Monday, July 30, 2007

Suspicious disappearance and death

Condolences to fellow blogger Neeka, who just lost her father in Kyiv.

He was physically lost for some time, having wandered off while out walking with her mother and daughter. Trying to find him was a nightmare, according to her account of events dealing with police and hospital officials. (H/T Cybercossack)

The apathy and indifference of those officials absolutely chills the blood. The legacy of communism, perhaps ... but if that is the case, it is very scary to think how an ideology can so systematically, and so easily, kill human compassion. How much harder that must make the loss for Neeka and her family.

Vichnaya pamyat.

Vancouver audio archives updated to July 29

The latest Nash Holos broadcast and podcast are now available for your listening pleasure!

Sylvia has the scoop on strawberries; Myrna will tell you about the Diaspora Museum in Chernivtsi, Fr. Bruce has a tribute to the outgoing Ukrainian Catholic bishop to BC.

And as usual, plenty of great Ukrainian music... including the start of series of musical Ukrainian language lessons. ;-)

Enjoy!

Slow blogging season

Just thought I'd check in and let you know that I'm still here, and still committed to blogging ... but it's a busy summer! So, posting may be a bit irregular over the next few weeks.

However, do stay with me! I shall return. ;-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Can we ever learn from history?

Another example of "man's inhumanity to man" posted on YouTube is circulating in the Ukrainian community.

Explanation at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum site:

During the Lvov/Lemberg [sic] massacre of June, 1941, the retreating Soviets killed several thousand mostly Ukrainian nationalist prisoners who were being held in several prisons throughout Lvov [sic]. The Germans blamed the massacre on the Jews and used the NKVD's atrocity as propaganda to incite a pogrom in which over 4,000 Jews were killed. A further 7,000 Jews were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen.

It keeps happening over and over again because humanity refuses to learn from history. Very sad.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bandura music site

If you're looking for bandura music, a great place to start is at The Kytasty Foundation.

The Kytasty Foundation was established in 2001 to continue the work and honor the memories of Hryhory Kytasty and Dr. Victor Kytasty. The mission of the foundation is to provide an educational resource of Ukrainian culture by creating and maintaining a permanent online library of freely available and downloadable literature, music, and history.

It is a treasure trove of downloadable mp3s, music scores including pdfs of original manuscripts, historical documents and biographical information on bandura maestro Hryhory Kytasty (1907-1984).

Any time spent there will be most enjoyable ... and enlightening!

Many thanks to Irena Bell, host of the Ukrainian Program on CHIN Radio Ottawa, for sharing this treasure.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Vancouver Ukrainian radio archives updated to July 22

The latest Nash Holos broadcast and podcast are now available for your listening pleasure! Chetverta Khvylia (4th wave) archives are also updated.

On Nash Holos, Sylvia shares a uniquely Ukrainian way to enjoy watermelon; Myrna with more detailed highlights from her most recent tour to Ukraine and the city of Chernivtsi, Fr. Bruce welcomes the new Ukrainian Catholic bishop to BC.

And as usual, plenty of great Ukrainian music...CD of the Week is Що за гамір - a delightful children's CD by Olya Fryz which is absolutely fun for adults as well.

Enjoy!

Last Ukrainian survivor of WWI Canadian Internment operation dies

I was very sad to see this announcement:

The last known survivor of Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920, Mary Manko Haskett, died on July 14 at a senior’s residence in Mississauga, Ontario. She was 98.

Born Mary Manko, in Montreal, she was only 6 years old when she was transported to the Abitibi region of north-central Quebec, to the Spirit Lake concentration camp. So-called “enemy aliens,” mostly Ukrainians who emigrated to the Dominion from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, were held there ...

Mary’s younger sister, Nellie, died at the Spirit Lake camp. ... Despite being a victim, Mary never sought an apology for the wrongs done to her, nor personal compensation for herself or any of the descendents of the internees. Instead she asked ... that money to be placed in a community-managed endowment fund to be used for educational and commemorative initiatives to help ensure that no other Canadian ethnic, religious or racial minority would ever again suffer what Ukrainians once did. ...

[T]he Government of Canada has not yet met its legal obligation to negotiate a unique Ukrainian Canadian Redress and Reconciliation Settlement. ...

Vichnaya pam'yat - memory eternal!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pre-Polubotok gold?

When I saw the headline and subhead for this article my first thought was "Could this be the fabled Polubotok's Gold of ancient lore?

But of course, this stash predates Polubotok by several centuries. So much for that theory! (If you don't know the legend, here it is in a nutshell: Back in 1723 a rich Ukrainian Cossack leader named Polubotok stashed gold in a bank in England shortly before the Russians killed him.)

The Brits have deemed this unearthed find a Viking treasure but did concede that many of the items were from various parts of the world, suggesting (to me anyway) that it was looted treasure.

It's an interesting article, and quite fun, as it picks up on the "lore" aspect of the whole notion of Ukrainian gold squirrelled away in jolly ole' England. In particular, there's an anachronistic reference to "Russia" ... a political entity which was not even a gleam in Prince Ihor's eye at the time this treasure was buried.

Ah well, it's difficult to cram so much history into a few column inches ... which is, I suppose, how legends are created.

I wonder if there is a song about Polubotok's gold ... or if anyone is planning to record one?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Vancouver audio archives updated to July 15

The latest Nash Holos broadcast and podcast are now available for your listening pleasure! .

Sylvia has a couple of easy and very yummy summer dishes with cream; Myrna shares the highlights from her most recent tour to Ukraine, Fr. Bruce reflects on summer’s spiritual gifts. Also, an interview with a local budding iconographer, community events, proverb of the week and plenty of great Ukrainian music...

Enjoy!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Funding cuts and censorship

I came across this rather late ... which just goes to show how the government can get away with slashing funding to multicultural groups.

The Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) published a press release by a Liberal politicial objecting to the funding cuts, and on their blog asked for members to protest.

I don't know if they got much of a response to their campaign, but there is not one comment on their blog post. They could have had at least one, had their moderator seen fit to publish mine.

Maybe it was the point I tried to make. Which is that since this item didn't make it on the radar of the mainstream media, it was a very safe bet for the Conservatives. And which runs contrary to the CEMA president's suggestion that one of the items on the Conservative government's "hidden agenda" may be the abolition of official multiculturalism policy.

IMO it would be politically inexpedient for the Conservatives to do that. Maybe that's not a viewpoint the CEMA wants circulating out there. (Can't have people thinking for themselves, eh?)

If that is indeed the case, that kind of censorship doesn't speak well for such an association, nor for its approach to media freedom in Canada. Of course, it's possible they just haven't got around to approving it yet ... but given it was several days ago now, that doesn't speak well to their efficiency.

Well whatever. Here's what I wrote, FWIW:

They won’t likely abolish the program … it would cost them too many “ethnic” votes.

However, funding cuts have great appeal to those Canadians who object to their taxes going to fund ethnic cultural groups. So for the Conservatives, it’s a win-win.

Something very similar happened under the Mulroney government. I recall when Gerry Weiner, the then-minister for multiculturalism, announced that the government was getting away from what he called “3-D Multiculturalism,” the D’s being “diet, dress and dance.”

That made it very clear that Ukrainian cultural groups would soon be shut out of funding, which did in fact happen.

The end result is that Trudeau’s original vision of multiculturalism as advocated by (and unveiled to) the Ukrainian community is dead and gone. It’s just morphed into an effective tax-payer funded vote-buying program for incumbent governments.

Since many ethnic groups are content enough with lip-service from the government as long as it’s accompanied by a cheque, and since we don’t cross-promote and support each other particularly well, this funding cut was, unfortunately, inevitable… and a savvy political move for the Conservatives.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Vancouver audio archives updated to July 8

The latest Nash Holos broadcast and podcast are now available for your listening pleasure.

And, good news! My radio colleague, Pavlo Manugevych, is back from Europe so there are two new broadcasts of Chetverta Khvylia (4th Wave) also available.

On Nash Holos, learn more about asaparagus and get a yummy, refreshing summer salad recipe; find out what to see on the main street of Ukraine's capital, and get some ideas on how to celebrate Christmas in July.

And of course, plenty of Great Ukrainian Music with a focus on Ukrainian Americans in honour of American Independence Day.

Enjoy!

Interview with Vasyl

Recently, my fellow Ukie blogger, Vasyl Pawlowsky, at the uamuzik blog, was interviewed for an article in a Ukrainian publication called Не будь байдужим which, loosely translated means, I believe, "don't be bored!"

If you can read Ukrainian, check it out here. (With any luck, someone may be convinced to translate it into English... Hint, hint, Vasyl!)

While you're there, spend some time toodling around the site. Very interesting!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Jack hits the road in NYC

Rumour has it that in the Big Apple, CBS Radio is dumping the Jack format and returning Oldies to WCBS-FM New York. However ...

The switch back to Oldies ... is expected to be something of a hybrid, with more emphasis on ‘70’s and ‘80s tunes (within Jack’s territory) and less emphasis on the ‘50s and ‘60s Oldies ‘CBS-FM played during its first three-plus decades.

(More here and here.)

Being on the other side of the continent, and the border, I am nonetheless happy to see this. I don't know if it was simple dislike of oldies or (mistaken) economic considerations that motivated this unprofitable format change two years age. Given that the switchback is still eschewing 50s and 60s music I would guess the former played a large (if not major) role in that decision. Needless to say, I hope they paid top dollar for the lesson!

As an oldies fan myself, I find it encouraging that more and more stations are realizing they can still cash in on the music that boomers love ... and that more younger people than they thought (or care to admit) also enjoy it.

Recently, a U.S. radio network recognized the profitability of the boomer-era music and announced a "new" format called The Lounge. Well, guess what. It's not exactly new. It's a format this station right here in Lotusland took a chance on several years ago, and did very well with, thankyouverymuch.

The moral of this blog post is that you can't dictate musical tastes. And, that it's not profitable to buck marketplace music preferences just because you don't like them!