Ukrainian refugee makes giant shirt to celebrate Vyshyvanka Day in Cambridge

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Ukrainian celebration of Vyshyvanka Day with a giant traditional shirtImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Kristina Korniiuk, 34, (third right) marks the Ukrainian celebration of Vyshyvanka Day with a giant traditional shirt

A woman who fled Ukraine for the UK has made a giant embroidered shirt for Vyshyvanka Day, which celebrates the country's national dress.

Kristina Korniiuk, 34, of Kyiv, arrived in Cambridge earlier this month and is being hosted by her best friend Rend Platings.

Ms Platings' house has also been painted in the colours of the Ukraine flag.

Vyshyvanka Day is held annually on the third Thursday of May.

It aims to preserve the folk traditions of wearing "vyshyvanka" - or embroidered Ukrainian national dress.

Patterns on the garments can represent a person's family background and regional heritage.

Ms Korniiuk said she wanted to mark the day to "show the world how beautiful we are and how proud we are and that in spite of the fear we believe in our victory".

She made the giant vyshyvanka shirt from a white flat bed sheet, painting on the patterns, and hopes seven people will fit inside it.

Ms Korniiuk, who works as a Spanish teacher, said Vyshyvanka Day is a "very important day in Ukraine".

"Usually it's a very beautiful day because everybody there wears their vyshyvanka in the office, at school, everywhere," she said.

She said the war meant many people fled Ukraine when Russia invaded and would not have been thinking about vyshyvankas, but that it was important to celebrate the day.

"We feel very proud of who we are and we want to show the world how beautiful we are and how proud we are and that in spite of the fear we believe in our victory."

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Ukrainian celebration of Vyshyvanka Day sees people wearing embroidered shirts reflecting their locality

She has invited people from different countries to gather outside King's College in Cambridge from 16:30 BST on Thursday - wearing vyshyvanka.

She said people do not need to be from Ukraine to join in, adding: "If you are helping, you are Ukrainian - not in your passport but in your state of your mind. In your heart, you are Ukrainian."

Ms Korniiuk was granted a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

She and Ms Platings have been friends for three years after meeting in a restaurant.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The public have been invited to gather outside King's College, Cambridge to sign the giant shirt

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