15 May 2016
Ukrainian diaspora rejoices over Eurovision win
In a victory loaded with political meaning, Ukraine’s 2016 Eurovision entrant Jamala, has taken out the coveted prize, much to Australian-Ukrainians’ delight.
The 32-year old singer is a Crimean Tatar, an ethnic group native to Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula since the 13th—17th centuries. In 1944 the Tatars were deported from Crimea by the Soviet government. Decades later they later returned to their homeland but have experienced renewed ethnic tension since the Russian Federation’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. This was the message of the winner’s song — 1944.
Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) Chairman and General Secretary of the Ukrainian World Congress, Stefan Romaniw OAM said “Crimea is far from lost to Ukraine. It is mainstream platforms like Eurovision that serve to remind the public of Russia’s ongoing aggression and that Ukraine has not given up.” said Mr Romaniw.
“The fact that voters and Eurovision judges supported Jamala in her unmistakable statement shows that people have not forgotten that Crimea is Ukraine.” Mr Romaniw said.
Jamala has not been to Crimea since its annexation over two years ago despite her family remaining there.
Although Australian—Ukrainians were torn over Australia coming second, the message Jamala’s win sends out is just too important.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: STEFAN ROMANIW 0419 531 255