Ukrainska Besida

Ukrainska Besida [Українська Бесіда]. A Ukrainian cultural-educational club in Galicia in 1861–1939, known as Ruska Besida until the 1920s. The first Ukrainska Besida club was founded by Yuliian Lavrivsky in Lviv in 1861 and consisted of a group of local intelligentsia from the Moloda Rus’ society. Ukrainska Besida provided a forum for social interaction and developed a program of literary and musical evenings, lectures, concerts, and commemorative observations. It also sponsored its own renowned theater group, Ukrainska Besida Theater, and maintained a reading hall. In 1870–90 it provided a spiritual home for numerous Ukrainian student groups. As new organizations were established by the developing Ukrainian national movement in Galicia, Ukrainska Besida increasingly assumed a more social and recreational character. Ukrainska Besida clubs were established in a number of Galician centers, including Peremyshl, Stanyslaviv, Ternopil, and Zhovkva. Notable leaders of the Ukrainian Besida in Lviv included Lavrivsky, Volodymyr Shukhevych (1895–1910), Illia Kokorudz (1920–32), and Ivan Kopach.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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