Danubius International Conferences, 6th International Conference The Danube - Axis of European Identity

Bessarabia National Cultural Code In The Works Of Ukrainian Writer M. Kotsiubinsky

S.I. Kovpik
Last modified: 2016-05-23


The mentality as a special type of folk thinking has always been in the focus of the following sciences, such as: ethnic psychology, sociology, ethnogenesis, literature and other. Works of literature give an opportunity to explore causes and conditions of folk thinking formation. It is well known, that the uniqueness of national thinking is greatly affected by geographical position, nation genomes development and its formation.

Ukrainian writer M. Kotsiubinsky during the period from 1892 to 1896 worked in the Bessarabia villages of Tavria province as a member of Odessa phylloxera control commission fighting against pests of vineyards in the territory of Novorossiysk general governor. Working in the Bessarabia villages allowed M. Kotsiubinsky to learn Bessarabians outlook and create a series of stories describing life style, culture and traditions of this nation.

This article investigates M. Kotsiubinsky’s works from Bessarabian cycle as “Pe-kopter” and “The Witch”. The Ukrainian writer was able to learn features of life, traditions and morals in Bessarabian community. Thus, in these stories M. Kotsiubinsky showed that disapproval and community morals were above the family feelings and parental honor for the residents of Bessarabia at the end of the nineteenth century. In those days Bessarabian family did not live isolated from the society, and in every possible way they tried to obey its cruel laws. The way of matazans (villagers) lining in Bessarabia was totally controlled by the community, and any violation of its standards consequently led to severe punishment. Sometimes primitive fear of Bessarania inhabitants eclipsed common sense so much that they were losing their humanity.

As a result, traditional livelihood in Bessarabian society developed certain rules in order to regulate strictly individual behavior in everyday life and during the holiday time. Rural community was a special social and domestic mechanism establishing and storing traditions. The preservation of traditions was maintained by the force of public views and applying different ways of punishment and psychological impact on a particular guilty person such as expelling an individual away from the village or his / her public derision. In fact M. Kotsiubinsky showed how rural community suppressed individual’s personality. He also depicted the way how matazans by means of public opinion formed a certain thinking stereotype that influenced greatly the behavior norms and rules.