The Ukrainian flag also reigns at Tomorrowland: “We went to Sri Lanka two days before the raid”

Ana works in Belgium, but before that she lived alone in the bombed-out Kharkov. “I check the news every morning.” © Kris Van Exel

Yellow-blue Ukraine reigns supreme at the largest flag festival in our country. On backs, along arms, between hugging people. And everyone who passed them shouted. “Fuck Poetin”, for example, along the beautiful Ana (23).

Nina Nzenza and Sofie Buekenhoudt

Friday 15 July 2022 at 21:37

She has been in Belgium for four months now and also works here. Before that, she lived alone in Kharkov – one of the first bombed cities in Ukraine. Her grandmother and parents are still there but don’t want to leave. “It’s not good for me to talk about it,” she says. “Every morning I check the news, and it only gets worse.”

Fortunately, there are also nicer things to talk about, such as the festival. “I said to one of my friends: I would love to go to Tomorrowland, such a completely different world. It would be a dream come true. And she said, why don’t you just work there? So later, from six o’clock, I’ll be making pasta here. And meanwhile I am walking around with the flag of Ukraine.”

(read more below the photo)

Konstiantyn and Ana don't know each other, but they fall into each other's arms anyway.

Konstiantyn and Ana don’t know each other, but they fall into each other’s arms anyway. ©  DBA

The Ukrainians also recognize each other through those flags. Konstiantyn (33) for example runs into Ana and fellow compatriot Alex. They don’t know each other, but they still fall into each other’s arms when they meet. The festival didn’t choose its theme badly this year. Love clearly reflects.

no aggression

Konstiantyn carries his flag out of respect. He was once a member of the Ukrainian army. “I have fought in Afghanistan but I have not experienced the war in my home country. I live in Kiev, but I left for Sri Lanka two days before the raid. I haven’t been there since then. I still keep in touch with all my friends and family, and I try to help where I can.”

He no longer has contact with people from Russia. “I haven’t spoken to Russians anymore. If I come across any here today, I would. I’m here to enjoy and get away from it all, not for aggression. After all, we are brothers.”

(read more below the photo)

Dima and Sergei.

Dima and Sergei. ©  DBA

Belgium beer

Dima (39) and Sergei (29) are both from Ukraine. Although they also left the country before the war started, they have not forgotten their home. “I am carrying the flag because I want to show my support for my country,” Sergei said. He will not return until after the war. Their getaway to Tomorrowland is a last minute decision to clear the mind. During the festival weekend they hope to experience many beautiful emotions and moments. “And drink Belgian beer, of course.”

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