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Ukrainian food, crafts for sale in Irondequoit this weekend [Article]

From the Democrat & Chronicle:

St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church will have a Ukrainian Food and Arts & Crafts Sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, at the school cafeteria, 940 Ridge Road East in Irondequoit.

The Ukrainian food for sale includes varenyky (Ukrainian-style pierogi), holubsti (cabbage rolls), meatless borscht and a variety of baked goods. There also will be a variety of handmade Ukrainian crafts.

Proceeds will benefit the St. Josaphat centennial fund. To learn more, call (585) 467-6457.

Irondequoit is near Rochester in Western NY, while I have yet to visit a Ukrainian festival there I have been to the ones in Buffalo a few times. I will definitely make a trip next year to a Ukrainian festival in Irondequoit.


It’s easy for those who have never been on the receiving end to downplay or dismiss rampant discrimination against the Ukrainian language. But those who have can tell you that it’s very real and has been going on a long time.

From the vantage point of the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada, it has been fascinating (if distressing) to watch it happening in Ukraine. Still. Even 18 years after independence, there remains the possibility (if slightly less probability) that the Ukrainian language could well end up like aboriginal languages in Canada have.

As time goes by, it’s getting harder to justify opposition to Ukrainian being the official language of Ukraine. Nonetheless, as this article illustrates, some people still insist on trying their best to turn back the clock and hinder progress.

The Odessa court of appeals has upheld the decision of the Nikolayev City Council [which] on May 26 adopted a resolution granting Russian the status of a regional language…

Similar litigations are underway in Odessa, Donbass and the Crimea.

The councils of different levels in the south and east of Ukraine have been providing funding in order to protect and support the Russian language spoken by a large portion of the population.

As a presidential election slated for January 17, 2010 nears, the preservation of the Russian language and its status as a second official language become increasingly relevant for leading centrist and left-wing parties and organisations in Ukraine.

Now it just so happens that the city of Nikolayev, whose proper Ukrainian name is Mykolaiv, is a major ship-building centre of Ukraine … as it was during the former Soviet Union and tsarist Russian empires. Not that a minor detail like that would have anything at all to do with the chauvinistic attitudes of Ukrainian citizens in that part of Ukraine towards the Ukrainian language. I’m just sayin’.

Fortunately, as another article  shows, some people are a lot more sensible, enlightened, and progressive.

Yevgeny Kisiliev, the television anchor who was the face of the Yeltsin revolution … [and] who had been Russia’s most influential TV journalist, [is] commuting to his new job as an anchor in Ukraine. … He speaks Russian and his guests speak whichever language they prefer. When they opt for Ukrainian, he understands “90 to 95 per cent”; “I practise Ukrainian every day,” he said.

Would that the good people of Mikolaiv, Odessa, and elsewhere in Crimea, as well as the Donbass, etc. would follow his example. Perhaps they’ll watch his program and eventually start to understand and practice Ukrainian as well.

 To my mind, those who actually do view and treat the Ukrainian language with the respect it deserves are cut from the same cloth as English-speaking Canadians who enroll their kids in French language immersion classes (and vice-versa).

Such smart and visionary folk instinctively know what scientists recently revealed in a study. There is clear evidence that knowing how to communicate in more than one language is good for you… and your brain!


Erasing the Orange Revolution

The Orange Revolution was an important event in Ukraine’s history and independence, as the people demonstrated their will and helped elect their chosen leader past a wave of corruption, breaking their obedience to Moscow and their Soviet past to form a new relationship with the West. Breaking from reliance from Moscow has not been easy as the decades of corrupt partnerships and practices have been so entrenched for so long, no one was sure if change was possible without succumbing to civil war. Many forces have been fighting hard over the years to bring the country back to the status quo, to the falsely idealized days of the Soviet Union and Russian hegemony.

For the record, here are the facts on what the Orange Revolution was about:

On Thursday, as the presenter of state-controlled UT-1’s main morning news program was updating viewers on the Central Electoral Commission’s decision to declare Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych the winner of the country’s Nov. 21 presidential vote, Natalya Dmitruk, the woman who translates broadcasts into sign language for the deaf, decided to send a very different message. "When the presenter started to read the news," Dmitruk told TIME, "I said: ‘I address all deaf viewers. [Challenger Viktor] Yushchenko is our President. Do not believe the Electoral Commission. They are lying.’" In a week filled with extraordinary acts of political protest, Dmitruk’s silent rebellion was one of the most defiant.

TIME Magazine: The Orange Revolution

The protests were prompted by reports from several domestic and foreign election monitors as well as the widespread public perception that the results of the run-off vote of November 21, 2004 between leading candidates Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych were rigged by the authorities in favor of the latter.[1] The nationwide protests succeeded when the results of the original run-off were annulled, and a revote was ordered by Ukraine’s Supreme Court for December 26, 2004. Under intense scrutiny by domestic and international observers, the second run-off was declared to be "fair and free". The final results showed a clear victory for Yushchenko, who received about 52 percent of the vote, compared to Yanukovych’s 44 percent. Yushchenko was declared the official winner and with his inauguration on January 23, 2005 in Kiev, the Orange Revolution peacefully reached its successful conclusion.

Wikipedia: Orange Revolution

Now I am starting to see this information become more and more distorted in the media – especially in Russian publications like the state-run Russia Today:

The most egregious example of this ‘cozying up’ occurred during the so-called Orange Revolution in the capital of Kiev, when thousands of protesters took to the streets when run-off votes suggested that the pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovich had taken a comfortable lead over Viktor Yushchenko.

Ukrainian politics, never a rational beast on the best of days, was left in limbo for two months until Yushchenko, inaugurated on January 23, 2005, was finally declared the winner. Moscow accused the West, and specifically the United States, of underwriting Yushchenko to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, funneled to Kiev under the cover of a host of non government organizations.

History is being quietly re-written as the Orange Revolution is being falsely portrayed as some sort of mob ruling, and not what it really was  – the will of the people for a free and democratic re-election in the face of corruption. Ironically the Russian media is trying to liken the events to the 1920 Soviet propaganda film Storming of the Winter Palace which has a very sensationalized account of the October Revolution where hords of Bolsheviks dramatically capture the building in a violent uprising, but in real life the insurgency was accomplished with only a handful of people with little resistance from its guards.