Tag Archive | CNUF

Another Summer, another CNUF!

 

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When I was working out of my home, I dreaded the beginning of August because it meant that work would be starting up in just a few weeks.  So long to relaxing at home, having late night Summer barbecues and just lazing around the house.  No, August meant it was time to do everything in and around the home during the Summer that never got looked at during the busy school year.

Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival has always been a highlight in the Summer.  My Man and I had so much fun at last year’s 50th celebration.  So much to see and so much to do.

Villagers from the Selo

Villagers from the Selo

Ukrainian Old Timers band from Winnipeg

Ukrainian Old Timers band from Winnipeg

CNUF Riding & Dancing Cossacks

CNUF Riding & Dancing Cossacks

However, this year, the 51st, was just not the same.  Not sure why.  Perhaps it was the fact that there was a fire in the Mall and the festival office was destroyed last year. Lots of great displays and priceless artifacts are gone.  Is that why they had so many competitions?  Perhaps it was the lack of participants in these events like the pysanky and kolach demonstrations.  Perhaps it had something to do with the organising committees.  Lots of new faces.

Now I’m not knocking the fact that everyone tried their best and many people worked very hard at this festival.  There was something missing however.  I’m actually quite concerned that there are not enough “old timers” involved in steering the direction that the festival now seems to be taking.

Now don’t get me wrong either.  Encouraging a younger executive and board members to get involved is good if you want to keep this half century old festival going.  New blood is needed as some would say.  However, there appears that not enough people involved really understand what it was like to come to Canada so many years ago and start-up a new life.

I do hope that the Board of Directors and the City realise that pioneers and their stories of their struggles are needed at the festival to keep the spirit of the Ukrainian culture at the centre.  People travelled many miles and had to work together to clear the land, build homes and support one another through some very harsh times.  Working together and team work was essential back then.  It’s needed now for the festival as well.

Pioneer barn

I wish the people of Dauphin and especially the CNUF organization all the best because I want to be able to attend the 75th CNUF celebration.

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Celebrating 90 Years !

This coming weekend, a very dear special man is turning ninety years old.  Many people will have a birthday this weekend, so why is this 90 year-old’s birthday worth mentioning in my blog?  You may be asking, who is this special man ?

This special man is my mom’s brother, Uncle Matt (aka Uncle Floor Mat).  Uncle Floor Mat is my special nickname for him.  Now don’t be appalled.  There was and still is no disrespect intended in this title.  The name “Uncle Floor Mat” started out when I was only around 2 and a half years old; totally appropriate for a toddler.  I really think it’s a small town Ukrainian thing that was done as well;not really sure.  It was however a playful greeting that he actually encouraged.  Uncle had a nickname for me too.  Ready for this?  It was Petroonka.  In fact it still is whenever we get talking on the telephone or have family visits.

Unfortunately distance keeps us apart this upcoming weekend and I will be unable to share in his special birthday celebration.  In lieu of a visit however, I included a letter with my birthday greeting card that I sent off in the mail.  It was my cousin’s wife who prompted me to write a note about what Uncle Matt has meant to me all of these years.  She is collecting and wrapping up “love” letters from his family and friends.  In fact, she even included some sentence starters to help get the old grey cells jelling!

  • You are special to me because…
  • I value ______ about you because…
  • I really love _____ about visiting you place because…
  • Over the years you have taught me …
  • I love _____ about you because…

Even before I had these great sentence starters, I had decided that a Thank You letter was needed.

I would like to share this letter and my thoughts about my uncle with you.  Why you might ask would I want to share something so personal?  Well, just maybe when you read my letter, you will be inspired to write to someone who is special to you too.  Perhaps you will thank them for being a special part of your life.  Celebrate the people you love now!  I love my uncle and want him to know it!

Happy Birthday Uncle Matt!

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Dear Uncle Matt,

I hope you enjoy your birthday with your family and friends.  I am glad that you and I were able to celebrate “you” this past Summer when I was at the Ukrainian Festival.  It’s very good that you can still keep up with me when we do vodka shots together! Ha, ha.DSCN3262

Not only do I want to say Happy Birthday to you but I also want to say Thank you to you for being a kind and caring uncle to me all of these years.  When we were growing up, my mom used to say that we could always depend on you.  Whenever we needed any help, you were someone we could count on.  

Do you remember when you used your big caterpillar to plow out our driveway and you made us kids a huge mountain of snow to play on?  We had so much fun that Winter.

Do you remember when we were at a family wedding and you said that I needed to learn how to dance a really fast polka?  You taught me well and yes, I can still keep up with you…but just barely.

Do you remember the time when I was only 3 years old and you held my hand at my sister Emily’s funeral? You told me not to cry, not to fuss but to be strong because my mom and dad were very sad.

Do you remember when my mom passed away suddenly in 1979 and once again, you told me that I needed to be strong for my dad and to take care of him?

Maybe it has been those words “be strong” and “take care of” that I heard from you that have stayed with me all of these years.  You see, I am a strong one.  I do stand up for injustices and do take care of others.  I have taken care of myself too.  I completed university, had a successful career and raised a great family.  I know that a lot of this encouragement and influence has not only come from my own parents, but also from you.  Thank you.

You and I have shared a lot of laughs and good times.  I wish you happiness and good health so that we can continue to share many more fun times.  Before we know it Uncle, we will be celebrating your 100th Birthday!

So on this birthday, please know that you are loved and you are my very special uncle. In fact, you may be my favourite…but just don’t tell my other uncles.

                                                                                                             Love,

                                                                                                           Petrosha

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Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival 2015

Have you been wondering where I have been?  Have you been wondering why no posts? 

I apologize. But I have been having a great time at Dauphin’s CNUF ! 

That’s right. My Man and I journeyed to Dauphin Manitoba for the 50th. Anniversary of the Canada’s National Ukrainian  Festival. It was in my humble opinion, the best festival EVER !  There were beautiful cultural exhibits – pysanky, kolach, korovais, wheat weaving and even old-time farm equipment.

There were plenty of shops where vendors sold tradtional and modern Ukrainian handicrafts.

The entertainment featured various artists from Canada, United States and directly from the Ukraine.  So many to tell you about but that’ll be later or in another post.

I’ll also update this post with photos at a later date. I’m still swatting at mosquitoes and visiting with family and friends for a few more days.  

Stay tuned!

Summer time !

Festivals, barbecues, camping, weddings, travelling…all Summer time activities!

It’s  been a busy but beautiful, sunshine filled Summer.

In fact, so busy that I haven’t posted for over a month. I apologize to my followers. I appreciate you and hope that you have had a busy yet relaxing Summer as well and will continue to check out my blog and see what’s new.

0The CNUF 2013 was a great success and those of you who made it out to the festival in Dauphin, Manitoba were so fortunate. The weather was perfect, the entertainment was phenomenal and the hospitality of the people from Dauphin was as usual… fantastic. There’s just something about the music, the dancing and the food at the festival that brings out the best in everyone, Ukrainian or not!

It has also been a great Summer for weddings!

Congratulations to all newly married couples out there!  So nice to see so many couples believing in “’til death do us part”.

There seems to be an increasing number of  couples today wondering what’s so special about marriage. Some do not see the need.

It may sound old-fashioned (because I am) but the purpose of marriage is to “mutually complete one another and to experience companionship”.  I quote this because I heard it many years ago in our “married life class” that we took prior to being married in our church.

I think it ‘s important to be reminded that marriage was the first institution God created. Marriage was not intended to be given up on whenever it gets tough. There needs to be unconditional love and interdependence in a marriage.  When children are involved, this becomes even more important.  The longer that my husband and I are married, the more I understand about love and commitment. We commit ourselves to one another unconditionally every day.

And with weddings, also comes wedding traditions. So many of you are wanting Ukrainian wedding breads, Korovai.  They are so beautiful and of course you want to keep them as long as possible.

I have had several requests for ways to preserve the Korovai that many of you  newly weds had at your wedding. Please see the page that I posted for preserving your wedding bread under the heading Korovai !

Enjoy the last bits that Summer has to offer in the next few weeks!

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It happened 48 years ago…

It’s July, 1965.

It was a typical summer in Manitoba and for a young seven-year old, the sunny, hot and dry days were filled with long hours of doing nothing. Nothing but lazing about the backyard, popping caragana pods, playing fetch with the dog, picking the neighbour’s crab apples or maybe getting together with a best friend at the schoolyard to ride the teeter-totter. If it was too hot outside, I would sometimes play paper dolls in the house with my sister.

Paper dolls? Yes, but not the kind that you may have seen in the stores. The paper dolls I am talking about did not come from any store. No, my sister and I got our paper dolls from the Eaton’s mail order catalogue.

Twice a year, our mom would receive an Eaton’s catalogue in the mail. If we were really lucky, we’d be able to cut pictures from the latest catalogue. We’d select the best looking mom and cut her out, and then we’d find her a husband and cut him out. We’d select clothes for each of them to wear.

Once I glued an outfit over my doll, tore her trying to take it off, and of course, then had to have a funeral for her. She had to be replaced. But you could do that because the catalogue was full of great models and as long as they had complete bodies then we’d use them to play with. We’d cut out babies and teenagers too. The paper doll family sometimes had up to six children. We’d use the empty Lucky Elephant popcorn boxes to make cars for them to drive around in.

Hard to believe that I have these memories of paper dolls from 48 years ago.

It must have been a memorable year because other memories stand out from that summer of ’65.

This was the year that our family drove to the West Coast for the first time. It was the year that I went to catechism and celebrated my first Holy Communion. More on this in another blog.

It was also the year that we went to the first Ukrainian festival in Dauphin.

Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival has been going strong now for 48 years. In fact, this year, it’s happening in just 8 more days!

I am sure that the people of Dauphin are getting pretty excited.

When I was seven, I especially remember the festival’s Thursday night street dancing.  A live band would set up on the back of a hay wagon and the people, visitors and the locals, would dance on the asphalt in the middle of Main Street. No fancy dancing shoes required and anyone could join in.  It didn’t matter if you were older or very young like me. And everyone did join in because once you heard the beat of the drums or the fiddles play some of the old-time Ukrainian music you just couldn’t help yourself and you’d join in.

Now through the eyes of a seven-year old, I recall that the grandstand was pretty spectacular that first year.  My family went to an evening show and it was hot and muggy. I think it was dusty too because of the race track. The festival was held at the fairgrounds back then.  There was lots of singing and of course Ukrainian dancing. I am remembering a lot of great performers.

Wonder if the late Al Cherny played his fiddle that year?

Did Hoosli Ukrainian Folk Ensemble sing?  (http://www.hoosli.com/home.html)

I do remember that Luba Goy performed one year too. (http://www.airfarce.com/info/bioluba.html)

Over the years, the festival has changed quite a lot. It’s now at the Selo, just south of Dauphin. The grandstand performances are much bigger with local talent as well as  international performers. The displays and demonstrations are so colourful and informative. I especially love watching the pysanky decorating. The hot bread from the clay ovens and the Ukrainian food from food kiosks are so delicious. It could take days to see everything. It’s a good thing that the festival is 3 days long!

I do not have any photos for this post but do take a look at the festival site http://www.cnuf.ca/.  if you want to know more about this year’s upcoming events in Dauphin.

And remember, especially if you are going to the festival, there are only two kinds of people in the world, those who are Ukrainian and…those who want to be!

See you at the festival!

Have a great couple of weeks!

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38 Days to Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival !

Uk girlsI just checked my calendar and there are only 38 days until
Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin Manitoba.

Visit the website http://www.cnuf.ca

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