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Taras Shevchenko's birthday: why he is called a prophet and other little-known facts

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Taras Shevchenko's birthday: why he is called a prophet and other little-known facts

Prophet, Kobzar and symbol of the nation - all these facts belong to one man - Taras Shevchenko. Learn about the life and works of the Ukrainian poet, whose birthday is celebrated on 9 March

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Taras Shevchenko, the great Ukrainian poet, artist and thinker whose name is inextricably linked to the cultural and political renaissance of Ukraine in the 19th century, continues to inspire millions of people around the world. His life and work have had an immeasurable impact on the formation of Ukrainian national identity, and his birthday, 9 March, is widely celebrated as a symbol of national pride and cultural heritage.


Born in 1814 to a serf family in the Cherkasy region, Shevchenko endured an incredibly difficult life, which is reflected in his works. His poetry, imbued with love of country, social justice and the desire for freedom, has become a powerful voice for the Ukrainian people, inspiring admiration and respect.


Shevchenko's contribution to culture


Taras Shevchenko played a key role in the development of Ukrainian literature and language. His works, written in a lively, vernacular language, contributed to the revival of the Ukrainian literary language, which at the time was being Russified and marginalised. Shevchenko is also one of the founders of modern Ukrainian literature, and his work formed the basis of Ukrainian romanticism and realism.


In addition to his literary heritage, Shevchenko left a significant mark on the visual arts. His works include portraits, landscapes, and illustrations for his own and other people's works, which express a deep emotionality and connection with the Ukrainian land and people.


Shevchenko was also not indifferent to the political situation in Ukraine and took an active part in the struggle for independence. His works criticising the tsarist regime, serfdom and social inequality angered the authorities, and as a result, the poet was arrested and sent into exile without the right to write or paint. However, even in exile, Shevchenko found a way to continue creating, which testifies to his unwavering spirit and dedication to the ideals of freedom.


A Ukrainian prophet


Shevchenko has been called Ukraine's prophet, symbol, Great Kobzar and genius. 


The poet became the true personification of Ukraine, reflecting its soul and essence through truth and sincerity. The energy that permeates his lines has always served as a source of inspiration, forged freedom and contributed to the spiritual revival of Ukrainians in different historical periods. The poet's deep love for his people and homeland, as well as his lyrical, melodic and sonorous language, aroused admiration and deep resonance in the hearts of those who plunged into reading his works.


As far back as 1838, Shevchenko wrote lines that still carry a deep meaning. For example, through his poetry, he urged Ukrainians not to get closer to Russians, as they were doing nothing but mocking the Ukrainian people:


"Make love, you black-haired ones,

But not with Muscovites,

Because Muscovites are strangers,

They do evil to you".


The poet also bequeathed Ukrainians to fight for freedom and independence.


"Fight and you will win,

God is helping you!

For you is truth, for you is glory

And the will is holy!".


Today, every Ukrainian knows these lines. And Shevchenko's words still embody the true Ukrainian spirit and patriotism.




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Interesting facts about Shevchenko


The poet grew up in the village of Kerelivka, not Kyrylivka, as written in all textbooks. The name of the village comes from the agricultural tool "kereli", which looks like a rake.


Shevchenko can rightly be considered a "self-made man" - a man who made himself. When he was 12-15 years old, he was ready to walk 15-20 kilometres through villages in search of a mentor. This is a story about a fierce thirst for knowledge.


Taras earned a lot of money by painting portraits of very rich and wealthy people for substantial fees. However, he didn't keep the money for long, he spent it quickly. From expensive gifts to relatives to spending it walking and drinking with friends.


At the age of 16, Shevchenko fell in love with a Pole. He learnt Polish for the sake of his beloved. However, the class society of that time had strict limits. The Polish woman was a free person, and they could not be together.


Symbol of the nation


Today Shevchenko is a symbol of the nation. His portraits and monuments can be seen in different parts of Ukraine and far beyond. Also, Shevchenko often decorates symbolic things of Ukrainians. For example, many people prefer to wear T-shirts and hoodies with his quotes, poetry and portrait of the poet himself. By the way, you can find exactly similar products in our online shop


The advantages of merch from Visit Ukraine are simple: it is produced with high quality and shipped quickly (all over the world).


We remind you! Recently, the world celebrated the International Mother Language Day. Read the story of this holiday and the uniqueness of the Ukrainian language here.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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