'It is important to be together': Gloucester celebrates Ukrainian culture and tradition

  • "It's a great honour for us" - Celebrating Ukraine in Gloucester

People have gathered in Gloucester to celebrate Ukraine.

For three weekends in April, the Folk of Gloucester is embracing Ukrainian traditions, hosting workshops, performances and exhibitions.

Those involved have emphasised the importance of keeping the spirit of their country alive.

Yuliia fled her home in Kyiv.

"We are very grateful to be here today, it's a great honour for us," she said.

"It's such a happy time to see new faces, new names and meet other Ukrainians."

The event featured the Sunflowers Wales dance group.

Folk of Gloucester volunteer, Robin Burton hopes the event sends a message of unity.

"The main thing I'm hoping to achieve is that for Ukrainians, especially those forced to leave Ukraine and come and live here in the UK, get a chance to actually experience their own culture, perhaps boost their morale a bit, and feel like they're accepted by the English community around here," he said.

Beneath the celebrations, lies the bitter reality of a country at war.

Ukrainian artist Tetina Fey has created a unique set of artworks made from shrapnel found in her country.

Some highlight the horror of the conflict, whilst others celebrate what life looked like before Ukraine was war-torn.

Lora Kobzarenko, originally from Kyiv, said being together is important, to fight together on a cultural front.

Ukrainian artist Tetina Fey has created a unique set of artworks made from the remains of exploded munitions.

"It's not only to show our culture, but also not to forget for ourselves, and remind ourselves that this is our roots and how we're supposed to be," she added.

People travelled far and wide, with Viktoriia coming from Lancashire.

"It helps us to be stronger, to be together, it's always very powerful and I'm very proud to share our culture", she said.

"We are killed just because we are Ukrainians, our culture is killed, which is why we are very happy to keep our Ukrainian national identity and to be able to share it here among British people, so I am extremely grateful."

The events run each weekend at Folk of Gloucester until Saturday 27th of April.

A full programme for the festival can be viewed here.