The International “Kobzar”

By Vladimir Volkov. Community activist, businessman, environmentalist.


In the history of each state there are such figures who absorb the living soul of the people, become an integral part of their life. Such figure for Ukrainians is Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko, whose work is always alive treasure of world culture. His achievements pave bridges of fraternal unity between peoples and have become an integral part of many national cultures.

Getting to know the genius of word Taras Shevchenko abroad began at his lifetime and afterwards gained large scale there. The Russian people, that already got such opportunity from the poets of their country in 1860, could first enjoy a translation of “Kobzar”. Later in the 40 years of the nineteenth century the reviews on works of Ukrainian genius appeared in Polish and Czech criticism, but broad and purposeful interest in the poetry formed only at the end of 50-60s. The evidence of popularization of Taras’s creativity is a significant number of articles devoted to him (mainly Polish) and the first translations of his works in Polish, Czech and Bulgarian.

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Furthermore the works of Kobzar have been translated into all Slavic languages, as well as Georgian, Armenian, Kazakh, Uzbek, German, English, French, Danish, Modern Greek, Spanish, Hindi, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Romanian, Italian, Hungarian, Malay, Bengali. All countries in the world are trying to refine through the works of Taras Shevchenko, which were called available, absolutely clear to each ordinary person. The concept of labour as the blessing for a person in the concept of Taras Hryhorovych organically merges with the notion of good. This is one of the things which attracted foreign audience to study Ukrainian writing.

The value and relevance of Shevchenko’s creativity is primarily the importance of his “Kobzar” which enriched Ukrainian literature with new themes and ideas, images and genres, rhythms and poetical measures, tropes and stylistic figures. This book shows the past and present of the Ukrainian nation, its history and geography, life and morality. In order to familiarize the Chinese people with the work of Shevchenko the cooperation of Ukrainian-Chinese translators, poets and artists is being conducted. Cultural community of the PRC expressed the desire to translate “Kobzar” in Chinese and include the works of Taras into the list of popular literature. The book, which will subsequently be introduced in China, will contain nature of the world which was seen, lived by Taras Hryhorovych, and which inspired him.

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Shevchenko is the central figure not only in the history of Ukrainian literature, but in the whole cultural life of nations. His poems inspire, amaze, fascinate and no matter what skin colour, nationality you have or how far from Ukraine you live and how much you know about its history. The public of the world sees Shevchenko’s creativity as one of the brightest pages of world culture. Always alive poetry of genius of humanistic ideas and freedom loving aspirations resonate in the hearts of the peoples of all continents.

 (Based on various scientific works)