Cincinnati-Kharkiv sister cities formally renew their relationship
by Jan Sherbin
CINCINNATI - A sister city delegation led by the mayor of Kharkiv has completed a weeklong visit to Cincinnati.
A highlight of the visit was the renewal of the 14-year-old Cincinnati-Kharkiv sister city agreement. The signing of a new agreement by Kharkiv Mayor Volodymyr Shumilkin and Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken recognizes the massive changes that have been happening in Kharkiv since the original agreement was signed in 1989.
The agreement promises that both Cincinnati and Kharkiv "will contribute to tight and multifaceted connections among the residents of both cities, thus advancing the cause of peace and understanding among nations" and "will contribute to furthering cooperation in economy, city development, education, culture, research, health care and social protection, individual liberties, sports, tourism, youth issues and other areas important to both cities."
At the signing ceremony, the Kharkiv folk trio Kupava sang the Ukrainian national anthem. Cincinnati singer Kathy Wade delivered the Star-Spangled Banner.
Another highlight of the visit was the introduction of Mayor Shumilkin and his delegation before the November 5 meeting of Cincinnati's City Council. Mayor Luken proclaimed the day "Cincinnati-Kharkiv Sister City Project Day." Mayor Shumilkin also received the key to the city.
During their time in Cincinnati (November 2-8,) the delegation witnessed Election Day proceedings, visited area museums and educational institutions, were hosted in the homes of sister city volunteers and attended a Cincinnati Rotary Club meeting. The Cincinnati Rotary Club helped establish Rotary in Kharkiv and is planning to bring Kharkiv Rotary members to Cincinnati next spring to learn more about how Rotary works and to establish closer ties.
Besides Mayor Shumilkin and the folk trio Kupava, the delegation included members of Kharkiv's city council, other government officials, leaders of nongovernmental organizations, and businesspeople.
Over 14 years, Cincinnatians have been working closely with people in Kharkiv in dozens of areas, such as education, religion, business, culture, etc. Some 3,000 people have traveled between the two cities on sister city-related visits, and many more have participated in sister city activities in their home cities.
Following their Cincinnati visit, the Kharkiv delegation traveled to Chicago. The Ukrainian Consulate held a reception in their honor, attended by representatives of Chicago's Ukrainian National Museum and the Ukrainian community. When Kupava sang at the reception, the audience suggested a performing tour of Ukrainian communities in the United States and Canada.
"They were enthralled by Kupava's voices, by their vocal mastery," said delegation member Viktor Rud, head of Kharkiv's International Department.
Kupava - Yuliya Kurochka and sisters Olena and Tetyana Slyusarenko - perform traditional Ukrainian folk songs, accompanying themselves on banduras. To book Kupava during the planned tour, contact Kharkiv's International Department, e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 380-577-15-33-39 or 380-577-00-33-97, or fax, 380-577-00-33-79.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, December 14, 2003, No. 50, Vol. LXXI
| Home Page |