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Fun With Folk Traditions
   
Gorajec, a village in the picturesque Roztocze region near the Ukrainian border in eastern Poland, is hosting the fourth Folkowisko Borderland Culture Festival the weekend of July 11-13.


The festival will be bigger than ever before. Along with a variety of folk music acts, visitors to Gorajec will be able to see movies and a play, and learn new skills at workshops. They will be able to take part in games and meetings with storytellers, learn to play the didgeridoo and get together with others to write and sing new folk songs.

The focus of this year’s Folkowisko festival is on women and accordingly, the headliners are all-woman folk bands, including Same Suki, Strojone and Niespodzianka from the village of Krowica Sama.

Men will get their chance to shine as well with such acts as Kuba Blokesz, Blokowioska and the Yoriy Klots band from Lviv, Ukraine.

The festival kicks off on Friday, July 11 with the unveiling of the largest mural ever painted in a village. The mural will be on show at the festival’s main venue, the Chutor Gorajec (Gorajec Homestead), and the painter will tell the story behind her work and then teach audiences how to paint pictures on walls.

Visitors will be able to take in a photographic exhibition entitled Wszystkie Baby Świata (All the Women in the World). On Friday evening, audiences will hear a concert by Same Suki, a band that plays a local folk variation of the violin and sings traditional folk tunes with new lyrics. After Same Suki, the Koromysło band from Szczebrzeszyn in eastern Poland

will take to the festival’s main stage. The first theatrical performance in the festival’s history is a play based on Gypsy fairy-tales and staged by a troupe called Opowieści z Walizki (Suitcase Stories).

On Saturday there will be an obstacle course race and a car outing that will begin at the Gorajec Homestead, taking participants on a tour of sites related to the most famous women from the Roztocze region. During the day, visitors will also see movies made by women. A discussion with the filmmakers will follow and the topics will include women’s contribution to social and cultural life. This debate will close a series of discussions under the slogan “Culture Is a Woman.”

In the evening, the festival’s Storytelling Night will begin with a meeting with Grandpa Olek, an over-80-year-old storyteller from the village of Przytyki, and then Olga Solarz will talk about rural magic.

Meanwhile, those who gather in front of the main stage will hear Hadra from Kolbuszowa, a young folk band whose music is inspired by tunes from the Sandomierz Forest. The second act of the night will be Yoriy Klots from Lviv, a group that reinterpret old songs sung by Ukrainian lyre and lute players in the past.

On Sunday morning, the festival’s Herbalist will take child visitors on a trip, while fans of active recreation will be offered a canoeing expedition down the Tanew River.

The local church will host a concert of Eastern Orthodox religious songs and then a Gypsy theater troupe will perform a play entitled O człowieku, który zwał się Nic (The Man Named Nothing). In the evening, Polish bard Kuba Blokesz will sing poems written by women for women and about women. Finally, festival audiences will hear Babskie Granie (Women’s Music), a joint concert by the bands Strojone (from Cracow), Blokowioska (Katowice), Niespodzianka (Krowica Sama) and Hudacy (Kolbuszowa).

Those who attend this year’s workshops will learn to give clothes an ethno-style makeover using traditional techniques. Participants at culinary workshops will get a host of cooking tips from women belonging to local housewives’ organizations and urban dwellers who specialize in slow-food dishes. Workshop instructors will even show visitors how to grow herbs on balconies.

For further information, go to www.folkowisko.pl