e euro capital nights

with one comment

After Umanapolooza, I spent one night in Kiev — I needed reliable ‘net, reliable toilet paper, food that wasn’t bread, etc. And off I go to Independence Square — the heart of downtown Kiev — and wouldn’t you know: there are at least 80k people, young things mostly. Huge fireworks. Obviously major Ukrainian pop stars rocking the stage. Big. I assume it’s independence day, or a national hero is being honored, or something or other 80k-people worthy. I ask a bartender. He doesn’t know. I am flabbergasted at this rather conspicuous hole of knowledge. I mean, a village of people have gathered not 30 metres from where you spend most of your waking hours, and you know not why?! He seems nonplussed, and calls over a waitress. And here is why a festival of major proportions is happening in Kiev that Sunday night: A tv station is celebrating its one year anniversary.

And get this: roughly 2 or 3 nights a month, so the waitstaff tell me, there’s a crowd this size at an event this size. Usually bigger, even. In fact, these massive, probably traffic-vital downtown streets are closed every weekend to automobiles.

And I get back to Vilnius (which already, warmingly, feels like home) and lo, in this town square there are scores of thousands of young things yelling. Lietuva came in third place in the basketball championships, and this is reason for very great celebration. (US won the whole shebang, btw; while everyone sang ‘We are the Champions’ — a great favorite among these parts — I did, too, though with unreserved non-irony.) Here’s a view from my window.

Written by menachemkaiser

20 September at 10:19

Posted in rants

One Response

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  1. It’s actually a big deal for lithuanians to have their team as 3rd place winners. With so little sponsorship, the team manages to do a lot, so they are champions of their own.
    It’s nice thousands gather to unite their joy, even for just one night(:


    3 October at 22:33

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