In Uryupinsk (Volgograd region), often called the main town of the Russian provinces, Get Online Week was held on a truly grand scale, with all of the town’s libraries and even two rural libraries taking an active part in the campaign. It had many interesting moments, but meeting Kseniya Petrunina, a well-known local singer of improvised humorous rhymes (chastushki), performed as part of the Russian folklore tradition, was definitely one of the main highlights of the week.
Eighty-two-year-old Kseniya Petrunina from the Cossack village of Tepikinskaya, winner of many singing contests, an active participant of many folklore festivals and a welcome guest and performer at local concerts, saw a poster about Get Online Week in the regional library which she often visits, and decided that if the offer was truly for everyone, she wasn’t going to be left behind. “I want to find out as much as I can about the Cossack folklore,” she said to the library team. “I have read everything there is to read in our library. Maybe the Internet can help me out.”
On the day of the Get Online seminar Kseniya Petrunina, true to form, showed up in the traditional Cossack dress. With the help of the trainers she quickly found the resources she wanted, with all sorts of wedding songs, authentic lullabies and other items of Cossack folklore.
Thanks to the Internet, the 82-year-old singer has been able to enrich her large repertoire and will now perform new lullabies for young mothers, beautiful Cossack marching songs for draftees, and, hopefully, wedding songs for her yet unmarried grandchildren. It’s easy to see that Kseniya Petrunina is a firm believer in strengthening old Cossack traditions and in keeping her guests well entertained.
And of course, as any authentic folk singer, Kseniya Petrunina always has a beautiful song or a humorous little rhyme for any occasion. She was so happy with the training, that she left us with a new rhyme, specially improvised in honor of European Get Online Week:
Growing old is not for me,
I’m as young as one can be.
And I know the world is mine
Just as long as I’m online!
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