On 9 November, the Day of Ukrainian Writing and Language, the annual “Dictation of National Unity” organized by the Ukrainian public broadcaster went viral. The reason why? – its topic hit too close to home.
In this radio, TV and online gathering, audiences are invited to write down the words to an essay correctly. The piece, by writer Iryna Tsilyk, was dedicated to the concept of home, which the Russian invasion has stolen from millions of Ukrainians.
Having fled the war or taken up arms to defend their country, many listeners found themselves away from home, and united in writing words about a place dear to their hearts.
“Sometimes a home can fit into the size of a suitcase. We now are like those snails, [we] know the price of large migrations,” reads the essay.
Many were moved to tears, including the TV anchor of the event, Roman Kolyada, whose house was demolished by Russia’s war. Social networks were full of crying faces and damp sheets of paper.