The all-Ukrainian competition is dedicated to Lesya Ukrainka, who was born in the Crimea

The all-Ukrainian competition is dedicated to Lesya Ukrainka, who was born in the Crimea


 Let’s get to work better,

Let’s fight for a new life!

These lines from Lesya Ukrainka’s poetry formed the basis of the competition-festival of children’s and youth creativity “Let’s compete for a new life!”. The competition of pupil and student creativity was born in 2004 in the Crimea. The purpose of the creative competition was to unite, unite and support Crimean children and youth around the creative heritage of Lesya Ukrainka, to ignite in the souls of children love for the native language, traditions, culture of the Ukrainian people, which was successfully realized.

Its initiators were: well-known public figure Maria Fischer-Slyzh (Toronto, Canada) and representatives of the Ukrainian community of Crimea.

For the first time the competition was held simultaneously in Sevastopol, Simferopol and Yalta on the initiative of the Department of Education and Science of Sevastopol City State Administration, Sevastopol City Humanities University, Public Committee “Ukrainian Sevastopol”, and Regional (selection) stages of competitions outside Ukraine (Ukraine-World Society), the staff of the secondary school №29 in Simferopol and the Yalta Museum of Lesya Ukrainka.

“Take care of the cathedrals of your souls”… These words of Oles Honchar come to mind when you become a participant in the competition of student creativity “Let’s compete for a new life!”. This is not just a holiday, but the revival of the soul, the revival of the majestic Ukrainian Word, the Nation. Here all kinds of art were united: painting, poetry, drama. Human life is short and art is eternal. We often hear this expression. But only by participating in such competitions, you feel that the truly immortal words of Lesya Ukrainka from the play “Forest Song”: “No! I am alive, I will live forever, I have in my heart that which does not die! ” Thanks to the creative and talented people who in our difficult times are trying to save the “cathedrals of children’s souls”, which will see the stars in the puddles of everyday life. Let us, amateurs, not yet win a prize,but thanks to these competitions, the children paid a lot of attention to the study of Lesya Ukrainka’s works, realized the majestic, patriotic, eternal that the talented poetess raises on the shield in her poetry. Russian-speaking children, whose families do not speak Ukrainian, prepared for the competition with such enthusiasm, memorized huge texts. The desire to take part in such competitions burns in their hearts, and thank God that this competition exists and develops, and we, for our part, will try to prepare even better and win next year. “The desire to take part in such competitions burns in their hearts, and thank God that this competition exists and develops, and we, for our part, will try to prepare even better and win next year. “The desire to take part in such competitions burns in their hearts, and thank God that this competition exists and develops, and we, for our part, will try to prepare even better and win next year. “ – Nadiya Pylypenko, a teacher of Ukrainian language and literature in Yalta, shared her impressions of the anniversary (5 years) competition.

The idea of ​​celebrating Lesya Ukrainka’s birthday by holding a student competition in Crimea for the next 10 years was picked up by the Institute of Innovative Technologies and Educational Content of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (Crimean Branch), the All-Crimean Society for Relations with Ukrainians Abroad. World ”) and with the support of the Representation of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Yalta Museum Lesya Ukrainka, and other state and public organizations turned into an annual great holiday of spirituality, love of the Ukrainian word and sincere admiration

Every year not only the number of participants increased, but also their work, performances became more and more qualitative.  “Every year the number and quality of participants grows – now almost a thousand of them, and the geography of the competition is expanding,” – said the head of the organizing committee of the event Tatiana Zakharova during the competition in 2012. This year the competition lasted for several days, traditionally starting with the “Drawing” nomination. 117 pupils and students created and drew paintings on the themes of Lesya’s works using many techniques in several genres. Almost 350 more works were received by the organizing committee by mail. The nominations “declamation”, “staging”, “work”, “research work” remained traditional for the competition, and “audiovisual work” was added, the appearance of which was prompted by life itself.“Children’s performances sometimes do not fit into the allotted 10 minutes of competition. That’s why the participants started sending CDs with their full scripts and musical compositions, ”Tetyana Zakharova explained. 34 works took part in this competition. The jury was impressed by the fact that this nomination was joined not only by inexperienced young people, but also by those who professionally create programs for children.

The competition of young talents took place in the following nominations: “Declamation”, “Staging”, “Work”, “Research work”. Initially, several dozen children took part in it. But every year the popularity, quantitative and qualitative level of the competition grew, its geography expanded. Representatives of Kyiv, Odesa, Lviv, Hlukhiv, Luhansk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kolomyia, and Volyn joined the Crimean people from different parts of the peninsula.

“Let’s get to work better, Let’s fight for a new life!”. These are wonderful words when you drop your hands, or so sad at heart, especially when you listen to those TV news about our unhappy life. We need to fight for the best destiny of our country, create it with our own hands, do not sit, do not die, and work – hard, persistently “, – said about the competition (2009) its participant, 11th grade student Olga Smirnska from Simferopol Secondary School № 10 , which took 3rd place.

During the years of the creative competition new nominations appeared (“Audio-visual work”, “Drawing”) and traditions: trips of the winners to the Yalta Museum of Lesya Ukrainka, recitation of poems at the piano touched by the poetess, trips of the winners to the Carpathians for a joint festival “We are children of one ear” (Crimea – Carpathians).


Andriy Shchekun and Tetyana Zakharova, Kyiv, 2016. Photo by Anatoliy Kovalsky.
Andriy Shchekun and Tetyana Zakharova, Kyiv, 2016. Photo by Anatoliy Kovalsky.

After the occupation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation, the fate of the competition changed, as did the fate of those who were forced to leave their native homes – their native Crimea. The competition became an immigrant. But still in 2014 the organizers made an attempt to hold a competition already in the occupation. For the competition, which was held in Simferopol at the Tavriya National University. VI Vernadsky, applied for various nominations and age categories of about 1,500 participants. The competition took place only in the nomination “drawing” (about 500 contestants took part in the face-to-face and correspondence tour). No other nominations were made.In 2009, talking about the creation of the competition, its inspirer and organizer Tatiana Zakharova in an interview with the newspaper “Crimean Room” said: 5 years ago, the editor of the literature department of “Svitlytsia” and the editor-in-chief of “Dzherelets” Danylo Andriyovych Kononenko shared with me an idea proposed by the correspondent of “Crimean Svitlytsia” in Sevastopol Mykola Vladimirsky: to hold a scientific competition in Simferopol, Sevastopol and Yalta creative works, recitation and staging of works by Lesya Ukrainka among students and schoolchildren. I was invited to organize a competition here in Simferopol. In the first year, 56 applications were received for participation in the competition. Extremely honest, fair, democratic evaluation system, when the jury evaluates without knowing the name or school of the participant (each contestant has only his own number, without any personal information), was so positively perceived by teachers, participants, their parents,that we started getting a huge number of calls asking to continue the contest. Due to the fact that the number of supporters who support us is growing every year, we hope that the competition will one day go beyond the territory of Crimea and gain all-Ukrainian status. ” 


Welcome speech by Yevhen Drapyaty, Kyiv, 2016
Welcome speech by Yevhen Drapyaty, Kyiv, 2016

In 2016, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and the NGO Pedagogical Center “Academy” (Poltava) came out with a proposal to revive the competition on an All-Ukrainian scale. About 2,000 applications were received for the competition. The grand opening and selection face-to-face and correspondence tours were held in Poltava. A traditional trip to the Hadiach Museum of the Drahomanov Family was organized for the winners of the face-to-face Regional stage of the competition, and the winners of the 1st All-Ukrainian competition “Let’s compete for a new life!” (Lesya Ukrainka) of all nominations from 20 regions of Ukraine and Crimea were invited to Kyiv for a solemn awarding ceremony and a big gala concert, which took place in the large concert studio of the House of Recording of the National Radio Company of Ukraine.“We must not lose the experience we had in the Crimea, which united us. We must disseminate and enrich them at the national level, ”said Andriy Shchekun, a patron of the contest since the Crimean period, co-coordinator of the Euromaidan-Crimea movement, and director general of the National Enterprise Newspaper and Magazine Publishing House (2015-2019).And since April 2015, the Competition “Let’s compete for a new life!” revived in Poltava region. The innovations of the competition were the competition in another nomination – “Vocal”, online competition (the connection was with Kyiv, Lviv and Luhansk regions) and the trip of the winners to the Hadiach Museum of the Drahomanov family. One of the patrons of the competition was still in the Crimea, the First Deputy Representative of the President in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (2004-2010), and now the Deputy Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine Yevhen Drapyaty noted:  “Among the people, God chooses his rays, such as Lesya Ukrainka, Ivan Franko, Taras Shevchenko. In every town or village there are bright souls who have brought and bring indestructibility to our country. That we have joined Lesia’s source of discovery today is our future, our salvation. Because only a bright soul, brought up in love for the native language, in nurturing national values, can see the bright future of Ukraine. You are all children of Lesya, children of rich national culture. I want to wish everyone faith in what we do, what we live, what we have our land on which we are blessed to be masters. Dear children, a low bow to you for enriching our Ukraine with words, songs and drawings. You are making the foundation of our state, and it will be there today. “

In 2017, the II All-Ukrainian (XIII All-Crimean) Competition “Let’s compete for a new life!” has already gathered more than 4,000 participants, of which 700 became the winners of the creative competition. Works were sent from almost all regions of Ukraine, as well as from the Crimea, Italy, Transnistria and Russia. Adults also joined the children’s competition – professional authors of TV and radio programs for young people took part. Traditionally, the competition ended in Chernivtsi, where a gala concert and awarding of winners took place.


Nomination "Declamation", performance of the participant at the gala concert in Chernivtsi, 2017
Nomination “Declamation”, performance of the participant at the gala concert in Chernivtsi, 2017
Svitlana Kocherha, head of the competition, Chernivtsi, 2017
Svitlana Kocherha, head of the competition, Chernivtsi, 2017

“It has been said more than once that Olga Kobylyanska connects Lesya with Bukovyna, but let’s remember one thing: why and when did Lesya Ukrainka come to Chernivtsi? … When she lost her dearest friend, Serhiy Merzhynsky, it was a huge, huge drama for her. And Lesya went with the hope of healing from these healing mountains, this land, feeling the presence of a close, good soul (Olga Kobylyanska – ed.) – and it all happened, everything happened. Therefore, it is probably natural that the contest we took out of the annexed Crimea – this spiritual product that does not spoil, first declared itself loudly in Poltava…, then was the capital, otherwise it can not be, and the third place where this took place the competition was Bukovina. This place was native to Lesya, because here was her close friend, friend in spirit, sister. I am convinced that there are many sisters left on this earth,many fellows who understand how difficult it is for those who have become refugees, displaced persons, or, such a neutral word, displaced. They lost their nest, they were cut off with scissors, an ax, many of them lost their homeland – it’s not goodbye. “ Said the chairman of the jury.In her welcoming speech, Svitlana Kocherha , the head of the competition jury, thanked the people of Chernivtsi and all those who are making efforts to prolong the Crimean competition. She also stressed that at one time Chernivtsi land became a refuge for the wounded soul of Lesya Ukrainka. She sought solace and support here, just as those who are deprived of their small homeland today need this support.

Starting from 2018, the competition is already held in a different format – as a competition-festival. The first stage – qualifying – in Poltava, and the second – the final gala concert and awards – in Chernivtsi, which is associated with the fate of Lesya Ukrainka and Olga Kobylyanska.

In 2019, the V All-Ukrainian (XV All-Crimean) Festival-Competition, which took place in Poltava, honored guests were Crimean citizens who constantly supported the competition, namely: Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimean PCU Clement (now Metropolitan), photojournalist of the Royal Photographer Anatoliy Kovalsky, editor-in-chief of the Crimean Svitlytsia newspaper (since 2019), public figure Andriy Shchekun and teachers of the Tavriya National University named after V. Vernadsky.

“Emotions are overflowing. The holiday was filled with a kind of divinity, a relaxed atmosphere, friendly people and a great poetic word. I am proud that in addition to the victory, we had the opportunity to perform at the Chernivtsi Philharmonic at a gala concert, which included only the best numbers, including the poetry “To my piano,” which I read. It was a pleasure to visit the same stage with participants from Poltava, Volnovakha, Lutsk – from all over Ukraine. Lesya Ukrainka’s whole life is a struggle! We are fighting for our state and we will definitely win! ” – Marta Kulyk, participant of the contest.

In 2020, the VI All-Ukrainian (XVI All-Crimean) Festival-Competition of Pupil and Student Creativity named after Maria Fischer-Slyzh “Let’s Fight for a New Life!” Took place. And although the epidemic of the crown virus has made its adjustments, the contestants were able to please with their creative achievements.

“Children are very talented and the main idea is to support this search work, so that they are not limited to poems from the curriculum, because Lesya Ukrainka has an extremely large heritage. And this time there were many poems for reciting the famous poetess, which indicated that children significantly expand their creative knowledge. The main thing is for children to read and it was noticeable this year, “said the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Honored Teacher of Ukraine Tetyana Zakharova says that this is due to the fact that young people really like this creative event. In addition, Tetyana Zakharova noted that the children very skilfully thought out their images, not only the appearance, but also the staging of the performance and every movement.

During the 15 years of the Competition, 27,000 people became its participants and 2,100 won. Every year the geography of the competition expands and it has all chances to grow into an International (All-Crimean) festival-competition, as it is attended by representatives of such countries as Italy, Norway and Moldova. , Poland, the United Arab Emirates and even Russia. Children and young people from the occupied territories (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts) also take part in the competition, and children living on the demarcation line actively present their creative works.

Geography of the competition
Geography of the competition

During the whole period of the contest’s existence a huge and valuable archive of children’s art was collected: works, poems, research works, drawings, video and audio materials, which the organizing committee of the festival-competition decided to share with teachers, heads of cultural and educational institutions, scientists, parents, fans of Lesya Ukrainka’s work. Therefore, in 2020, the book “I have in my heart what does not die” was published, where, as noted in the introductory word to the publication, only some examples of children’s perception of Lesya’s work, children’s interpretation of understanding the depth of feelings and experiences of the poet, artistic vision of her works “.

The book consists of several parts: “Works of Lesya through the eyes of children”, “Winged by the poetry of Lesya or Creativity that inspires”, “Reflections”, “Creative inspiration. Illustrations to works “, where children’s poetic and prose works are presented, as well as drawings to the works of Lesya Ukrainka.

From the rubric “Winged by the poetry of Lesya Ukrainka”


Glory to man


So I dream of breathing freely

So as not to stifle the future life.

To inhale on a full chest

My children could. Or maybe me.


I’m afraid to step awkwardly

And fall, fly into the abyss without wings.

It used to have small wings, but now it is not fashionable

Wears a feather cover behind his back.


And it’s a shame. I’m afraid to live!

I’m afraid to fight. Well, maybe not me?

Maybe someone else, and I’ll wait.

And there will be no end to despair.


Human! Glory to courage!

I want to have strength, to take refuge in it.

And feel the look behind you

“You are not alone, fight and dream!”

Krasnova Taisiya , 5th year

I do not agree, my soul is passionate.

She will not live in captivity.

And let that fate be difficult –

I will change all my roles in it.


Maybe not to the end,

But I will win in fate,

Get in the life of a crown of thorns,

I will rejoice over him more than the crown.


This is an award for the artist,

What in the soul put on the throne

High, strong feelings,

Without lowering your palms.

Lyudmila Smolyakova , 10th grade

I am Ukrainian, a Crimean girl,

I love poems and funny songs.

In my soul, like a freckle,

All the words are loud.


Homeland, congratulations to faithful friends,

A bright destiny full of dreams.

Selflessly, I sincerely love

Everything that is in my Ukraine!


And an epic, and a cloud,

And the blue depths of the sea,

Breath of wind, pearl-dewdrop,

The acrid smell of wormwood.


I’m a Crimean, Ukrainian!

For this I thank fate and parents.

My song will be like a flute.

I will give it to the Motherland.

 Strazhescu Catherine , 8th grade

The nature of the mountains – the heavenly heights,

The vastness of the sea is immeasurable to the eye.

Crimea entices pilgrims: “Sit down, rest,

Take a leisurely walk on the pebbles. ”


Semi-mythical South side

From the sun, wind, laurels, cypresses.

Thus, Tavrido, you are one of us:

Fields of tulips, grapes and daffodils.


Volyn seagull in the seven winds

In his life he stands at a crossroads,

And strength and faith in her verses,

Which she wrote at the foot of Ai-Petrov.


And Crimea beckoned with soul and warmth,

There was no rest in the heart for a long time,

And Lesya Ukrainka with a broken wing

She has created more than one page.


And the book of travels, then her life,

Minor mood written in C major,

And every day is a new discovery,

That made a twisted pattern.


And “Crimean reviews” and “… memories” of her,

Dedicated to the magical land,

Reproducing the moment in their melodies

In the antimony fountains of Bakhchisarai.


How tenderly and gently she loved the Crimea,

Lesya so anxiously wanted the sun,

And played with a ray of gold,

That looked at her in the window.


He carried the warmth and kindness of the soul,

Because he knew that not everything had been lived yet:

More than once go barefoot in the knot,

And the heart is still open for love.


Sergey Merdzhinsky and Lesya Kosach

Forever united in Yalta.

And the cupid-trumpet announced about love,

Noting about it on the card.


Not everyone is given to truly live:

Love, create and do not obey fate.

Larissa the seagull was only on the ground for a moment,

She swam in a free halo.


And Lesya Ukrainka, like an edelweiss flower,

What a “crowbar” she called herself.

Her life is one short flight.

And though small, she sowed it.

Romanovsky Artem , 8th grade


All the last six years the competition is supported by the Cultural and Educational Center Art Gallery “Sweetart – Knowledge” and the International Charitable Foundation “Health of the Future” with the assistance of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine, Poltava and Chernivtsi regional state administrations, Poltava and Chernivtsi city councils and executive committees, the Museum of the Drahomanov family in Gadyach, Ukoopspilka University “Poltava University of Economics and Trade”, Chernivtsi National University. Fedkovych, State Enterprise “National Newspaper and Magazine Publishing House”, Information and Research Center “Integration and Development”, Union of Writers of Poltava Region, All-Ukrainian Society “Education” named after Taras Shevchenko, NGO “Tavria Humanitarian Platform”,Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, All-Ukrainian newspaper “Crimean Room”, TV studio “City”, Regional State Television and Radio Company “Ltava”, Chernivtsi TV Company “TVA” and other state and public organizations and people who care about the upbringing and development of the younger generation. A significant contribution to the creative competition is made annually by public figure, patron of the festival-competition Alexei Burbak.patron of the festival-competition Oleksiy Burbak.patron of the festival-competition Oleksiy Burbak.

For reference: Svitlana Kocherha, Doctor of Philology , Member of the  National Union of Writers of Ukraine , Director  of the Lesia Ukrainka Museum in Yalta , Head of the Department of Ukrainian Philology and Teaching Methods of the  Crimean Humanities University , Yalta , Honored Worker of Culture, studied Lesya Ukrainka’s work most thoroughly in Crimea .  , Knight of the  Order of Princess Olga III degree .


List of works:

Kocherga SO Iphigenia in Tavrida. Pages of the Crimean chronicle of Lesya Ukrainka [Text] / SO Kocherga. – Simferopol: Krymnavchpedderzhvydav. – 1998. – 112 p.

Methodical advice for writing a term paper on the history of Ukrainian literature [Text] / author-compiler SO Kocherga. – Yalta: RVV KGGI, 2002. – 18 p.

Letters go so long… The needs of the archive of Lesya Ukrainka in the Slavic Library in Prague [Text] / edited, preface and note. S. Kochergi. – К.: Просвіта, 2003. – 308 с.

Kocherga SO Pivdennyi bereg Krymu v zhytti i tvorchosti ukrayinskikh pisnymnykiv XIX khv [Text] / SO Kocherha. – Yalta: RVV KDGI, 2004. – 36 p.

Kocherga SO Through the program of practice in the specialty 7.010103 “Ukrainian language and literature” [Text] / SO Kocherga. – Yalta: RIO KSU, 2005. – 57 p.

Kocherga SO Intellectual paradigm of culturosophy of Lesya Ukrainka [Text]: textbook. way. / S. O. Kocherga. – Луцьк: Вежа, 2010. – 174 с.

Kocherga S. Culturosophy of Lesya Ukrainka: semiotic analysis of texts [Text] : monograph / Svitlana Kocherha. – Lutsk: Tverdynya, 2010. – 656 p.

The book clarifies the originality of Lesya Ukrainka’s culturosophical concept as a holistic phenomenon with its inherent internal organization, codification, structure of universals and values, which are reflected in the writer’s drama. The semiosphere of the dramatic works “Orgy”, “Rufin and Priscilla”, “Fireplace Master”, “Cassandra”, “In the Forest”, “Lawyer Martian” and others is analyzed in detail. On the basis of the analysis of the repertoire of signs and decoding of the chronological-axiological system of cultural-philosophical views of Lesya Ukrainka the cultural-centrism of the writer’s artistic thinking is proved.

Kocherga SO The southern coast of Crimea in the life and work of Ukrainian writers of the XIX – early XX centuries. XX century [Text] / SO Kocherga. – Yalta: RIO KSU, 2011. – 60 p.

Poker S. O. Genius loci. Dictionary of the toposphere of texts by Lesya Ukrainka [Text] / SO Kocherga, NV Pastushko. – Yalta: RVV KSU, 2012. – 246 p.

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

The project was implemented with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation

Lyudmila Bozhenko

editor of the news agency "Voice of Crimea"

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: