It is Christmas Eve and all sorts of mischief is afoot in Dikanka, a Ukrainian village made famous by Nikolai (Mykola) Gogol, the iconic 19th century writer reluctantly shared by Ukraine and Russia. As Dikanka’s cheerful denizens go caroling in the night, in one house a devil is cavorting with a local witch; in another, a sorcerer is magically sucking up dumplings. Enchanted, rowdy and mythical – this was Gogol’s Ukraine.
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Giorgi Lomsadze is a freelance journalist and a frequent contributor to EurasiaNet.org's Tamada Tales blog.