Panteleimon Kulish’s 200th Birthday – Today’s Doodle celebrates the renowned Ukrainian writer, historian, and translator Pateleimon Kulish, born on this day in 1819. Through his literary works, including the epic poem Ukraïna, and historical novels like Chorna Rada (The Black Council), Kulish helped establish a cultural identity for his homeland, the second largest country on the European continent after Russia. Kulish was also the first person to translate the Bible into the Ukrainian language.
Raised in a poor family of Cossack descent, Kulish was not allowed to finish his studies at Kyiv University, since his family was not of the noble class. Nevertheless, he was able to hold various teaching positions, as well as become a prolific author. Inspired by the Cossacks, who were adventurous outdoorsmen who fought for a free Ukrainian state during the 17th century, Kulish and the poet Taras Shevchenko were at the forefront of a Ukrainian national revival.
Although the country was ruled by Russia during his lifetime, Kulish’s writing—heavily influenced by European Romantic literature and the Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott—championed the unique qualities of Ukrainian heritage and culture. He joined Shevchenko in the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood, a secret society that sought independence for Ukraine. As a result, he was arrested by Tsarist police and imprisoned in 1847 before being exiled to the Russian city of Tula for three years.
He married the writer Hanna Barvinok, established his own printing press, and continued to publish and translate throughout his life. Notes on the Southern Rus, his collection of Ukrainian folklore, is still studied by many to this day.
Early concepts by artist Kevin Laughlin
You can find more about Panteleimon Kulish’s 200th Birthday on the official Google Doodle Page