Yulia introduced me to an interesting show the other day called, Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People. It is a new TV show made by the Cherokee about their own culture. The show discusses news and history.
One of the interviews that caught Yulia's attention the most was an interview with Roy Boney Jr, an artist. He explains how many people often question his artwork. "If you're a native person, you need to do this kind of art," they say, giving him a picture of an Indian in a head dress on a horse. Instead he paints in his own style and infuses his paintings with traditional themes and the Cherokee language itself.
Yulia said she can relate to this. She also paints and doesn't like to feel that she has to conform to any school or style that already exists. When it comes to our being Ukrainian, you may have already guessed from other posts we have written that we also try to resist Ukrainian stereotypes like the vyshyvanka (the traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirt) and the whiskered kozak on horseback. Yulia and I like these aspects of our culture, but we also don't think they should be the beginning and the end of it.
Being from Ukraine, Yulia feels a certain connection with American Indians. For her, it was always easier to connect with them than with Americans with European ancestry. I'm also interested in their culture, but perhaps on a different level. Either way, we both enjoyed watching the first episode of this new series. It helped take our minds away from war, terrorism, and politics (which dominates Ukrainian news right now) for just a little bit.