History & Lineage, Travel Videos

The Old Country: The Artist and The Three DB’s

  • July 24, 2019

A Pysanka Master Class

Writing has always been a personal passion, from the days of fitfully parsing the works of renowned authors like Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Charles Dickens or James Fenimore Cooper that were carefully scrutinized for content deemed suitable for young minds and had subsequently been excerpted in parochial school readers; to mind-numbing treatises by the likes of James Joyce, Norman Mailer, John Crowley, or Joseph Heller where the reader would spend nearly as much time reading a passage as consulting Webster’s dictionary in order to decipher what was actually being said; to the speculative imaginations of the likes of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Douglas Adams, Issac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, William Gibson, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Kim Stanley Robinson (some of whom I was fortunate enough to meet); all of whom through the years having been an inspiration for exploring Life via language through the written word. But never have I been more inspired by and less prepared for the challenges of “writing a Pysanka”.

I’ve written a few poems, a couple of angst-ridden screenplays, a number of political screeds, some social media trivia, and an increasing number of genealogy-driven blogs, but actually inscribing a design on an Ukrainian Easter Egg sans the expert guidance of an experienced master practitioner of the art of pysankarstvo has (so far) eluded me. But I’m hooked, as The Artist, Halyna Syrotyuk, is quoted in this short video; this while leading her Pysanka Masterclass for both the benefit and astonishment of my brothers Dan and Dave Babij, plus our multi-talented and indispensable guide and translator Diana Borysenko – AKA The Three DB’s.


Did I just say “astonishment”? Well in order to fully grasp the extent of her talents and expertise, you have to view one (or more) of Halyna’s Pysanky to examine the artistry and precision of her work. So I’ve taken the liberty of providing a close-up picture of one that she recently has “written” and signed for us — by hand — meaning, as with all of her work, it is a unique piece of Art. The designs on these Objets d’art are traditional, usually specific to the regions that originally inspired them, stemming from pre-Christian times but which have largely been subsumed from their pantheistic sources into a more monotheistic liturgy and associated with Julian Calendar Easter traditions.

And, by the way, you can have your very own Pysanka too. Or you can even visit Lviv, sign up for a tour with Diana Borysenko then register for a Masterclass with Halyna and prepare to be astonished. You can contact Halyna Syrotyuk direct [h.syrotyuk@gmail.com] so she can send you one of her catalogues that you can peruse and order from via Skype or social media.

Be sure to view our previous videos “Pysanka Master Class” and “The Old Country – Galicia” then binge out on our most recent epic, The Old Country – Echoes In Time just published!

Plus you won’t want to miss the posts on our visits to The Old Country starting with: The Old Country – Ternopil Oblast; then The Old Country – Ivano-Frankivsk; followed by The Old Country – Lviv; from 2018’s visit both The Old Country – In Nomine Patris, and The Old Country – Salt of The Earth; plus from our most recent visit to Galicia “The Old Country — Between The Forceps And The Stone” in which we expound upon our mortality, the pandemic of fake news,  and expand on even more ancestral links with actual living relatives. You will want to wag your tongue about this one.

And if all of this doesn’t whet your whistle for a visit to our ancestral homeland, check out Diana Borysenko‘s website DianaTours-WesternUkraine.com for links to all of the tours, masterclasses, activities, and ancestral heritage services she provides.

© Kazkar Babiy ™ MMXX.


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