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Friday, April 19, 2019

Nash Holos featured tunes for Passover 2019

This year Passover happens from sundown Friday April 19, 2019 until sundown on Saturday April 27th.

On Ukrainian Jewish Heritage, Nash Holos shares the details about the ancient traditions and rituals of Passover, as well as a litany of the difficulties Jews faced in Soviet times of religious repression to observe such important holidays as Passover.

Matzo is central to Passover, since it is unleaved bread. During Passover, Jews area forbidden to eat anything containing leaven.

Today Jews living in Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union are able to freely celebrate Passover and matzo is not nearly so difficult to come by. Which is not to say that makes the culinary choices for Jews during Passover easy by any means.

In selecting topical tunes for this week's edition of Nash Holos, I came across several delightful videos on YouTube with great audio tracks that I could share with listeners.

They include two tunes which I thought were perfect to follow the Ukrainian Jewish Heritage feature on Passover.

The first is a hilarious parody of the Irving Berlin classic "Cheek to Cheek." It is sung by Adam B. Shapiro with much different and (needless to say) much funnier lyrics!

The second is a find that was astonishing as it was delightful. It is a video recording of a live performance somewhere in Ukraine (presumably) of a man and some children singing a bilingual version of the Passover hymn Let My People Go, also known as Go Down Moses.

Here there are. Enjoy!



Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018!

Веселих Свят! Христос Раждаєтсья!

Best wishes to Nash Holos listeners for a happy holiday season.

For those celebrating according to the Gregorian calendar, Merry Christmas!

For those celebrating on the Julian calendar, hang in there, your time will be here soon!

Ukrainian Christmas programming for the 2018-2019 Christmas season is underway.

Tune in for great Ukrainian Christmas and New Years carols, Vinchuvannya (Greetings), recipes, and more!

There's a Christmas gift for Nash Holos listeners and supporters at our Patreon site—a printable 2019 at-a-glance calendar. Free to download.

May your Christmas be merry & bright.

З Різдвом Христовим!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Baby It's Cold Outside not banned on Nash Holos

With the recent ban by several radio stations and networks of the holiday classic Baby It's Cold Outside, it's clear that political correctness has gotten out of hand. 

And as with most things that get out of hand, this one is now backfiring.

Social media sites have been flooded with caustic comments (justifiably) ridiculing this ludicrous capitulation to idiocy. 

It all started with a radio station in Cleveland that claimed, earnestly if anachronistically, that the song promotes date rape. 

Then, everyone jumped on the bandwagon.

By "everyone" I mean those who decide what gets played on the air, i.e., program directors and/or management at radio stations and at the networks. 

That is actually the crux of the matter. 

It's not bad enough that the geniuses behind the decision to ban the song are hiding behind the #MeToo movement. Now that there is a growing backlash, they're doubling down on this lame excuse in order to justify their hasty, knee-jerk decision. 

But, to no avail.

Thinking people reject the claim that the reason for the ban is that the lyrics promote violence against women. How disingenuous and hypocritical! Why no ban on the violent, misogynistic lyrics in most rap "music" (my nephew's being a rare exception) which is ubiquitous on the airwaves nowadays? (Don't even get me started on the profanity which, thanks to the pop culture industry, has almost completely displaced thoughtful, respectful discourse, in public and private.) 

So, no. There is nothing offensive about the lyrics in Baby It's Cold Outside. Especially since they were written in 1944. 

As far as I'm concerned, this banning nonsense is mostly the fault of lazy, unimaginative & wimpy decision-makers at radio stations and media networks. 

As in one of my favourite Christmas movies, it's all about "make a buck, make a buck." Do the peabrains behind the decision to ban this (or any) song figure that it will help boost their revenues? Well, who knows, maybe it will. Broadcasting is an industry in flux right now, and stranger things are happening.  

So far Baby It's Cold Outside hasn't been banned on YouTube, but if it ever gets to that, hopefully it will take a long time for them to find this delightful Ukrainian version, which recently aired (and will again) on Nash Holos. 




The controversy over the banning of Baby It's Cold Outside still rages on, even in places like Red Deer

So to be fair and balanced to both sides, here is an updated version which emphasizes consent.

Enjoy! 

Friday, December 07, 2018

Remembering legendary Ukrainian Canadian broadcaster Roman Brytan

Roman Andrew Brytan, born in Edmonton, AB, on December 4, 1959, passed away on November 26, 2018, at the age of 58 years. 

He will best be remembered as the voice of the Ukrainian community across Alberta, and beyond. He was a radio personality as well as a sought-after speaker and spokesman. He was regularly called upon to host and MC events—local, provincial, national and international.

Photo credit:
Park Memorial
Despite working full time in the radio industry, raising a growing family and volunteering in the Ukrainian Canadian community, Roman found (or perhaps made) time to produce and present a daily Ukrainian radio program for 35 years. His highly popular show, Radio Zhurnal, aired on CKER Radio 1480 (which later became 101.7 World FM) from March 1982 until November 2017. 

He had a rich, expressive voice and a way with words that inspired as well as informed and entertained. His was a "voice of authority" without effort on his part. It was just who he was. 

That, plus his innate kindness and generosity, made Roman a great mentor and role model to myself and other Ukrainian Canadian broadcasters. 

He was a great advocate for Ukrainian radio broadcasting in Canada and a consummate professional. In the early days of Nash Holos, back in the 1990s before the internet, he even faxed us news stories from his station's wire services, week in and week out. Just so that we could present the most professional show possible.

As the years went by, he continued to help anyone he could, any way he could. For over a decade, he freely shared his knowledge and resources with a group of us in a private email group. 

He shared new songs that came his way, interviews and information, and other material for our shows. Occasionally, he'd throw out comments just for discussion or "food for thought." He was generous with his wisdom and shrewd insights into politics and other matters. His practical advice always proved invaluable. I always felt enriched, encouraged, and empowered after a conversation with him.

Roman had a really dry sense of humour, and a very sharp wit. Not much got past him. He never gossiped, yet managed to impart his opinion about people, circumstances, and situations elegantly, and clearly. 

A pragmatist, but also a perfectionist in his work, Roman set a high standard for those of us who looked up to him for guidance and inspiration in our own broadcasting endeavours. 

Roman Brytan will be sorely missed, not just as a colleague but also as a friend. 

His funeral was held on December 5, 2018 at Exaltation of the Holy Cross Ukrainian Catholic Church in Edmonton, with interment in St. Michael's Cemetery. 

His obituary was published in the Edmonton Journal (link here). Photos, memories and condolences may be shared through www.parkmemorial.com.

Вічная пам`ять! May his memory be eternal.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Trudeau Liberals fail to stand up for Ukraine

On December 4, 2018, the Trudeau Liberals blocked a motion calling on the Russian Ambassador to appear before the Standing Committee on National Defence. 

Today, December 5, James Bezan, Shadow Minister for National Defence, along with Richard Martel, Associate Shadow Minister for National Defence and Cheryl Gallant, Member of Parliament for Renfrew – Nipissing – Pembroke, issued the following statement: 
 
“The Trudeau Liberals voted to adjourn debate on a motion brought forward by MP Gallant calling on the Ambassador of Russia to testify at the Standing Committee on National Defence, where parliamentarians would have a chance to ask questions about the increasing Russian aggression in the region. The violence has escalated to unprecedented levels with the capture of three Ukrainian ships in international waters by Russian military forces.
 
“The Committee heard loud and clear today from the Ambassadors of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia that their sovereignty and territorial integrity is in serious peril. It is unfortunate that the Trudeau government is failing to assist Canada’s allies in the face of this threat.
 
“The Liberals proved today that they are willing to appease Russia instead of standing with our allies, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and others in the region. It’s unacceptable that Justin Trudeau is damaging Canada’s reputation on the world stage by engaging in diplomacy with despots and dictators.
 
“Canada’s Conservatives continue to condemn Vladimir Putin’s invasion of sovereign Ukrainian territory, and we will not sit back and watch as Putin threatens our NATO allies. We will always stand with Ukraine in its struggle for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we call on the Trudeau government to do the same.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Conservatives condemn the attack and capture of Ukrainian vessels by Russian forces

November 27, 2018
 
Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, today issued the following statement:
 
“Canada’s Conservatives condemn the recent use of military force by Russian forces on three Ukrainian Navy ships, as they transited the Kerch Strait between the Black and Azov Seas. These acts represent an unacceptable escalation of tension in the region, since the beginning of the Russian military occupation of sovereign Ukrainian territory.
 
“As a senior NATO partner, Canada must urge our partners to address Russian aggression in the Black Sea region. The Kerch Strait is key to Ukrainian economic development, and any violation of the transit rights of Ukrainian ships in this area goes against international law.
 
“Today we call on the Liberals to impose a wider range of sanctions against those responsible for the attack. We also urge the Trudeau government to provide lethal aid to Ukraine’s military as we requested last spring.

“Canada’s Conservatives will never recognize Vladimir Putin’s invasion of sovereign Ukrainian territory, nor will we sit back and watch as Putin threatens our NATO allies. We will always stand with Ukraine in its struggle for sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
 
-30-

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Ukrainian recipe: Remembrance Borsch (with yellow beets)

This recipe originated with Ukrainians in the United States. By the early 2000s it was becoming part of their Thanksgiving tradition.

This yellow-coloured borsch was intended to be served as the first course of Thanksgiving Day dinner. Since then, however, the Saturday after American Thanksgiving (i.e., the fourth Saturday in November) has become an official day of remembrance to commemorate Holodomor. This has created a very appropriate, and dedicated, occasion to serve it.

The borsch is always accompanied by a moment of silence. This is in remembrance of the millions of Ukrainians who died in the Holodomor famine-genocide of 1932-33 and the following Years of Terror at the hands of soviet communists. As well, in remembrance and gratitude for those who survived, and for the family's own abundance today.

The recipe is patterned after the meatless borsch served at Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner, Sviat Vechir. It varies from family to family, but the one constant is the substitution of yellow beets for the red.

Yellow (also called golden) beets give the broth a golden colour. Yellow is a colour often related to mourning in Ukrainian culture.

To make Remembrance Borsch, start with a mushroom broth. If you can get them, used dried mushroom caps imported from Poland. (These are the closest to those that used to come from Ukraine before Chornobyl.) Otherwise, use a combination of Italian porcinis, Japanese shiitakes, or other flavourful species.

Soak dried mushrooms several hours or overnight. Wash carefully to get rid of any bits of sand or dirt. Strain the dark water through a coffee filter and add it to the salted cooking water for the washed mushrooms. Let it simmer several hours, adding more boiling water as needed.

If you’re pressed for time, the ready-made mushroom broth now available in supermarkets or delis will do.

To the broth, add chopped or shredded beets, chopped potato, carrot, onion, mushrooms, dillweed, a bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. There are no rules, other than using ingredients that even the poorest peasant would have in his or her bit of garden.

Add your favourite vushka (mushroom-stuffed mini perogie-like dumplings), sprinkle with chopped fresh dill.

If you can’t find yellow beets, use a combination of white turnips and a parsnip (for sweetness). Colour the broth with a few strands of saffron, a pinch of turmeric, or as a last resort, a few drops of yellow food colouring.

If you don’t have the time or skill to make vushka, dried mushroom-filled Italian tortellini are a reasonable facsimile.

Don’t skimp on the fresh dill. (Make sure to use fresh, not dried dill weed or dill seed.) Most supermarkets carry fresh dill year round. As well, it can be chopped and frozen fresh for use later.

Whether or not you are celebrating American Thanksgiving, this is an excellent symbolic borsch to serve during Holodomor Remembrance week wherever you are in the world.

This recipe and the accompanying information came by email from Peter Borisow, of the Hollywood Trident Foundation.

Update: It has been presented on Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio by Judy Hrynenko (audio link here) and Sylvia Molnar (audio link here). These features have aired every November for the past several years in honour of Holodomor Remembrance.

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Nash Holos featured tunes for Passover 2019

This year Passover happens from sundown Friday April 19, 2019 until sundown on Saturday April 27th. On Ukrainian Jewish Heritage, Nash Hol...