USAID LINC Sponsors Participation of Crimean Artisans in «Big Celebration» of Greeks
September 10, 2011, Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast — USAID LINC provided support to four artisans from Crimea, enabling their participation in the festival of Greek Culture Mega Yorty (Μεγά Γιορτή) – “Big Celebration” – in the settlement of Sartana. It was the first appearance of Crimean artisans at the festival held in varied locations in the Donetsk Oblast since 1988.
The Crimean participants made an exhibition of Crimean crafts and gave master classes in pottery, weaving, and embroidery. These activities were intended to rouse interest in Crimean crafts and Crimea per se among thousands of visitors, who came not only from the Donetsk Oblast but also from Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkov, Odesa and Zaporizhya, as well as from abroad – Georgia, Greece and Russia.
The Donetsk Oblast is the area of the highest concentration of Greeks in Ukraine, among which Azov Greeks are a majority. In 1778-1780, Greeks from Crimea migrated to this region by the Sea of Azov and founded the city of Mariupol and a lot of villages, naming many of them after places left behind in Crimea, like Yalta, Urzuf, Mangush, Styla, Bohatyr, Komar, Ulakly, Chermalyk, and others.
Having originated and formed as an ethnic group in Crimea, Azov Greeks have much in common with Crimean Tatars, such as their traditional cuisine, folk music, decorative patterns, and even language.