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Ukrainians abroad strive to keep alive cultural traditions of the homeland

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Dec. 16, 2011, 12:14 a.m. | Ukraine — by Natalia A. Feduschak

Mark Marczyk

Natalia A. Feduschak

Editor’s Note: For centuries, Ukrainians have left their homeland and gone abroad. Part 4 of The Great Exodus series explores how Ukrainians in North America define their cultural heritage.
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Mykhayl Dec. 18, 2011, 11:07 a.m.    

E V E O F S A I N T N I C H O L A S

by Mykhayl DzulA

On the Eve of SAINT NICHOLAS with love I went, On a ritual familiar to every parent.

Looking in on our children asleep in their beds, A fond memory of yesterday flickered in my head.

My grandmother told me stories ages ago, Of a man whose loving kindness we all could know.

Ii Visiting his children who he knew all by name, From heaven with the angels annually he came.

On his morn Presents & treats were left to be found, Behind each blessed child’s door laughter would resound.

Long ago bedroom prayers taught me catechism, On his day I would communed in mysticism.

Iii Bishop Nicholas is from an age long ago, As a saint he dwells with God, not at the North Pole.

In life he introduced the Creed; “I believe…” Now On his Feast three blessing we each can receive.

The first is for good use and the next a new joy, The last a treasured marvel for each girl & boy.

1v For those who would be good came a favorite treat . The angels did scatter lots of nuts, fruits & sweets.

A brat next scurried to leave each a switch of wood, For mischief & doubt is found even in the good.

How cherished these dear memories of days gone by, Thinking as a parent brought a tear to my eye.

V Seeing the teddy bear clutched by my sleeping tot, To our cupboard I did scurry… but than thought; “Not!”.

As the sun did rise that morn I moseyed around… Childish treasures here & then there were to be found. \

When what a surprise I then found out in the hall,.. Stacked by threes, including JERSEY, mobile, & ball.

Vi Shoes full of goodies with presents one, two & three, While denials from my sleepy spouse did baffle me.

To bed I did go to wake from this childish dream, Yet consciously I did ponder all that I seen.

From the Old Country o’re the sea came ancient lores, Where we find his icon beside the servers’ door.

Vii Here in the new World I just could not...let it be, Then I found an answer that was left, just for me.

A switch was tucked in my slipper aside our bed, As Baba’s* [Granny’s] lesson manifested in my head.

“Deny not the saints of God in heaven above”, “Teach of the real Saint Nicholas by acts of love”.

*”Baba” endearment for grandmother [XIX c. Ukrainian American immigration.]

E V E O F S A I N T N I C H O L A S by Mykhayl Dzula [AD 1980 revised 2010]

Eve December 5 (NASA day 352) Feast December 6 (NASA day 353)

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Anonymous Dec. 30, 2011, 9:50 a.m.    

I happened to attend a concert at Roy Thompson Hall and remember being petrified by the band's performance. It sounded like a surreal parody on Ukrainial village wedding in the 80s. As somebody who grew up and received musical education in Ukraine, I would find it difficult to identify myself with this kind of music but it is possible there are Ukrainians who can. As a representative of the so-called &quot;fourth wave&quot;, I feel slightly ashamed for the kind of music played during Ukrainian festivals in Toronto. What I heard last year was largely poor taste and parochial. I wonder who makes these choices? I find that contemporary educated fouth wave elite is largely marginalized in Canada and wthin the diaspora, being unable to find meaningful employment.I wish somebody wrote their stories.

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