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15 July 2015

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“I Love Zhangjiajie As I Love My Homeland” – Taras from the Ukraine

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“I am enchanted by the beautiful landscapes which can be seen all over China. My soul is enriched by its great voices from its long history. My heart is touched by the people. We believe that we will surely defeat the epidemic…” 

Taras Kutsenko recorded his original song “Believe” at Zhangjiajie College on June 16.

Taras Kutsenko, 43, is a well-known Ukrainian conductor. He is the standing conductor of the Zhangjiajie Philharmonic Orchestra. He came to Zhangjiajie in 2018 and assumed the post of the standing conductor in 2019. He has led the orchestra in more than 40 concerts at Wulingyuan Core Scenic Area, Tianmen Mountain, Huanglong Cave, and the Ten-mile Natural Galley. These performances have added new energy to Zhangjiajie’s cultural and tourism integration and high art development.

Early this year, Taras and other three Ukrainian musicians, wrote the song “Believe” to support China’s fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.

“Foreigners are friendly treated in Zhangjiajie, and feel safe amid the epidemic. I love Zhangjiajie as I love my motherland. This is my way to express my love and support to it,” Taras said.

After the epidemic outbreak, Taras and other Ukrainian members of the orchestra delayed returning to the Ukraine. The Zhangjiajie government provided assistance in solving visa expiration problems and providing medical masks, ethyl alcohol, and other protective supplies.

“Music can rally strengths and transmit wishes.” They decided to create an anti-epidemic song to tell about the Chinese people’s fight against the virus, after they witnessed China’s timely and effective anti-epidemic measures. 

They agreed on the name “Believe”, for they believe that China will defeat the epidemic and that spring is sure to come as the epidemic ends.

Using protective measures, they practiced singing in the Chinese language every day, and to cheer on Zhangjiajie and the Chinese people in the anti-epidemic war.

Ma Liming, the orchestra’s translator said that, the musicians practiced repeatedly. They learned Pinyin to spell out the lyrics, word-by-word and sentence-by-sentence.

The nearly 5-minute song was publicized on social media on February 18, and soon bombarded WeChat moments. It became well known in the Ukraine, and gained worldwide popularity.

Taras was video interviewed on “1+1” the National Ukrainian-language TV channel and on Ukrainian television. When asked whether Zhangjiajie was safe, he said “this city is peaceful and safe. We got kind help from the Zhangjiajie people. The Chinese people set a great example of mutual assistance.”

During the epidemic, Taras volunteered in the work of taking temperatures of the residents. “Zhangjiajie is my second home. I have every confidence in it,” he said. At the beginning of the song, Taras and other members read that “I Love Zhangjiajie as I love my motherland. I believe the epidemic will end soon. This challenge will bring the people around the world together.”

This article is from Hunan Provincial Government 

Translator: Pang Yuehui 

Chinese source: