The Ukrainian Section at Radio Canada International (RCI) has been cut.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The Ukrainian Section at Radio Canada International (RCI) has been cut.
Monday, March 23, 2009
The workshop was arranged by Ukrainian Folklore Program graduate student and International House resident Huseyin Oylupinar.
Students from China, Iran, Turkey, India, Poland, Ukraine, Brazil and other countries enjoyed refreshments while watching Slavko Novytsky’s classic pysanka film.
The students then began work on their own eggs under the direction of Kononenko, Dr. Peter Holloway, and a group of volunteer assistants including Yanina Vihovska, Svitlana Kukharenko, Genia Boivin, and Greg Holloway.
Beautiful eggs and happy students were the result!
Most of the decorated eggs had traditional pysanka designs. Some students, however, chose innovative adaptations, adjusting their pysanky to incorporate designs and symbols from their home countries.
Judy and I both come from pioneer prairie stock, and our families always just called this relish грін (pronounced "hreen" or "horseradish"). Etymologically, it should be called буряки з хроном (buryaky z xromom) which translates as … you guessed it … beets and horseradish. (In some regions of Ukraine they call it цвікли (tsveeklу).
The amount of sugar and horseradish in this recipe may be varied to suit your taste, as may the vinegar.
Note: If you are brave enough to try and use your own freshly-grated horseradish, wear rubber gloves and make sure the room is well-ventilated! Horseradish is very strong and pungent, because of the volatile mustard oils that are released when it’s grated (yes, even in a food processor). You may want to grate the horseradish at the last minute, after you have all of the other ingredients ready, to minimize the amount of time the vapours are in the air.
To make about 8 cups of this yummy relish, you’ll need :
- 10 to 12 medium-sized beets. Cut off the stems 1 inch above the beets and leave the roots intact. Wash the beets thoroughly and cook in boiling water until they are tender.
- In another pot, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups white vinegar, and a cup of sugar (or more, if preferred... to bring out the flavour of the beets).
- Tie up a tablespoon of pickling spices in some cheesecloth and add to the vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil, and turn to simmer until ready to use.
- When the beets are tender, drain and cover with cold water. Slip off the peel and cut off the stems and roots. Grate the beets on a coarse grater.
- Mix beets with one to two cups of freshly grated or storebought horseradish. (They usually come in glass jars of 125 ml ...which is half a cup.)
- Remove the bag of spices and add the vinegar mixture to the beet mixture.
- Mix thoroughly and pack into sterilized Mason jars. Seal and store in a cool place. Allow the relish to stand for 24 hours before using.
If you’re fasting for Lent, you don’t need to worry about doing a taste test. If it makes you cry while you’re making it, you will know you have an excellent batch of хрін!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Take this recent article about immigration and language.
Calgary Herald columnist Naomi Lakritz praises multiculturalism minister Jason Kenny for wading into the "politically correct minefield" of multiculturalism and being determined to weed out any government-funded programs that promote cultural diversity.
…[T]he government has sensibly ceased funding programs such as heritage language classes. Why should the federal government pay for children to learn the language of the country their parents and grandparents come from? …
"I think it's really neat that a fifth-generation Ukrainian Canadian can speak Ukrainian-- but pay for it yourself," Kenney says. Kenney's right--it is neat. If you can speak your family's mother tongue, your life is just that much more enriched. But such immersion in heritage shouldn't come at the expense of you identifying yourself as a Canadian first --and it certainly shouldn't come at Canadian taxpayers' expense.
Now let me see if I read this right.
Cross-cultural education is "neat and enriching" for the kids of immigrants who are fortunate enough to grow up immersed in the heritage language and culture of whence they came. But an intimate knowledge of one's heritage culture can actually be harmful to Canadian self-identity. So it behooves our government to ensure that kids born in Canada are denied such enrichment.
Then the government turns around and digs deep into the pockets of these unenriched Canadians to provide programs that give culturally enriched newcomers a leg up?
It sure looks like native-born Canadians are getting the short end of the stick here.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t welcome newcomers and help them adjust to life in Canada. (I’m of Ukrainian descent, and Ukrainians are known as some of the most hospitable and helpful people in the world. I recall reading in an old magazine (circa 1919) I found in the local Ivan Franko library about some Canadian travelers who were lost in the wilds of Saskatchewan and were amazed at the willingness of a Ukrainian settler to take time away from tending her desperately ill child to help them get their bearings.) Helping newcomers integrate is the right thing to do. Obviously.
I'm not saying I disagree with Ms. Lakritz that ... "Part of the integration process means you leave your old hatreds and animosities at home and adopt enlightened Canadian attitudes of respect for other people's race, religion and basic human rights."
Nor am I saying that newcomers shouldn’t be required to learn our official language(s). When my grandparents and great-grandparents came to Canada they learned English, paid for it themselves, and didn’t complain about it.
For awhile there, tho, it looked like as a society we finally were starting to make some progress. In 1971 the Multiculturalism Act was introduced, and progressive-minded people succeeded in getting heritage language programs into the public schools so that future generations would be more culturally literate than mine. (Altho if some of today's short-sighted national leaders and media elites have their way, they won’t be for much longer.)
No. What I am saying is that it's detrimental to all Canadians that our collective attitudes still aren't enlightened enough to grasp the benefits of knowing more than one language. Given the medical studies cited in this CTV article and on American TV news, just imagine the cost-savings to our health-care system! (Never mind the cultural enrichment.)
It would benefit all Canadians, native-born and newly-arrived alike, if heritage language programs got more respect than lip service from government, media, and in fact many mainstream Canadians.
Actually, if heritage language programs got anywhere near as much respect as they do lip service, it would be a vast improvement for all Canadians … including those who have to be dragged kicking and screaming into truly enlightened times.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
- Shred a small head of cabbage. Make sure to discard the core.
- Chop up a medium onion and sauté with the cabbage in about 2 tablespoons of oil, until limp.
- Brown a pound of ground beef or pork and add it to two cups of cooked rice. Mix with the cabbage and onion mixture, with a teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and garlic to taste (either crushed fresh garlic or garlic powder).
- Put the mixture into a casserole dish or small roaster.
- Add one can of tomato soup and mix well.
- Bake at 350ºF for about an hour, till heated through.
As I watched and listened to the "Irish Tenors" singing during the Prairie Public Television membership drive this week, with each song I felt a closer kinship to them and the Irish. A long time ago I heard someone say that the Ukrainians are the Irish of the East, and the Irish are the Ukrainians of the West. Much in our histories is common: a fierce love of land, independent spirit, invasion and subjugation, intense struggles for freedom over the centuries, genocides by famine, emigration, exile, foreigners settling the land, invaders' attempts to systematically destroy the language, history and culture, loss of ethnic lands, and ultimate independence. Both our people have that ancient folk heritage, and we all sing, dance, cry, fight and love. ...
In their performances the tenors sing about and live the lives and history of the Irish. Even via the television screen I could feel the intense connection between the singers and their lyrics and the Dublin audience...
Our "striletski" (Ukrainian Sich Riflemen of World War I) and "povstanski" (Ukrainian Insurgent Army of World War II) songs express the same thoughts. ... Our songs about leaving home for a better place across the sea are just as melancholy. ...
This touching story is timeless. So enjoy! Full article here.
He recalled his mom making them (often) ... but whenever an unexpected visitor would come to the farm, everyone would all scramble to stuff the evidence into a closet, out of sight.
Why, I asked?
Because, he replied, no one wanted to be caught dead making pryohy … it was peasant food!
This struck me as very odd. Everyone made them, and everyone knew everyone else made them, and everyone loved them. The fact that they were inexpensive to make had to be a bonus!
Well, no, he said. They were ashamed to be so poor that all they could afford to eat was pyrohy. And it would be a disgrace, if not an insult, to serve them to guests.
I know Ukrainians can be funny sometimes (and I don’t mean necessarily ha-ha funny) … so I took may dad’s word for it. I knew very well how my dad always felt it was necessary to produce lavish “lunches” for guests (unexpected or not) as a way to demonstrate the family's prosperity… as well as to be hospitable and throw a great party. (My dad is *very* social!)
Still, something about his perogies-in-the-closet story stuck with me, but I thought it was just my dad’s family being weird. After all, I knew my family.
Or so I thought.
One day, some time later, I mentioned Dad’s story to my mom, and how odd I thought it was. Then she told me, very matter of factly, that her family did exactly the same thing!
Who knew?? All those years growing up with both of these people, and no one said.
Well, we’ve come a long way. But I wonder what all my grandparents and long-departed relatives (and who knows who else's grandparents and relatives) would think if they were to see not only unexpected visitors, but TV cameras coming to film them making pyrohy? (Not to mention making a living selling “peasant food”…)
Something tells me that, after getting over the shock, they would be rather pleased ... and would quite enjoy seeing something like this on TV.
- Chetverta Khvylia (4th Wave) has expanded to one full hour, starting at 1 p.m. Sundays on CJSF 90.1 FM. Pavlo has temporarily handed over the mic to Yuriy Lubkovych and Andriy Zinchuk, exchange students from Ukraine with broadcast experience who are currently studying at BCIT.
- Ukrainian Food Flair is back ... with host Judy Hrenenko of Prairie Cottage Perogies. Judy has been making perogies and other yummy Ukrainian favourites for 30+ years so she knows whereof she speaks! For her radio debut on last Sunday's program, she recalls making holubtsi in the homeland, and shares an easy recipe for making lazy holubtsi at home. Next week: Easter beets and horseradish.
- Fr. Ihor Kutash tells the fascinating story of 13th century monk St. Gregory Palamas
- An interview with Riffmaster conducted by Vasyl Pawlowsky who caught up with him at the video debut of Riffmaster's latest Ukrainian release, Lyst do dushi (Letter to the Soul).
- Proverb of the Week, upcoming community events listings, and great Ukrainian music!
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
Whites and blacks are shown returning from war, surfing, skateboarding, dancing and waving American flags at political rallies, while a boyish Dylan and a present-day will.i.am take turns singing the Dylan classic, "Forever Young," each in his signature style. ...
Ads like these are part of a subtle, yet increasingly visible strategy that marketers refer to as "visual diversity" — commercials that enable advertisers to connect with wider audiences while conveying a message that corporate America is not just "in touch," racially speaking, but inclusive.
It wasn't always like this. For much of the past century, "minorities were either invisible in mainstream media, or handed negative roles that generally had them in a subservient position," says Jerome Williams, a professor of advertising and African-American studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
Today, you're starting to see a juxtaposition of blacks and whites together, doing the things people do ...
These "multiculti" ads may be evidence of the vitality of assimilation, America's distinctive, master trend. To advertisers, though, they're simply smart business — a recognition of a new cultural mainstream that prizes diversity, a recognition that we are fast approaching a day when the predominant hue in America will no longer be white.
"Going forward, all advertising is going to be multicultural by definition, because in most states, majority ethnic populations will no longer exist," says Danny Allen, managing director at SENSIS, an ad agency in Los Angeles that specializes in reaching multicultural audiences through digital and online media.
This tendency to define multiculturalism strictly in terms of race has been going on a long time, and it has bugged me just as long. Obviously I do not have anything against multi-racialism. But when is our society going to become sophisticated, confident, and caring enough to start correctly identifying a spade as a spade and a shovel as a shovel? There is a lot more to multiculturalism than skin colour.
Such ads often depict, [says Karl Carter, chief executive of the marketing agency GTM Inc. (Guerrilla Tactics Media)] "a bunch of different races playing along, side by side, Kumbaya."
The ads may play well now, but Carter wonders how long they will be effective — particularly as America "beiges" and race becomes less essential to how individuals self-identify. Over the long run, advertisers would do better, he says, to focus on a cultural approach with versatile images and campaigns easily adapted to highly individualized tastes. Put another way: How do hip-hoppers feel? What are the common desires of surfers, or skateboarders, or kayakers?
Add to that list, people who are interested in their ethnic heritage culture(s)... While it’s encouraging that some marketers are finally starting to think in these terms, I'm frankly quite amazed that it is taking so long for the majority to catch on.
As well, there still are precious few companies interested in catering to people interested in their ethnic heritage cultures. There are a few that do it on a superficial level, such as companies that sell language instruction courses. But they seem to be in a time warp. Rosetta Stone doesn’t even offer Ukrainian. Pimsleur does but the course is so outdated and laden with soviet propaganda it is laughable and hard to take seriously. BeforeYouKnowIt offers just a basic course and based on my email discussion with a company representative, isn’t interested in offering anything more.
Apparently these companies don’t consider the 2+ million North Americans of Ukrainian descent, the majority of whom have lost the language, a lucrative enough market.
Perhaps with the current economic downturn they may change their attitude.
Shreffler, the ad industry newsletter editor, says marketers aren't sociologists and in the end green — not black or white or brown — is often the most important color.
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