Ukraine is celebrating the National Vyshyvanka Day. Vyshyvanka is Ukraine’s famous embroidery that you can see on the men’s shirts and vests in the photo. Every region has its own vyshyvanka type, and there are coded messages in the embroidery, so it’s like a language of its own.
Today, everybody is posting the photos from the massive vyshyvanka marches in every region of Ukraine. I’ve seen this particular photo on a couple of resources, and I’m happy to report that there wasn’t a single racist comment under it. All of the comments are in the vein of “I’m so proud of our boys!” and “I always said our region had the best vyshyvankas.”
Five years ago it would have been very different. There would be racist comments, stupid jokes, and all kinds of dumb assholery. But as a result of the revolution and then the war, there’s been a nationalist awakening. And now people feel such gratitude towards anybody who embraces the Ukrainian culture that it erases racist feelings.
Vicious and unapologetic racism is the most intolerable and disgusting aspect of my culture, so this is big. And it makes me happy that the Ukrainian revolution has led to a sudden interest in anti-racist discourse, in feminist thought, in attempts to address homophobia. Even if for the most part it’s done to differentiate oneself from Russians, it’s still good. Who cares why it happens as long as it does?
If you are not from my culture, I don’t even know how to explain how big this is.