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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.


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

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.”

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 sad commemoration has created a very appropriate, and dedicated, occasion to serve this symbolic dish.

The borsch is always accompanied by a moment of silence. 

This moment of silence 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. 

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

Please feel free to incorporate this ritual dish into your American Thanksgiving and/or Holodomor commenorations, and share the story with others. 

If you would like a proper recipe for Remembrance Borsch, with proportions, I have shared one which was adapted from my award-winning entry in the 2015 Borsch Competition in Victoria. Story and recipe here

My Excellent Adventure at the 2015 Borsch Fest in Victoria

Had a wonderful time at the 2015 Borsch Fest in Victoria, BC on Saturday, November 07!

One of the organizers, Maria Koropecky (who was interviewed on the Nov. 4 edition of Nash Holos) challenged me to enter the competition, so I did.

I was honoured (and, quite frankly, astounded) that my entry won the People's Choice Award ... and also Judges' Honourable Mention.

Came home with a cash prize (which covered the cost of ingredients and gas for the drive down to Victoria) for the People's Choice Award. For the Honourable Mention, I received a copy of a great cookbook by one of the judges, Cinda Chavich, The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook: Save Food, Save Money, and Save the Planet.

The theme of this book is especially poignant, as Ukrainians tend to abhor wasting food, given how often throughout history, especially during the soviet era, it was denied them.

Along with Cinda, the other judges were Lee Aitchison,Hospitality Management Instructor at Camosun College; and Michael Tymchuk, producer of CBC's food show The Main Ingredient.

The borsch I entered was not the typical beet red that most people associate with borsch. That's because it was made with yellow (golden) beets.

It's called Remembrance Borsch, in honour of the Holodomor, the soviet-engineered famine that deliberately starved to death 7-10 million Ukrainians in 1932-33.

The colour yellow is symbolic of mourning in Ukrainian tradition, so that's why this borsch is made with yellow beets. 
I've been sharing the story of Remembrance Borsch with listeners of Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio for several years now. If you're not familiar with it, and would like to be, check out this blog post.

For anyone who tasted my Remembrance Borsch at the Borsch Fest and would like to try making it, I am very sorry but there is no recipe proper (as in with proportions). And I am unlikely to ever reproduce the batch I made (with the help of my friend Gerri) as I didn't keep track of the proportions I used.

However, I will share what I remember, to the best of my abillity. The rest is up to you. Which is kind of fitting, because by nature Ukrainians are very individualistic and independent ... and that is in large part why the Soviets tried to wipe them out, by starvation and other gruesome methods.

November is Holodomor Remembrance Month, and the last Saturday of November is set aside as Holodomor Remembrance Day. At sunset, candles are lit in remembrance of those who perished in this heinous, man-made famine. To me, it's very important to make this borsch and remember the millions of innocent victims, so that never again will human beings be starved by the millions merely to promote an ideology. 

This recipe for Remembrance Borsch should create a reasonable facsimile of the one I made for Borsch Fest.

8-10 cups shredded or diced yellow beets
5-6 cups shredded cabbage
3 cups finely chopped onion
1-2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
6 cups diced potatoes
5 cups diced rutabaga
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups chopped fresh dill
1/4 lb. butter
3 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp black pepper
3 litres mushroom broth
1-2 litres beetroot broth
2-3 Tbsp lemon or lime juice

Saute the mushrooms, onion, half the cabbage, and half the dill in butter until the veggies are a nice golden colour.

Put them in a large stock pot, along with the liquids, seasonings, and the rest of the veggies, except for the beets. Simmer until the potaotes and rutabaga are soft, about 1/2 hour.

Add the shredded beets, and gently simmer for about 1/2 hour.

NB: Make sure the borsch does NOT boil vigorously. Borsch should never be boiled. It makes the beets lose their colour and just does something to the taste that is less than desirable. Keep it at a gentle simmer.

This will make a huge stock pot full, about 10-12 litres, so you might want to cut the ingredients in half. 

A tip for preparing the beets for borsch, especially using red beets: Scrub really well, trim off any blemishes, and put them to simmer, with the skin on. When soft, drain the beets and cool. Reserve the liquid. This will be your beetroot broth. When beets are cool, peel and shred. Adding the beets at the end will keep the beets from going white, so your borsch will have a nice, rich colour.

I hope that some day serving this yellow borsch to commemorate Holodomor Remembrance Day will be part of Ukrainian tradition. We should never forget.

If you decide to try it, I'd love to hear how yours turned out.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures from the 2nd Annual Borsch Fest in Victoria.

If you're interested in Cinda's cookbook, you can get it here:


Friday, October 05, 2018

New! Nash Holos gift store

For Nash Holos listeners who have ever wanted to buy a tee shirt, cap, key chain or some other item with the Nash Holos logo, there is now an online boutique with CaféPress!

There are several different items ranging in price from $8.39 - $47.99. They include:
  • Tee shirts 
  • Hoodies
  • Sweatshirts
  • Mugs
  • Coffee travel cups
  • Water bottles
  • Drinking glasses
  • Shot glasses
  • Wine charms
  • Trucker hats
  • Night shirts 
  • Pyjamas
  • Baby cap
  • Balloons  
  • Lunch bags
  • Tote bags
  • Shopping bags
  • Journals
  • Key chains
  • Mouse pads

For any of these items that you purchase, Nash Holos will receive a small commission.

So if you are looking for gift ideas and are inclined to support the show that way, please go have a look at the offerings on the CaféPress site here.

However, since Café Press keeps the bulk of the money you spend on your purchase (as does Amazon), it's really more of a PR exercise than a revenue stream for the show.

That said, every penny you send our way is a help!

If there is something you would like to see that isn't there, please either leave a comment here or send an email via the contact page at the Nash Holos website.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Support Nash Holos on Patreon

Nash Holos now has a Patreon page where listeners who want to support the show can make a monthly donation.

By making a donation there you will become a Patron and in return receive various "rewards" as tokens of appreciation for your financial support. The rewards depend on the amount of the donation.

Rewards include:

  • Weekly proverb and playlists
  • A shout-out on the show
  • E-books (compilations of proverbs, recipes, etc. aired on the show)
  • Free advertising (for yourself or a favourite charity)
  • Various "swag" with the Nash Holos logo (e.g. tee shirts, key chains, mouse pads, etc.).

For full details on how it works, what you as a Patron would be eligible to receive, and how your money will be spent, please visit the Nash Holos Patreon page (here).

If you are not ready to make a donation, but would like to keep up with what's going on there, you can still just follow us on Patreon. There is no cost to follow and it provides more than a bit of encouragement.

However if you do feel the show has been providing value and would like it to be around for future generations, please make a donation (here) and become a Patron.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Hava Nagila - Jewish song with Ukrainian roots

This week's Ukrainian Jewish Heritage topic is Hava Nagila, the song, the story and the movie.

While looking into the Ukrainian connection to this ubiquitous Jewish standard, I came across a documentary film about the song, called Hava Nagila (The Movie).

I contacted the production company in Los Angeles, and they kindly allowed me to screen it for review.

In this week's Ukrainian Jewish Heritage episode, I described my search and reviewed the movie.  You can read and listen to it here.

I also went one step past where the movie ends the story—YouTube. It seemed to me that in terms of  storytelling technique, ending the story of Hava Nagila at YouTube was leaving the story unfinished. A hanging thread.

In the course of producing this series and presenting some of the episodes, I discovered that much work is being done to restore what is left of Ukraine's Jewish communities destroyed by the Nazis and Soviets in the last century.

So I thought I would check to see how popular Hava Nagila is today in its ancestral birthplace.

Very popular, it seems!

Do a google search for Hava Nagila Ukraine and you'll be amazed at what pops up!

I can save you a bit of time by starting you out with a few that I found. Enjoy!

Dnipro 2017;

Kyiv 2010

Vinnytsia-Ukraine December 2013

Students in Kharkiv

In Czernowitz

Poltava 2017

ManSound in Israel 2012

Ukrainian musicians in Paris subway 

Dnieper cruiseship lounge 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Ukrainian language lesson: It's Fun!

It's Fun To Be Ukrainian 

by Shoom

This is a great way for beginners to learn how to speak Ukrainian (or more accurately, Ukrainian-Canadian). Just sing along with the song! Watch and repeat, and in no time, you will have these basic words as part of your vocabulary!


(To help you understand the Ukrainian words and sing along. The rest of the words are in English.) 

English spelling            
Ukrainian spelling
Yak sha mayesh? How are ya? Як ся маєш?
Duzhe dobre!   Very good! Дуже добре!
Pyrohy Perogies        Пироги
Holubtsi Cabbage Rolls Голубці
Kubasa Smoked Garlic Sausage             Ковбаса
Kishka Blood Sausage  Кішка
Chasnyk Garlic Часник
Zabava do rahnya! Party till dawn! Забава до раня!

It's Fun to be Ukrainian can be heard (often) on Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio... along with lots of other ones!
Get show times and/or subscribe to the podcast here.

Enjoy your lesson. Repeat often until memorized! 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Blast from the past - Taras Bulba

A great movie that was ahead of its time. Too bad there weren't more like it produced.

Maybe if there were, the West would not be so ignorant about Ukrainian history that most, especially the media, have no clue what is going on now, much less understand the dire consequences of throwing Ukraine under the bus.

Anyway, enjoy the movie clips and the background tune, Розпрягайте хлопці коні (Unharness the Horses, boys) by the group Ekspress.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Changes at Nash Holos

It's been a long time since I blogged regularly here, during which time quite a bit has changed at Nash Holos, and for me personally.

Truth be known, I've missed blogging. Social media has its place, and it's great fun (most of the time). But blogging is a much better venue to engage with Nash Holos listeners and followers! Time will tell if I end up doing most of it here or at the Nash Holos website.

In my personal life, the biggest and most drastic changes have been the loss of my sister (cancer) and my mom, within less than a year of each other. As well I was away from home for several months so I could spend time with them in their final days.

It's been a rough couple of years.

But as they say in showbiz, the show must go on. And I made sure it it has been for going on 30 years since the first incarnation of the show in 1990.

Over course of all those years, many things changed. Especially the technology! (Anyone remember reel-to-reel tapes? LOL)

For now, here's a rundown of the most recent and noticeable changes at Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio.

Ukrainian Food Flair

In 2015, we lost Sylvia Molnar to cancer. She had been with the show since the early 1990s.

It was a shock, and the beginning of a long stretch of personal loss and heartbreak for me.

Over the years Sylvia contributed more than 200 recipes, countless cooking tips and interesting anecdotes to the show since the early 1990s, on the series Ukrainian Food Flair.

From time to time you may hear the audio archives of Sylvia's Food Flair recordings. Just because she was such a big part of the show for so long.

I've been thinking about publishing Sylvia's recipes for some time now. As well as other recipes. Publishing comes with its own challenges, but, it may actually come to pass some day soon.

Meanwhile, I would love to bring back Ukrainian Food Flair to the Nash Holos airwaves in a fresh new format. If you have any suggestions or thoughts to share, please leave a comment below.

Nash Holos Nanaimo edition

• Introducing Oksana 

In May of 2016, Oksana Poberezhnyk joined me to host the second hour of the Nanaimo edition of Nash Holos in Ukrainian. She is a delight to work with and a natural on air. Her enthusiasm is contagious and she has many great ideas for improving the show going forward.

The Nanaimo edition airs Wednesdays on CHLY 101.7fm on the radio dial from11am-12pm with me (Pawlina) in English and from 12-1pm with Oksana in Ukrainian.

If you're not in Nanaimo (or even if you are), just for fun I suggest listening to the live stream (here) on CHLY's new online media player.

• Song/artist information now displays on player

A nifty new logging system for producers & presenters comes with an equally nifty bonus for listeners: it displays the artist and track title on the station's streaming online media player while the song is playing.

This is cutting edge technology in Radioland, and this feature will one day be ubiquitous across all radio stations and listening platforms. But at this time it's only available for the Nanaimo edition of Nash Holos, and only on the CHLY website live stream player. So if you have an FM radio player on your phone, or you're on your laptop, tablet or desktop, check it out here! And let me know how you like it.

If you can't catch the live broadcast or online stream, you can catch the podcast on Mixcloud, a very slick streaming site. (Here.)

New Distribution channels 

• RSS Feed

Nash Holos has had its own RSS feed for many years, and has had its share of growing pains along with all the changes in the technology itself.

Despite that RSS is considered old-school (largely because it has been around for over a decade), it actually has been evolving and keeping up with the times. It's especially useful with podcast listening apps, which are very mobile-friendly. (I personally use Podcast Addict for Android.)

If you are a podcaster yourself and are looking for a home for your podcast files, I highly recommend Pippa. It's a newcomer on the block but after checking out the options, I chose this one. It makes my life so much easier! No coding or "back-end" stuff  to worry about. Yay!!

Mixcloud offers only streaming, which seems to be the way things are going, as most seem to people prefer streaming to downloading these days. You can still download Nash Holos audio files here.

• iTunes

Until recently, the Nash Holos podcast link to iTunes has been an on-again off-again nightmare. Many reasons for that. Not least of all because I originally uploaded it, many years ago, as a manually-created xml file. (If you don't know what that means, consider yourself lucky).

I knew nothing at that time about coding, and even less now. So whenever it "broke" for reasons you have to know coding to figure out, I was lost. Now I no longer have to worry about it. For the iTunes link to the Nash Holos podcast, click here.

•  Mixcloud

If you follow Mixcloud to listen to podcasts, you can find the Nash Holos feed there. CHLY recently chose Mixcloud as a distribution for the station's program podcasts, and kindly included the Nash Holos feed rather than just the Nanaimo edition of the show.

So Mixcloud users can get both the Vancouver and Nanaimo editions there, as well as the "bonus" tracks of separate features like Ukrainian Jewish Heritage, Knyzhka Corner Book Reviews, etc.

And another bonus: Mixcloud is on Sonos! So if you have Sonos on your home sound system, you can get Nash Holos on it. Just make sure to follow Nash Holos on Mixcloud and it will appear on your Sonos.

To find and follow Nash Holos on Mixcloud, click here.

• YouTube

Several years ago now, someone recommended putting Nash Holos on YouTube because a lot of people actually access audio there. I liked the idea but found that it was just too time-consuming.

But now Pippa "automagically" posts each episode to the Nash Holos YouTube channel. 

You can find the Nash Holos YouTube channel here. Make sure to subscribe if you haven't yet!

Nash Holos Patreon Page

If you consider Nash Holos a valuable public service that is worth supporting financially, there is now a Patreon page where you can make a monthly pledge of $1 or more. Different tiers of support come with a variety "goodies" as tokens of appreciation for your support. For example, donors who pledge $5 or more get a free ebook of Ukrainian proverbs. (More to come!) You can find it here.

More changes coming, so stay tuned!

Other opportunities to support the show

It is definitely not a cliché that Nash Holos is "brought to you" by our sponsors and advertisers. It truly is, and I am eternally grateful for their support.

Particular thanks to Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, the Shevchenko Foundation, and Canada's National Ukrainian Festival, who have been regular supporters of the show for the past several years. Without their support, I would not have been able to pay the bills and keep Nash Holos on the air. 

So as a Nash Holos listener, please visit their websites and support them in turn whenever you can. And let them know you heard about them on Nash Holos!

If you happen to have an advertising budget for your business, professional service, or non-profit organization, please consider advertising on the show. You can also purchase advertising on behalf of your favourite Ukrainian charity or cultural non-profit that can't afford it themselves, so they can convey their message to Nash Holos listeners.

Another way to support the show is to use the Amazon (and other) affiliate links on the Nash Holos website/blog when shopping online. It will cost you absolutely nothing. Amazon will not charge you anything; the prices for things will always be the same whether you get to their site via a search engine or via an affiliate link. However they do pay a small commission as a reward for sending shoppers their way. So you can send a few cents to Nash Holos out of someone else's pocket simply by shopping at Amazon via a link on the Nash Holos website or here on this blog. ;)

Recipes page 

One last change I'll mention today, and it's here on this blog. If you haven't yet noticed, I've published a Recipe page which is available in the menu bar. The page consists of links to the recipes that have been posted here on this blog over the years. It's an index of sorts to make the recipes easier to access. I plan to add to the list, so you'll be seeing more activity here on the blog again.

To keep up with the changes, make sure to subscribe to the blog, bookmark it, or do whatever else to keep it on your radar!

Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts on any of these changes, or just about the show itself. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ukrainian Jewish Heritage: 2018 Summer Reading Round Up

What is summer without reading? I can imagine no greater pleasure than sitting down with a good book—or two—on a lazy summer afternoon at the beach or by the pool, on a shady deck, or sprawled out on a lush green lawn.

Here on Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio, we have been fortunate to learn of and review many excellent books on our series Ukrainian Jewish Heritage. The books cover a wide range of topics involving Jews, Ukrainians, and their interactions over the years.

These interactions have not always been amicable, and it is a testament to the authors for broaching controversial topics and examining them with sensitivity, empathy, and a sense of fairness.

The books on this list cover a myriad of topics over a broad time frame spanning centuries of Jewish presence in, and contributions to, Ukraine.

Stories of Khmelnytsky

Stories of Khmelnytsky features provocative essays by distinguished scholars from throughout North America, Europe, and Israel. It takes an honest look at one of the most contentious historical figures plaguing Ukrainian Jewish dialogue.

This book carefully addresses, without attempting to resolve, the fundamental questions Khmelnytsky’s image provokes.

Whether viewed as a hero or a villain this 17th century historical figure bolstered national solidarity among Ukrainians and other nations. Surprisingly he actually inspired some early Jewish radical Zionists and served as a model for Jewish pioneers building a new homeland in early 20th century Palestine.

One essay notes that this volume on Khmelnytsky drives home the fact that history itself is made up not so much of facts as of stories.

Cultural Dimensions

Cultural Dimensions is another collection of essays. These explore how cultural interaction between Jews and Ukrainians unfolded over centuries through diverse and daily encounters, and how that interaction had a profound impact on both communities.

The essays in this collection open doors for new research that can help create a joint narrative for Jews and Ukrainians.

This collection of essays was co-edited by Wolf Moskovich, Professor Emeritus, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and Alti Rodal, Co-Director of the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, who also wrote the introduction to the volume.

The richly illustrated book appears as volume 25 within the series Jews and Slavs published by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since 1993. The book was published in 2016 and can be acquired by contacting Wolf Moskovich at

A Prayer for the Government

A Prayer for the Government: Ukrainians and Jews in Revolutionary Times, 1917-1920  explores an ill fated attempt at rapprochement between Ukrainians and Jews a century ago.

The author, Dr. Henry Abramson, calls it a “bright chapter” in the long history of the Jewish people. One in which Jews were emancipated into a free state, with privileges as a minority that exceeded even those in Western Europe and America.

However, by the spring of 1919 Ukraine was submerged by a wave of violence that became one of the darkest chapters of Jewish history, only overshadowed later by the Holocaust.

Abramson’s meticulous account traces how the attempt by both Jews and Ukrainians to achieve a working political relationship was betrayed by less enlightened attitudes among the general population as well as by the political and social instability of the time.

Jews and Ukrainians: A Millennium of Co-Existence

In their book Jews and Ukrainians: A Millennium of Co-Existence, two distinguished academics, Paul Robert Magocsi and Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern produced a parallel narrative of two peoples in 12 thematic chapters in the book outline the rich history of Jews and Ukrainians.

They cover geography, history, economic life, traditional culture, religion and language as well as literature, the arts, music, the Diaspora, and contemporary Ukraine.

With over 300 full-color illustrations, over two dozen maps, plus several text inserts, the book is extremely reader friendly.

Jews and Ukrainians: A Millennium of Co-Existence won a Special Recognition Award at the Lviv Book Forum in 2016.

The Great Departure

The Great Departure: Mass Migration From Eastern Europe and the Making of the Free World explores the devastating human toll of migration.

Author Tara Zahra examines one of the largest migrations of human history… 50 million Europeans who moved to the Americas between 1846 and 1910. These included Ukrainians, Poles and Jews of Galicia.

The western Ukrainian city of Brody, then on the frontier of the Russian and Austrian empires, became the gateway to the New World. Albeit not without all manner of exploitation enroute, not least of all human trafficking.

The policies that shaped this great migration set a template for future tragic, events in the 20th century. The resulting bureaucratic “paper walls” doomed Europe’s Jewish population from escaping the Holocaust, the closing of the Iron Curtain, and ethnic cleansing.

The author places the current refugee crisis within the longer history of migration.

Sheptytsky from A to Zed

A remarkable children’s book—and a book that will delight not only children—created a stir at the 2015 Lviv Book Forum.

Sheptytsky from A to Zed
offers a delightful yet thoughtful account of a renowned figure’s life through the letters of the alphabet.

Andriy Sheptytsky, became Metropolitan Archbishop of Lviv and head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the early to mid 20th century. He risked his life and those of his clergy hiding Jews in his palace, and throughout Ukrainian Catholic monasteries in Galicia.

Sheptytsky’s achievements as a scholar, philanthropist, patron of the arts, and leading public figure in Ukrainian society are also covered in this charming and engaging book.

Yiddish-Ukrainian dictionary

On the theme- sort of- of alphabet and languages, is an astonishing discovery in the world of dictionaries.

Dr. Dmytro Tyshchenko is the son of a Jewish mother and a Ukrainian father from Donbas, and the creator of a massive and highly acclaimed Yiddish-Ukrainian dictionary.

After discovering his Yiddish roots In 1988, Tyshchenko devoted his life to learning the language of his ancestors, and making it accessible to others. Especially a younger generation that has embraced the study of Yiddish.

Now living in Frankfurt, Tyshchenko is developing an online version of his dictionary.

East-West Street

Much of the world has no idea of the origins of the term genocide, which like the holocaust is in danger of becoming an empty cliché instead of a metaphor for the capacity of man’s inhumanity to man.

East-West Street
tells the story of two jurists from Lviv who were instrumental in shaping the precedent setting Nuremberg trial. This book is a gripping account of the origins—in effect, the invention—of the terms “genocide” and “crimes against humanity.”

These two concepts became the centerpiece for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals.

The author of East-West Street, Phillipe Sands, brings together the stories of his grandfather and these two jurists, Rafael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpacht.

All three men had the misfortune of having their entire families sent to their deaths by the Nazi governor of German-occupied Poland Hans Frank, who visited Lviv in 1942.

In an astonishing twist, Sands, got to know the son of Hans Frank while working on this book. Sands also met the son of another Nazi, Otto von Wachter, who was in charge of Lviv during the Second World War.
What the reader will find in this fascinating book is that in the face of horror it is possible to find the courage and strength to achieve extraordinary goals.

City of Lions

City of Lions is a story about Lviv, the western Ukrainian city often referred to as the Vienna of the east.

The book consists of an essay by Polish author Josef Wittlin who waxes eloquent about an early twentieth century Lviv still glittering with an imperial Austrian splendor. It was a city that ceased to exist by 1945.

A matching essay My Lviv by Philippe Sands, echoes the Wittlin text but brings Lviv into modern times.

Sands calls out the failure of those in today’s Lviv to fully acknowledge all its history. Nonetheless he admits the ineffable spirit of the city ultimately seduces him.

The Dead Man in the Bunker

In Martin Pollack his book, The Dead Man in the Bunker, a man is found murdered in 1947 in the mountains between Austria and Italy.

He was not just any man. He was a highly ranked SS officer who commanded death squads in Eastern Europe and was head of the Gestapo in the Austrian city of Linz. And he was the author’s father.

Pollack developed an interest in Galicia after he was barred from Poland by communist authorities from 1980 to 1989. His first book cemented a lifelong passion for the subject: It’s title is To Galicia: Of Hassidim, Hutsuls, Poles, and Ruthenians. An Imaginary Journey Through the Vanished World of Eastern Galicia and Bukovina (in German and Polish only).

Galicia was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire up to 1918. It was an enlightened empire that provided emancipation for the Jews, and institutionalized nation-building for both Poles and Ukrainians. But, as Pollack points out, elsewhere Galicia was generally considered foreign, distant, almost hostile.

It was also the poorhouse of the empire. Grinding poverty sent massive waves of Jewish, Polish, and Ukrainian migrants to distant shores in a desperate search of a better life. Pollack relates this story in his book Emperor of America: The Great Escape From Galicia (in German and Polish only).

Poverty provokes pity, but also contempt. Pollack reminds us that Hitler first met Galician Jews in Vienna before the First World War and expressed his hatred in Mein Kampf.

The Second World War destroyed Galicia as a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society. While Pollack laments the fact that Ukrainian Galicia still remains too little known among Westerners, his readers will not be among them.

Babyn Yar: History and Memory

Babyn Yar is one of the most notorious sites which became symbolic of the Holocaust to the world beyond Ukraine, although to Ukrainians it symbolizes many tragedies that took place during the Nazi occupation.

Over 100,000 victims of Nazi tyranny lie at the bottom of this ravine, including 34,000 Jews who were slaughtered over the course of just two days.

Babyn Yar: History and Memory,
is a bilingual collection in Ukrainian and English of scholarly essays dedicated to the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of this atrocity.

This book is the result of the collaborative effort of scholars working with the editors Vladyslav Hrynevych and Paul Robert Magocsi. The scholars are from various disciplines in Canada, France, Israel, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and the United States.

At the center of the book of course is the history of a Nazi crime. But this book also covers the politics of memory and forgetting through the soviet era and up to the present day.

The essays provoke questions for further discussion, especially since the various authors may raise the same questions but do not always arrive at the same answers.

As the editors remind us, to know and remember the Babyn Yar tragedy means not allowing such a crime to be repeated. And in the Ukrainian experience, Babyn Yar is also a symbolic farewell to empire and its mythological legacy.

Courage and Fear

Courage and Fear is a devastating account of both the Soviet and Nazi occupations of Lviv in the Second World War.

The author, Polish scholar and diplomat Ola Hnatiuk, focuses on the daily life and dire choices faced by Jewish, Polish, and Ukrainian writers, artists, musicians, academics, and medical community of the city. This cultural elite outwitted, compromised with, or was destroyed by the barbarians in the garden.

The author weaves in the story of her own family, depicting the demoralization and psychological shock afflicted by totalitarian techniques.

The historian Timothy Snyder praises the human dimension expressed in this book, a richer dimension than the usual ode to tolerance or nostalgia for a long lost past. In Polish and Ukrainian only. Author interview (English translation) here.

In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine

While war drives wedges between people, the aftermath can bring them together. Perhaps the effort to understand how those wedges were created can one day create a strong and hopefully unbreakable bond.

Today Ukraine again finds itself at war, as usual one provoked by an outside force coveting the rich resources of Ukraine and its inhabitants.

Tim Judah is a reporter for The Economist who covered the war in Ukraine for The New York Review of Books, looks at wedges.

His book, In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine is a portrayal of today’s Ukraine for the Western reader.

Judah traveled far and wide throughout Ukraine. He witnessed some horrifying scenes on the front lines of the war in Donbas. He talked with people … impoverished refugees, elderly villagers, city sophisticates, and wealthy businessmen.

Judah was covering and writing about Ukraine in a period of traumatic transition. And he reminds us that these traumas often arise suddenly. The long-established order can vanish overnight.

Black Square: Adventures in Post Soviet Ukraine

Black Square: Adventures in Post Soviet Ukraine reveals a world not often seen by foreigners.

Author Sophie Pinkham plunges into the chaotic harm reduction world of sex workers, junkies, and other lost souls in contemporary Ukraine.

Her adventures in what she calls “post-Soviet punk delirium” include an encounter with the Last Jew in Stalindorf who recounts how once upon a time the Jews, Ukrainians and Russians there had gotten along, more or less, until Stalin starved them.

She also encounters klezmer music, a Yiddish teacher and Babyn Yar.

These books were reviewed on Nash Holos over the past few years. They remain timeless and we hope to add to them in the near future. Meanwhile if you would like to read any of them this summer, look for them in your nearest public library. Or, if you’d like to support the authors (and this show) by purchasing your book(s), please use the links provided. You can also find the audio files and transcripts of the full book reviews at our website as well as at Ukrainian Jewish Encounter dot org. Happy summer reading!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Nash Holos recipe: Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat has numerous health benefits that make it ideal for today's health conscious consumer. It’s fat-free, and we all love that!

It also contains rutin, which studies indicate lowers cholesterol and helps reduce high blood pressure. Considerable amounts of vitamin B1 and B2 prevent hardening of the arteries, while choline facilitates liver function.

Buckwheat is a good source of protein and minerals such as zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium and calcium. These minerals are important in the prevention of hypertension and anaemia.

Buckwheat cooked as kasha is a Ukrainian favourite. It’s usually eaten as a side dish or meat accompaniment, instead of rice or potatoes. It can also be used as a filling for cabbage rolls.

Although buckwheat is actually a herb, the groats are hard, like a grain, so it can also be ground into flour. Buckwheat flour has a very distinctive flavour, and it is really delicious.

Here’s a wonderful recipe that is an ideal Lenten dish: Buckwheat Pancakes. They’re quick and easy to make, and absolutely delicious!


1 cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter


Mix together buckwheat flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add beaten egg, milk and melted butter, mixing well after adding each.

Grease a skillet or griddle lightly with oil and preheat it to 375ºF.

Pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot skillet. Cook until bubbles break on the surface, flip and cook an additional minute or so, or until browned.

Serve with jam, fruit preserves or your favorite syrup…. and enjoy!

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