Local Hutsul folklore from Bystryi and life stories from humorous Dmytro Koreniuk
Dmytro Koreniuk’s house is located right next to the main road in the village of Bistryi, Maramures. He is waiting for us at the gate. He is wearing a traditional shirt («hutsulka»)- and an old Hutsul coat, which we will later learn was found among the propers of the village’s old-timers. His gaze is gentle and sensitive. However, something seems to suggest that he is set up for jokes. Since he has been a widower , he has lived alone, so he runs the farm himself. The children have moved to other places, he visits them, but it’s still best at home for him. He used to do various work specific to the village. Although he was, in turn, the mayor, school principal, teacher, athletics coach, he also cared about the land, about animals, as it was common in the village. Now it has become more difficult to do so, and he admits that he does not really want it at his age. His rich literary work is also based on a very strong foundation, taken from folk humor. Hutsul sub-ethnicity and folk traditions are the basis of Dmytro Koreniuk’s literary work.
He considers himself the son of the village. Here he was born, grew up and created. He graduated from the Faculty of Physical Education, played volleyball, and played for the teams of the cities of Olimpia Satu Mare and Explorări Baia Mare. In 2004 he was the founder and chairman of the first Hutsul cultural and sports society in Romania,called « Hutsul» (2004).
I look at his gray hair, which contrasts very interestingly with his blue eyes, so clear that they look like a clear sky. Mr. Korenyuk is easy to recognize at any event. He is one of those people who immediately catches your eye. There is something special about him, something that cannot be explained exactly. He wears a hat on his head, which seems to perfectly complement all this Hutsul attire. Several of the many diplomas and awards, which he received for his cultural and artistics activism over time from the cultural and public institutions of Romania and Ukraine are exhibited in the corridor.There are many more, but only a few of them took place on the walls. In addition to them, you can see other gifts or items that he received from Ukrainian friends or colleagues.
He shows us the bedroom, where there is a small library with books in both Ukrainian and Romanian. Many of them helped him with research, informed him, taught history or helped in supporting the improvement of Ukrainian and Romanian. You can find here everything, including a laptop, which he uses to keep in touch with friends from Ukraine or other parts of the world. He is inspired by what he sees, he writes humorous birthday wishes and stories or shares various ideas with others.
“Humor is a serious matter”
Starting from school he was a member of the art and folk-dance ensembles and a choir. Becoming a teacher at a school in Bystryi, he developed a huge cultural, artistic and sports activities program with students and youth of this area. In 1996, he founded the first song and dance group “Merry Hutsuls”, with which he won the Grand Prix at the International Hutsul Festival in Nadvirna, Ukraine.
He founded ensembles and artistic groups of folk songs and dances, with which he participated in numerous national and international festivals; collected and processed traditional songs, and composed lyrics. He did all this in order to promote and preserve the local folklore and customs of this area.
He initiated and promoted the Hutsul Mira Festival together with his compatriot Yaroslava Kolotylo (former senior adviser to the Romanian Ministry of Culture). The festival became the main holiday of the commune and continues today. He has frequently performed at festivals in Romania, Ukraine, Poland and the United States as a comedian, and his performances were really successful.
He started writing quite late and established himself as a writer, publishing 3 volumes of humorous poetry in the Hutsul dialect of his native village: «Democracy in the postoly» (1999), «Fun and Bitter» (2008) and «On the wooden raft to Europe» (2015).He started publishing in 1996 in Ukrainian-language newspapers and magazines published in Bucharest under the auspices of the Union of Ukrainians in Romania: «Nash Golos», «Vilne Slovo», «Ukrainsky Visnyk», as well as in Ukrainian «Hutsul Calendar», «Grazhdi» and « Carpathians « He also published poems in Romanian in the newspaper «The Ukrainian Courier» and «The Maramures dialects». Several humorous poems were translated and published in Hungarian in Budapest. .