“Music speaks for us”: Ukrainians celebrate “Friendship Christmas” in Cannes-sur-Mer

“NOWe won’t talk much. This is the music that will speak for us.” On the stage of Terrazur Casino, Polygone Riviera, Iryna Bourdelles sets the tone from the start.

This Thursday, in Cagnes-sur-Mer, great words bow to the eloquence of chords. Children’s songs that come out of the dark with a candle in hand. From this melancholic guitar. From this weeping cello. Music to shake with. As before. As if.

On stage, the songs and instruments come together, giving off the scent of melancholy. Photo by Sebastien Botella.

Ukrainians celebrate a very special Orthodox Christmas on January 7, 2023. Therefore, when Catholics gathered on December 24, they kept this holiday under special control in the evening of January 6.

“This Christmas is very important to us”The President of the Franco-Ukrainian Association of Cote d’Azur (Afuja) insists that it was translated into Ukrainian by Olga Monax, the partner of Irina Bourdelles.

“Feel at home”

Irina Bourdelles and Olga Monach from the French-Ukrainian Cote d’Azur association thank Mayor Louis Negre for the support of the city of Cannes. Photo by Sebastien Botella.

“Silent Night, Hope Christmas.” So, Afuca was baptized this evening, organized with the support of the city of Cagnes. “It feels a bit like home for people fleeing war”explains 26-year-old Olena, one of the artists of the night.

“We are trying to keep the traditions. We will send the videos of our songs to our relatives in Ukraine so that they can have fun. Because this is rare…”

Here he is, Christmas fire. Far from the shaky “truce” that Vladimir Putin brazenly decreed. Make way for vitality koliadky, these traditional Ukrainian songs. Without hiding.

“This war changed our livesIrina Bourdelles remembers. The last few months have been very busy. But sometimes it is important to settle down and find yourself. This is an opportunity to thank you for everything you have done for us.”

Good feelings were shared

Thus, Afujah invited those who give, collect, support and welcome refugees. Like Natalya Dubosq, who was established in Tourrette-sur-Loup for a long time, she mobilized with her whole family to raise funds.

Natalya Dubosq and her family are mobilized to help their compatriots. Photo by Sebastien Botella.

Or like Pascal Linet from Villeneuve-Loubet, who founded the IPA Ukrainian Orphans Association with his wife Irina. For Irina’s family, who remain in Sumy, 30 km from Russia, tonight’s videos will be as valuable a comfort as donations.

“You are in a dramatic situation. We are attacking your country. You are defending yourself. We must help you.”Mayor Louis Nègre insists.

Irina Bourdelles thanks the City for hosting it “A Christmas of hope, but also a Christmas of friendship”. A few vibrations of pleasure, to banish the vibrations of anguish.

Invited by Afuja, Daniel Leroy hosted the refugees free of charge, and later in “modest rents”. Photo by Sebastien Botella.

“Lovely, respectful and grateful people”

“I have never seen a single Ukrainian complain. Ever!” A year ago, Daniel Leroy “I didn’t know Ukraine or Ukrainians.” Since then, this 62-year-old Niçois has learned to spot them. “They are a little different, but good, even very good!”

Daniel works in real estate and also owns several apartments “Those who free themselves during Covid”. So he made them available “one, then two, then three, then four families” refugees. First free, then “modest rent, to pass”. Today it accepts 17 people.

This show is also for citizens of solidarity like Daniel Leroy, who was invited by Afuca with his wife Aurelia. On Sunday, a family from the martyred city of Bucha will invite them. This solidarity “makes bonds. But everything wears out with time.”

So his rents and these evenings keep him “It’s a relationship that hasn’t left or will stay with this population. They’re mostly women with children, but we’re seeing husbands coming in little by little. These people are lovely. They’re very respectful, they’re grateful.” Whatever Daniel gave them, so did they “they returned a hundredfold”.

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