cannot stop creating something new. At this instant a thought strikes her mind and she throws herself into the void…she dreams a book! A pile of thoughts collected in her brain shelf to be released!

What did your critical reader’s eye catch?

Stay in tune!

Sunday Series will be also devoted to my BOOK!

Yours Film Director and Writer

 

Green Sunday

Trinity or Green Sunday is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter in summer in Ukraine. Starting from Friday people were in search of green branches and herbs to decorate their homes with.  And me too:

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This tradition comes from ancient Judaism, in which the Pentecost, the Feast of Harvest, was celebrated outside amongst flourishing Nature.

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The last Saturday before the Trinity Day is called “Green”. In the morning, Ukrainians went to the woods and meadows to collect herbs: thyme, tarragon,  basil, oregano, tumbles and in evening they were decorating houses with the branches of maple, basswood, and ash.

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On Sunday morning Ukrainians  in festive clothes are going to the church, which is  also decorated with flowers and branches of trees. After the church, boys and girls are heading to the woods, where they were playing games, dancing, singing songs, and joking.

There is one captivating tradition regarding wreaths,  girls usually go to the forest or to the field to make wreaths. Then they come back to the village to tie the wreaths to the birch tree. On Sunday, girls are checking their wreaths and taking them off the tree. If the wreath remains fresh, it means the girl’s family would be happy, but if the wreath withers, it is not a good sign and meant the family will be unhappy.

In ancient times Ukrainians spent this holiday at forests and fields, arranging fireplaces and dancing around, even jumping through it. Nowadays, Ukrainians also prefer going to forests, but mainly for bbq and again dancing, although this time as an after effect of horilka, ha-ha! Happy Trinity!

Oh no, do not click yet, here is the cherry on today’s pie, my trailer devoted to new project, let’s check what I’ve got for you:

And you, do you celebrate Holy Trinity? Share! Subscribe! Like!

Love you all,

Have a great weekend!

Yours Ann

P.S. In case you would like to know more about Ukrainian traditions, I am happy to announce that currently I am working on a book about Ukraine…aren’t you interested?

Blossoming Easter

My dear little Friends, Easter is approaching and this is the last week before a very important holiday that is celebrated this year at the same day by all Christians. Isn’t it great?

In Ukraine, last week before Easter is called Holy Week. This is a special week when people should find some harmony and peace with this world and with each other. No bad thoughts, no abusive language, no bad behavior, no alcohol, and etc. New beginnings come from endings, many people are able to draw a parable of their own lives and faith journey from the observances of Holy Week. We are given a chance to take a look around, to forgive and be forgiven, to experience the truth and honesty. Not even food restrictions are important as our souls purification.

The preparations for the Great Day are in full swing and many of you have a long to-do-lists. At this vanity of vanities I would like to come to your home as Easter Bunny and bring you some minutes of blossoming springtime I was lucky to observe during last weeks. Just click and relax:

“Easter is…
Joining in a birdsong,
Eying an early sunrise,
Smelling yellow daffodils,
Unbolting windows and doors,
Skipping through meadows,
Cuddling newborns,
Hoping, believing,
Reviving spent life,
Inhaling fresh air,
Sprinkling seeds along furrows,
Tracking in the mud.
Easter is the soul’s first taste of spring.”
Richelle E. Goodrich

Happy forthcoming Easter! May you be blessed and loved!

Love you all,

Yours Film Director

Culinary Venture

Hello, my dear Friends, imagine pressing the button Audiorecipes   

“New ideas are continually popping up in my head and I can’t wait to share my delicious audiorecipes “Ukrainian Cuisine with Ann”. In my menu today are Ukrainian borsch, cream cheese salad and cottage cheese pie, which I will cook online with you. Download my audio file (mobile, player, or any device), come to your kitchen, press the listen button and let’s cook.”

Only for you, my Friends, and only here I present you a 15% discount Code: SIXRI3NEMD https://payhip.com/b/dIow for my audio book valid till April, 17. Do not hesitate and purchase my audio book with authentic Ukrainian meal recipes cooked by me in real-time mode!

I invite you to my delicious food journey where you will find out the origin of Ukrainian borsch (or beetroot soup), acquire necessary culinary skills, learn some useful techniques, and experience fun time with Ann at her kitchen spiced with entertaining music and real kitchen sounds.

Just 0.99$ (even less if you use my specially-for-you coupon) for unforgettable plunge into authentic Ukrainian cuisine guided by funny Ukrainian Dreamer! Belly satisfaction is guaranteed! Yam-yam! Mouthwatering!

Buy, cook, share, and enjoy your meal!

Yours Chef-Cook

Ukrainian Christmas

Hello, my little Friends. I know that all your Christmas holidays are over and you are fully immersed into your working lives. I confess that mine are over as well. However, I would like to put a full period with my last short film devoted to something new about my own Christmas.A short film about my Christmas…songs, food and Ann on ice…these are not all the components of Ukrainian Christmas, but you still have a great chance to glance at my Christmas day in Kyiv. Promise to prepare much more serious for the next Christmas and tell you more, trust me there is a lot yet to show, you cannot even imagine!

Please make me happy and leave a little (almost invisible) comment!

Love you all!

Have a lovely week!

Yours Big Dreamer

Love is the Dawn of Marriage, and Marriage is the Sunset of Love

When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” ~Mohandas Gandhi

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Though my photo equipment is pretty modest I managed to capture several breathtaking sunsets presented by this Fall. We all are busy nowadays and any opportunity to look up is being treasured. At one of the evening strolls I caught several pictures of splashy pallette that made me wonder whether there is yet anything more beautiful. I am sure that nature will never stop surprising me.

The setting sun, and the music at the close, As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last, Writ in rememberance more than long things past.” ~William Shakespeare

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Aw, Will, your fantastic ability to give your observations a poetic touch is overwhelming. Both the picture (made by a very modest photographer) and the quote (written by the talented poet) make me enjoy the life. Such divine moments exactly help me understand why life is so wonderful. I almost hear “It’s a Beautiful Life” in my ears. Don’t you? I will ask to add music button below.

When do you think the Sun has completely set? Think a bit….Who said that?

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The Earth’s air bends the image of the Sun upward, so we can still see the Sun even though it is physically below the horizon. The light is bent upward by just about the same size as the Sun, so when the lower limb of the Sun just kisses the horizon it’s actually already set. I confess I am not that smart, the answer I found in one of the magazines! But maybe you know that without a hint!

Do not forget to look at the sky today, tomorrow, always, and you might be impressed with what you see. Probably time will stop and your eyes can admire the view…just like now!

In case you are interested my Sunset Collection is available at my shop: http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio?ref=artist_title_name

Wish you many beautiful sunsets! Let me know if you watch sunset this night!

Take care,

Yours Ann

What’s Your Name? (Competition)

My name is Ann and yours? This phrase plays an important role in every day’s life. It has a profound effect on everyone. Especially if you have an unusual name, which might be not clear from the first pronounce. It may even lead to some confusion (in case you still don’t remember his/her name) or a smile at someone’s face. Nevertheless, it is a powerful way of successful communication.

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Every name is unique as its owner. In my country it is not so popular to celebrate name days, however, in Europe and other part of the world it is a wide known reason to have a party with some presents. People cannot be satisfied with only one day per year celebration (birthday), so they came to the conclusion that they need an extra one. Surely, I know that the custom originated with the Catholic and Orthodox calendar of saints, where believers, named after a particular saint, would celebrate that saint’s name day.

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There are really name ways to celebrate your nameday and every country competes for the most extravagant. Unfortunately, I heard only about quite typical traditions including exchange of greetings and presents for this day. I believe it could be nice to witness a very bizzare tradition of celebration with some kind of smashing cakes like Americans do for their birthdays, or “bumps” given to kids at their birthdays in UK, or in Jamaica, a person can expect to have his or her special day celebrated by having copious amounts of flour thrown at them from friends, family and occasionally random onlookers alike, or in Hungary (as well Ukraine), where following the opening of the presents all tug on the earlobes of the lucky birthday boy or girls and etc. It can be pretty nice to establish some particular traditions for namedays as well. What do you think, my little Fellows? Any weird ideas? How do you celebrate your nameday or birthday (if celebrate)? And what does your name mean?

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I’d love to hear your stories…please, please! And the most interesting answers will get a reward, one of the postcards presented in this post upon your choice for free! How about it? Aren’t you interested? The winner will be announced next Friday, June 8, in the beginning of my next scheduled post. Your reward will be delivered to you via post on the address provided to me personally (secrecy guaranteed)!

Gentel White

http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/shop

Happy weekend!

Love you all,

Yours Ann