Listen or Download:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Zakuska Polka

Stompin' Tom Conners' ode to the Ukrainian Canadian community was featured on Nash Holos last Sunday, July 25. It was performed by the Kubasonics... and the song followed a rather accurate if brief re-enactment of an after-dinner scenario at a traditional Ukrainian hall gathering.

For the Ukrainian-impaired, here are some translations so you can know what you are saying as you sing along:

Samahonka = home brew
Kubasa = garlic sausage
Perogy = pierogi, pyrohy, stuffed dumpling, button
Borsch = beet soup
Polka = very energetic traditional dance
Zakuska = appetizer

Here are the lyrics to Zakuska Polka :

Upupupup, Papa, upupupup!
Come up and dance Mama,upupupup!
Samahonka! Put some in cup!

Come up and dance, and when you wish,
You could eat one, pickled fish!
Maybe cabbage roll, perogy, kubasa,
Maybe bowl of borsch, and polka!

Zakuska polka, she's very fine,
Sometime we dance, sometime we dine.
Sometime we drink, eep! Too much wine!
But, Zakuska's good anytime!

Upupupup, Papa, upupupup!
Come up and dance Mama,upupupup!
Samahonka! Put some in cup!

Come up and dance, and when you wish,
You could eat one, pickled fish!
Maybe cabbage roll, perogy, kubasa,
Maybe bowl of borsch, and polka!

Zakuska polka, she's very fine,
Sometime we dance, sometime we dine.
Sometime we drink, eep! Too much wine!
But, Zakuska's good anytime!

Upupupup, Papa, upupupup!
Come up and dance Mama,upupupup!
Samahonka! Put some in cup!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Nash Holos audio archives updated to July 25, 2010

Program podcast and other updates now available at the Nash Holos website.

This week's Cultural Capsule with Vasyl Pawlowksy features Canada's National Ukrainian Festival. Irena Bell's Did You Know is about the largest country in Europe. Father Ihor Kutash will be returning, and I'm working on something new and very different to air in rotation with him.

Our recipe was an encore presentation of Judy's cousin's apple cake which was featured last summer (here). Although Judy has left us to concentrate on her expansion plans for Prairie Cottage Perogies, I'm re-running some of her more colourful presentations for the benefit of any new listeners who may have missed the original broadcast, particularly listeners of the International Editions airing on the PCJMedia network. I'm in discussions with a couple of potential replacements. Will keep you posted.

Stay tuned for details of all these changes as they come available.

In the meantime, check out the archives and enjoy an hour of fun, Ukrainian style, on Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ukrainian Day celebrations in Langley, BC

Ukrainian Independence Day celebrations will take place this year Sat. Aug. 28-29 during the Langley International Festival.

The opening ceremony starts at 11 am and will end with a flag raising/flag presentation followed by the singing of the Ukrainian National Anthem, Shche ne Vmerla Ukraina.

The MC of the event is MP Mark Warawa. Performances by musicians and dancers will be scheduled throughout the 2-day event. Food may be purchased on-site. The Ukrainian kitchen is by Prairie Cottage Perogies (Judy Hrynenko). The basic menu is pyrohy & kovbasa.

Free admission!

This outdoor event takes place at Willoughby Park, next to the new Langley Events Center. It's located at 7888 200 St. in Langley ... at the SE corner of 200 St. and 80 Ave. (enter off 80 Ave.) exactly 1.6km (or 4th traffic light south from Hwy 1).

The Festival location will have a beer and wine garden, a Main Stage, Seniors’ Chalet, Children’s’ Chalet, Marketplace, and plenty of parking! Adjacent is a Children’s Playground and Spray Park.

Other activities include a soccer tournament all day, and a performance of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7PM. Check the website for complete information.

Here's a map of the venue and driving instructions to get to the park.

Here's an instrumental version of the Ukrainian National Anthem with a lovely slideshow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Great CD of Montreal kids singing Ukrainian songs

Last Sunday's program featured a bunch of very talented kids singing the Ivasiuk classic Vodohrai (Водограй) which translates as "Dance of the Waterfountain."

This tune is from their recently-released CD Усміхнися Сонечко which means "smiling sun" in rough translation.

The CD is a collection of seasonal songs including Миколай (St. Nicholas Day), Mother's Day, Shevchenko, summer, a kolomeyka and a western.

It is an exceptional recording and an absolute delight to listen to. It is on par with any recording of adults and the best ones at that.

The singers are all students of the Metropolitan Andrei Sheptycky Ukrainian School of Montreal. The school has about 100 students ranging in age from 4-17. The singers on this recording were from 4-13. The CD also comes with a pdf of all the song lyrics (in Ukrainian Cyrillic).

The school's singing/music teacher is Vera Kulycky who is well known on Montreal's Ukrainian music scene. She also directs a young girls' trio/sextet who have performed at many local functions as well as the Montreal Ukrainian Festival.

Vera's husband Yourko Kulycky (formerly of the Montreal band 1945) programmed the music, recorded, and mixed the children's album, while Vera arranged and conducted the children in the vocals.

Many thanks to Roman Kostyk of Pryvit for connecting us and making this fabulous CD found its way into the Nash Holos music library.

If you'd like a copy for your own music library, send Vera an email or order through Yevshan.

The CD is $15 and all proceeds go to support the school.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sauerkraut Soup (Kapusniak)

Cabbage is considered Ukraine’s national food. Ukrainians eat about seven times as much cabbage as the average North American!

There is historical and botanical evidence that cabbage has been cultivated for more than 4,000 years, and domesticated for over 2,500 years.

Before cole crops (brassica) were domesticated, they were collected from the wild and used primarily as medicinal herbs.

Early cabbage was not the full-bodied head we take for granted today, but rather a loose-leaf variety. Brussels sprouts are the most recent crop, having come into existence less than 500 years ago.

Cabbage was introduced into the Black Sea region by Greek and Roman colonists in the 9th century, so no wonder it has long been a staple in Ukrainian cookery! Whether fresh (sweet) or fermented (sour), this vegetable is ubiquitous.

Here is a traditional Ukrainian for sauerkraut soup (kapusniak), courtesy Judy Hrynenko of Prairie Cottage Perogies . She first shared this recipe on Nash Holos last January.


2-3 lbs of pork spareribs or pork neck bones
1 pork hock, smoked
8 cups water
1 large onion
3 bay leaves
2 tsp black pepper corns
2 tsp salt
1 jar or large can of sauerkraut

(Tip: purchase smoked pork hocks at any butcher shop. Or use ham, the kind with the bone. )
Wash the meat, place in a soup pot and cover with water.

Bring to a boil, skim off the scum that comes to the top. Turn down and add bay leaves, peppercorns and salt. Simmer until meat is tender — about 1½ hours.

Add sauerkraut and onion, and continue cooking until tender. Add salt to taste.

Remove ribs and pork hock from the pot and separate meat from bones. Discard bones. Cut the meat into bite size pieces, and return to pot to reheat.

Serve with a hearty rye bread, and enjoy!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Looking for descendants of Canada's first Ukrainian settlers

The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Dr. Josef Oleskow’s birth during this year's Ukrainian Day on August 8, 2010.

Who was Dr. Josef Oleskow?

In 1895, Dr. Josef Oleskow toured Canada with a plan of organizing groups of homesteaders from present-day Western Ukraine and sending them to Canada. The first group arrived in Canada in April, 1896 aboard the S.S. Christiania, and settled in the Edmonton district in early May.

Are you a descendant of this group?

While Oleskow will be honoured, so will this first group of settlers. Their descendants will be acknowledged with commemorative certificates and take part in a wreath laying ceremony at his monument at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.

Adult members of the first group:

Andruchow, Gregor & Anna, Petro, Wasyl, 2 children (Slobidka Dzhurynska)
Chorny, Oleksa & Maria, 2 children (Semykivtsi)
Danchuk, Ivan & Maria, Tekla, 4 children (Zavydche)
Dziwenka, Joseph & Magdalena, 2 children (Slobidka Dzhurynska)
Fuhr, Fedor (Vysotsko)
Guberski, Pawlo (Lazy)
Halkow, Ivan & Anna, 4 children (Horozhanna Mala)
Hawrylenko, Ivan & Anna, 5 children (Nyzhniv)
Keryk, Lucian & Melania, 3 children
Lakusta, Ivan Andreja & Kataryna, Anna, Ivan (Zavallia)
Lakusta, Ivan Theodora (Zavallia)
Maciborski, Demeter & Adolphine, Mykhailo, 5 children
Nemirsky, Konstantin & Maria, Wasyl, 4 children (Bilche Zolote)
Peskliwec, Wasyl & Pelagia, 2 children (Trybukhivtsi)
Procinsky, Josef & Daria, 2 children (Leshniv)
Procinsky, Leon & Eva, 3 children (Leshniv)
Roskosz, Petro & Kaska, 1 child (Trybukhivtsi)
Rudyk, Teodor & Maria, 1 child (Shchurovychi)
Samborski, Hnat; Sawka, Anton & Rosalia, Olga, 2 children (Ritchytsia)
Stecky, Nichola & Maria, 2 children
Tichuk, Anton & Anna, Maria, Anastasia, 6 children
Yadlowski, Ivan

If you are one of these people, or know someone who is a descendant of this first group, please contact the Alberta-Ukraine Genealogical Project office immediately at 780-431-2324, or by e-mail

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kubasonics in concert with Haydamaky in Edmonton

Ukraine’s famous Carpathian Ska band and EastBlok Music recording artists, Haydamaky, return to Edmonton July 27, 2010 for a one-night concert engagement at Edmonton Events Centre.

Fusing the sounds of reggae, ska, punk and traditional Ukrainian music – Haydamaky have cleared the path for a new wave of Ukrainian music dubbed “Kozak Rock.”

Opening for Haydamaky is Edmonton's own Kubasonics who take Ukrainian music down a number of interesting different paths.

Showtime is 8pm-11:30pm.

Tickets are available at the Ukrainian Bookstore in Edmonton (10215-97th street northwest) or by TicketWeb (1-888-222-6608).

For more information contact Nadine Samycia or call 780-988-8914.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Become a World Wonder!

The search is on for the finest voice in the land!

Edmonton's 101.7 WorldFM is preparing to host a showcase of the best undiscovered vocal talents of Edmonton and beyond... and is looking to discover talented singers.

So enter soon (deadline is July 21) for a chance to share your love of music with an adoring public!

Just e-mail an mp3 file or drop a CD off at the station, and you’re entered to become a World Wonder. (Don’t worry about the technical quality of the recording … you won’t be judged on that!)

You can perform in any of World FM’s broadcast languages (including Ukrainian) or in English.

The five finalists will be invited to sing their songs live on stage at the Heritage Amphitheatre in Hawrelak Park during the Servus Heritage Festival on August 2nd 2010.

The 2010 World Wonder will be crowned that day, and cash prizes will awarded for $2,000(1st place)), $1,000 (2nd place) and $500 (3rd place).

Rules on-line here or can be picked up at World FM headquarters, 5915 Gateway Blvd. in Edmonton.

For more information contact Roman Brytan, Program Director at 101.7 World FM Edmonton by phone 780-702-1138 or email.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sour Cherry Cheesecake

Just got a call from a listener requesting this recipe, which aired on Nash Holos June 20.

With cherry season in full swing, this is the time of year to make it! It calls for
sour cherries, tho, which aren't as easily found in supermarkets and greengrocers as the sweeter Bing or Rainier varieties.

If you are lucky enough to have a sour cherry tree in your backyard, make sure to try this yummy recipe. If you don't, and can't find a local greengrocer or fruit stand that sells them, you can always get them in a jar at supermarket or East European deli. (They may also be labelled Morello cherries.)

This recipe for Sour Cherry Cheesecake, courtesy Judy Hrynenko of
Prairie Cottage Perogies is a modern adaptation of a traditional cheesecake.

As with most traditional Ukrainian cheesecakes, it uses cottage cheese rather than cream cheese. However, the short pastry crust is replaced with one made of a crumb mixture.

Tip: Make sure to use dry cottage cheese and not the creamed variety.

Sour Cherry Cheesecake

3/4 cup graham wafer crumbs
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp soft butter
1 lb dry cottage cheese
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup thick cream
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cherries, fresh, frozen or from the jar, cut in half
1/4 cup walnuts

Mix the crumbs with the sugar and cinnamon. Work in the butter. Pat evenly into the bottom and sides of a buttered 8x8" baking pan.

Press the cheese through a sieve or if you have a food processer, just a few pulses will do to make it smooth.

Beat the egg yolks, adding the sugar gradually and beating continually until light and fluffy. Combine with cheese.

Add salt, cream, lemon rind, cornstarch, vanilla and cherries. Mix thoroughly.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture.

Spread over the crumb crust and sprinkle with the chopped nuts.

Bake in a moderate oven (325ºF) for 55 to 60 minutes. When done, open the oven door and leave the cake inside to cool for 1/2 hour.

For an even fuller, richer taste, top with whipped cream.


Friday, July 09, 2010

Airport Transfers in Kyiv

When planning my next trip to Ukraine, this company will be at the top of my list.

This professional-looking site for ground transportation in the Ukrainan capital city is crisp, clean and totally uncluttered with trashy flesh-peddling ads. A refreshing change from most sites based in Ukraine.

My only complaint is that it still uses the stodgy soviet-era spelling of their city (Kiev) instead of the contemporary, and very cool, Kyiv. Maybe they'll get with it soon. :-)

But in the meantime, I'll certainly be checking it out, and recommending that others do as well.

You can check it out here.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Ukrainian recipe: Cottage cheese dumplings (Halushky)

The term "cottage cheese" was first used in the mid 19th century. It’s a simple cheese made by cottage dwellers from milk left over, after making butter … hence the name.

This soft cheese is the most common in traditional Ukrainian cuisine, unlike the hard cheeses common to other European cultures. In modern-day Ukraine, however, you will find more varieties of cheeses. The Ukrainian word for cheese, btw, is сир (cyr).

Cottage cheese is low in fat and carbohydrates, and high in protein. A four-ounce serving of regular cottage cheese is about 120 calories. A fat-free variety of the same serving size has 80 calories. To compensate for the flavor missing from the fat, low-fat and non-fat ones tend to have more sugar in them.

Cottage cheese is very versatile and can be used to make delicious sweet and savoury dishes. Here is a recipe for a savoury one that aired on Nash Holos April 18, 2010.

Cottage Cheese Halushky (Dumplings)

2 cups of grated raw potatoes, drained
1 cup cold mashed potato
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon grated onion
½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper, or to taste
½ cup of flour or more.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup dry cottage cheese

Use a fine grater to grate the potatoes, and make sure to drain them well. The potato pulp should not be watery, but almost dry. (Try grating the potatoes into a sieve lined with cheesecloth.)

After potatoes are grated, gather the ends of the cheesecloth together and squeeze out any remaining moisture. Place in a large mixing bowl.

Next, sieve the cold cooked mashed potatoes and add to the grated potatoes, along with the egg, onion, salt and pepper.

Sift the flour with the baking powder and stir into the potato mixture. For a tasty variation, add some chopped fresh dill, two tablespoons or more.

The mixture should be thick enough to shape. If it’s not, add more flour, about a tablespoon at a time.

Form the mixture into small balls, about an inch in diameter. Flatten each one, and place a teaspoon of the cottage cheese filling on it, bring the edges up and seal them, shaping the ball into an oval. Place the dumplings into a frying pan with oil and fry until golden brown, for about seven to ten minutes.

Drain on a paper towel, then place on a platter. Serve with sour cream and creamed cottage cheese.


Compilation of Ukrainian language resources in Canadian archives

Довідник (Archival Ucrainica in Canada: A Guide) is a recently-published Ukrainian-language reference work on Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Canadian holdings in Canadian archival repositories.

The book was co-published by the State Committee on Archives of Ukraine (SCAU, Kyiv), the Ukrainian Research Institute of Archival Affairs and Record Keeping URIAARK, Kyiv), and the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) at the University of Alberta.

At 884 pages, it's the most comprehensive compilation of its kind, and is unlikely to be superseded for a long time.

The guide offers a detailed survey of a wide range of collections, both large and small, throughout Canada. Among these are the holdings of:
The holdings are described thoroughly. They include accession numbers, size, dates of acquisition, and detailed content listings. The guide covers most, if not all, Canadian depositories containing archival information about Ukrainians.

The driving force behind this project was Dr. Iryna Matiash, deputy director of SCAU (and previously head of URIAARK). She began her research on archival Ucrainica in Canada while visiting here in 2006 as a Kolasky Fellow under the auspices of CIUS. She subsequently oversaw the preparation of the guide by a team of colleagues in Kyiv, who were assisted by several Ukrainian-Canadian specialists.

The compilers serving under the direction of Dr. Matiash were Maryna Kovtun, Anzhela Maistrenko, Liudmyla Prykhodko, Rostyslav Romanovsky, and Khrystyna Vintoniv. Rostyslav Romanovsky and Svitlana Artomanova served as bibliographic editors. All the compilers and bibliographic editors are staff members of URIAARK in Kyiv. Myron Momryk (Library and Archives Canada, retired), Andrij Makuch (CIUS), Orest Martynowych (independent scholar, Winnipeg), and Radomir Bilash (Historic Sites and Museums, Province of Alberta) served as academic consultants for the guide.

Dr. Matiash had earlier prepared a shorter (150-page) work on Ukrainian archival holdings in Canada, published in 2008 (described in the CIUS Newsletter 2009), which focused on the transfer of private archives to public institutions, their typology, and general descriptions of holdings.

Book launches for Архівна україніка в Канаді: довідник (Archival Ucrainica in Canada: A Guide), published earlier this year in Kyiv were held recently in five Canadian cities. They followed its inaugural launch earlier this year at the Canadian embassy in Kyiv on April 19 .

At the Kyiv launch, Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine, His Excellency G. Daniel Caron, stressed that the publication of the guide was a notable achievement involving Ukrainian and Canadian scholars. The final launch of the guide is to take place in Lviv this fall.

Canadian launches took place in Toronto on 1 June at the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre (UCRDC), in Ottawa on 3 June at the Ukrainian embassy, in Winnipeg on 6 June at the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre (Oseredok), in Edmonton on 8 June at the Provincial Archives of Alberta (PAA), and in Calgary on 9 June at St. Vladimir’s Cultural Centre.

The guide (ISBN 966-8225-39-0) is priced at $49.95 in Canada and is available from the CIUS Edmonton office. Call Iryna at 780/492.2973 or send an email.

At Dr. Iryna Matiash’s presentation in Edmonton (L‒R): Irene Jendziowskyj, Zenon Kohut, Iryna Matiash, Bohdan Klid, Radomir Bilash, Andriy Nahachewsky, Bohdan Medwidsky, and Nadia Cyncar.
Photos courtesy CIUS.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Good summer project for student writers

A competition with 2 awards ($500 and $1000 each) has been announced by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA). This year marks the UCCLA foundation's third annual student writing competition.

Two separate awards are being offered. The High School Civil Liberties Award will go to a Canadian student aged 13-18 who submits a research essay of up to 1,500 words based on a Holodomor theme. Judging will be based solely on the quality of essay content. Value: $500. Submission deadline: October 29, 2010.

The Civil Liberties Opinion-Editorial Award will go to a high school or post-secondary student whose Holodomor-based opinion-editorial appears in print in a major Canadian newspaper prior to the November 30, 2010 deadline. Value: $1,000 (subject to change in the event that an op-ed from more than one student appears in a major Canadian newspaper).

“The Foundation has already doled out $2,000 since 2008,” said Andriy Harasymiw, Scholarships Director for the Foundation. "The inaugural year of the competitions marked the 75th anniversary of Ukraine’s Famine-Genocide – the Holodomor. We are once again encouraging students to actively engage in and do research on a civil liberties theme and to commemorate victims of genocide."

Last year, Adrian Warchola of Edmonton was awarded $500 by the Foundation in winning the High School Civil Liberties prize with his essay entitled "Extermination of the Breadbasket of Europe." In 2008, Antin Stowell of Winnipeg won the High School Civil Liberties prize of $500. Also in 2008, the Foundation awarded Christina Dykun of Toronto $1,000 for her Holodomor opinion-editorial in the Calgary Sun.

“We’re very pleased with the quality of applications we have received through the first two years of the competitions,” said Harasymiw. “The Foundation looks forward to receiving many high-quality submissions in the upcoming months.”

More detailed information along with application forms can be obtained by e-mailing the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation here.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Nash Holos recipe: Tasty, tangy onion salad

This unassuming salad is always a pleasant surprise … tangy, crunchy and an absolute delight to the taste buds.

Onions are used in cooking in practically every country in the world. In Ukraine, where it is called цибуля (tsibulya), onion has long been considered an indispensable vegetable flavourings.

Onions come in many varieties, varying in shape, size, weight, colour and pungency. The cause of the onion’s strong smell and flavour is a volatile oil rich in sulphur compounds. Because it causes crying without real cause, in Ukrainian folklore the tsybulia is a symbol of hypocrisy. "She rubbed her eyes with onions" is said about someone who pretends to cry.

A tip to remember to avoid real tears: peel onions under running water.

In the meantime, here is a recipe for a simple yet absolutely delicious onion salad (courtesy Sevala’s Ukrainian Deli in Winnipeg).

It’s really quite simple. All you do is marinate sliced onions in a sweet and sour brine overnight, then dress it up.

For the brine you will need:

½ cup water
½ cup vinegar
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper

This will be enough brine to marinate 1 large onion. The brine keeps for a long time in the fridge, so you can make it in smaller batches if you like.

Use sweet onion and slice it very thin. A bit of red onion adds nice colour. Bring the brine ingredients to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Cool, then pour over onion slices. Allow to marinate for at least 5 hours, or overnight.

Remove onion from brine and drain well. Toss gently with mayonnaise to taste, and sprinkle with celery seeds.

Serve, and enjoy. Смачного!

Featured Post

Giving Tuesday - Worthy Ukrainian (and other) causes to support

After the excitement of Black Friday and Cyber Monday subsides, along comes Giving Tuesday. Also known as the Global Day of Giving, or in Uk...