A boy in an embroidered shirt eating creepy borscht / Screenshot

The first season of Desalma (Unsoul), a supernatural drama web television series based on Slavic mythology, which was released by Globoplay, a Brazilian subscription video on demand service, has been met with a mixed reaction by Ukrainians.

The Ukrainian segment of the Internet has given a mixed reaction to the series, according to the DTF professional media outlet covering online games and cinematography.

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Some praise it for the interest in Ukrainian culture, while others scold it for stereotypes about Slavic culture and mindset.

The series features a repertoire of Ukrainian folk songs, and the plot tells the viewers about the disappearance of people on the day of the mystical holiday of Ivan Kupala.

The trailer shows a main character of the series singing the Ukrainian folk song "Rozpriahaite, khloptsi, koni" ("Unharness horses, lads") and a boy in an embroidered shirt eating borscht made of blood.

Ivan Kupala Day

  • Ivan Kupala Day (Midsummer Day) is very ancient and dates back to the Old Slavic times. Before the spread of Christianity, it was associated with the summer solstice. With the adoption of Christianity, it was adapted and became the day to celebrate the birthday of John the Baptist.
  • According to Ukrainian traditions, no one should sleep on that magic night, people start looking for a magical scarlet flower of a fern to become rich financially and spiritually. The main entertainment for the evening includes jumping over a festive bonfire, which is believed to cleanse the body and spirit, and burning the straw scarecrow called Kupala. Girls make wreaths of flowers and let them float with the flow of a river or a lake to predict their future. People do not swim in ponds and rivers on that night, as it is believed to be dangerous because of rusalkas (mermaids) and vodyanyks (water spirits).