Category Archives: usa

A Ukrainian father’s 74 year-old letter to his son in America


An old letter was recently posted online, asking to be translated from Ukrainian after it was discovered in the belongings of a great-grandmother who had passed away recently in upstate New York. On January 20th 1938, a man in Dehova, Ivano-Frankisk wrote to his son who is working in America (presumably) to send money back home – which was very common back then and still is now (but more so in Europe). In the letter, the father thanks his son for not forgetting about him from across the globe.  Some family issues are discussed, and the father asks for some extra money to be sent over, so he can purchase a new outfit for Easter – a камізелька.

A very rough translation of the entire letter was provided:

Dehova day 20 of January 1938

Dear son!

First of all, Merry Christmas to you, and I’m asking you about your health and how are you doing.

Then I am very sorry that last year, at Velykden(Easter), received 2 dollars from you and didn’t respond to you and didn’t thank you, that just happened so, day after day and time has gone but you must pay attention that post office is not close but far from me – and time is going on.

This year on Christmas received 2 dollars again that you sent to Kaska (looks like female name) many thanks to you, let God bless you because, even though you’re on another side of the globe, don’t forget about your father.

Also many thanks to your wife Kasi (hard to identify, maybe he meant Casey) that she don’t forget as well and sent me via Kaska 1 dollar, let God bless her because of that, and wish health to finish working on (word hard to recognize). Now I venture to ask you about a favor and don’t know what to start with. so you held on Christmas and sent 6 dollars, for that money I got kamizelka(have no idea what it is) and underwear but I hid it and wear only on big holidays and tell everybody that when I die I want to be dressed in those clothes (be buried in those clothes).

Knowing about thanks to you must be all the time in church, coat, that I have, have to wear on top but in that wear is not very good to go on public so be so kind you, Gana (Anna) and Matviy (few words failed to recognize) not very able to come to repair the coat because, as some say “many a little make a mickle” I think that Matviy my brother shouldn’t refuse, he was at relative’s (few unrecognized words) and I had a lot of troubles with him, so he may (something) well or forgot, ha! As saying says, old good gets forgotten, so give this letter to Matviy, let him read, and ask him to help, but I have doubts if he will.

Then I appeal to you with the deal about the floor that I gave crossbar (<- this sounds weird for me as well) so I’m asking you once again, write to Kaska’s mother and let her (do something) and give to me, otherwise write to me and will use it in business and will have something and remember that mother promised Kaska (something) before marriage and then you went to America and she booked to son (something) that field so at least mother used it but after son married with Nikola Pritikov(male name) daughter and she use that field so it is ridiculous and people laugh at it.

Finally sending to you greetings, give this letter to Gana and ask her to send it and very! very! prithee for answer sending greetings and wish you happiness, health and all the best

Your sincerely loving father

Oleksa Kostish(not sure about surname)

Hereby let you know that when Andryh(Andrew) Malariy was going to America I told something him to say something to you, please write if he said it to you and that letter give to Gaidza and Matviy to read

Ostap healthy

(‘healthy’ doesn’t look as surname but rather as report that some Ostap is ok or, more likely, greeting to some Ostap)

Waiting for response

[Read the entire letter in Ukrainian]



‘Save Soyuzivka–Now, not later!’

Two weeks ago I attended the traditional American Soyuzivka festival (a.k.a. the Suzi-Q) in the Catskill Mountains in New York State. The festival is hosted on a Ukrainian summer heritage centre complete with cabins, campgrounds, a pool, and a bar among other amenities. Ruslana performed as well as other Ukrainian and American performers including Peter from the 60’s band Peter, Paul and Mary (who’s parents are from Ukraine).

I had a fantastic time, but a dire message was stressed this year as the heritage centre is undergoing serious funding issues and appeals for help from the community:

The installation of a new boiler and heating system triggered a devastating oil discharge on Soyuzvika property, identified in the spring of 2011. The catastrophic event has resulted in almost $1,000,000 in clean up costs, which was directed, supervised and mandated by the New York State environmental authorities. Although Soyuzvika has taken legal action against the servicers/suppliers we feel are responsible, the clean up and remediation costs are extensive and immediate. The good news is that the oil discharge has been contained—but mandated monitoring and remediation efforts will continue for some years. We need your help in this!

Donations can be made to the following 501©3 corporation (which is tax deductible for Americans):

Ukrainian National Foundation – Soyuzvika Heritage Fund
UNF. PO Box 280 2200 Rt 10
Parsippany, NJ
(973) 292-9800


You can watch a lot of the performances of Soyuzvika on YouTube


Ukrainian Festival Summer Guide 2012

Making summer plans? Check out this comprehensive list of Ukrainian events happening all over North America:


Kingston Ukrainian Folklore Festival
June 8-10
Kingston, ON

The Ukrainian Club of Kingston this weekend presents Folklore 2012: the Lviv Pavillion with Ukrainian food, performances and exhibitions.

When: Friday June 8th – 6 – 10pm
Saturday June 9th – Noon  -10pm
Sunday June 10th – Noon – 6pm

Where: Regiopolis Notre Dame Catholic High School, 130 Russell Street, Kingston, ON

Admission: Passport $5 – At the door
(613) 549-5060

The festival was recently featured in Kingston This Week


imageCanadian National Ukrainian Festival (CNUF)

August 3-5

Dauphin, MB

In the fresh air and sunshine, enjoy the incredible view and watch the world-class grandstand shows from the only 11,000-seat, hillside amphitheatre in Canada. Authentic, rich, uniquely Ukrainian and ultimately… delicious! Excite your senses with our all-day-available traditional cuisine. As we tell our stories through costume, song and dance, you will literally see and feel the past come alive. For one whole weekend, escape to become immersed in a new adventure. Let us put a fiddle in your hands, show you a few steps and teach you some Ukrainian songs. Then celebrate with us at the nightly Zabavas; parties thrown in honour of our guests… you!


imageHeritage Festival

August 4-6

Edmonton, AB

Vitaemo. Welcome to the Ukrainian Pavilion as we celebrate over 120 years of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. Come and experience the wondrous sights and sounds of our culture on our large outdoor entertainment stage, learn about our heritage in the Arts & Crafts tent, and savour our culinary favourites in the Food tent.

Here at the Servus Heritage Festival, delight in the beautiful Ukrainian traditional artisan crafts such as pysanky (Easter eggs), embroidery, weaving, jewellery, ceramics, as well as contemporary visual arts. Learn about Ukrainian roots through the genealogical and folklore displays. Watch the lively regional dancing and listen to some of our most talented musicians.


imageUkrainian Day Festival

August 12

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Alberta

A celebration of all things Ukrainian past and present, Ukrainian Day recognizes the rich tapestry of Alberta’s Ukrainian community today.

Ukrainian Day starts with a pancake breakfast, followed by divine liturgies, memorial services and recognition of east central Alberta’s centennial pioneer families. An afternoon concert features some of the finest musicians, dancers and performers. The ‘Taste of Ukraine’ food fair, the Ukrainian Community Showcase & Art Sale help enrich this celebration of Ukrainian culture, heritage in Alberta. This signature event is co-hosted by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Alberta Provincial Council.



August 15-18

Winnipeg, MB

Experience the true spirit of Ukraine! Enjoy our authentic varenyky, holubsi, borshch, kovbasa and kupusta for dinner and don’t forget to save room for a piece of delicious torte or cheesecake. Try our new Obolon premium lager or Khortytsa Honey pepper hot vodka, imported from Ukraine.

Learn about the Bukovyna Region of Ukraine, a historical region on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining rolling green plains, and take in our explosive show featuring Ukrainian Comedian, Metro, and the Zoloto Ukrainian Dance Ensemble & Company.

After the show feel free to take a spin on the dance floor to the music of BMW.

Children can also have fun learning how to make Ukrainian paper dolls or join in on a mini Ukrainian Dance class.


Windsor Heritage Ukrainian Festival

August 17-18, 2012

Windsor, ON

The festival will be held at St. Vladimir Orthodox Cathedral (2000 Tecumseh Rd, East). The festival will begin at 6:00PM on the Friday and end at 1:00AM. On Saturday it will run from 12:00PM (noon) to 1:00AM.

2012 Flyer


St. Josaphats Ukrainian Festival

August 16-19, 2012

Rochester, NY

The  St.  Josaphat’s  Ukrainian  Festival  was  established  in  1973  as  an  effort  to  introduce  Ukrainian  Arts  and  Crafts,  Ukrainian  food,  and  Ukrainian  music  and  dance  to  the  Rochester  community.   Since  its  inception  the  Festival  has  offered  tradition  Ukrainian  foods  such  as  Varenyky  (or  pyrohy  or  pierogies)  a  potato  and  cheese  dumpling,  Holubets  (stuffed  cabbage  rolls),  Kovbasa  (Ukrainian  sausage),  Kapusta  (Ukrainian  style  sauerkraut)  and  Borsch  (beet  soup)  to  the  public. The  Festival  also  has  a  number  of  vendors  who  display  a  variety  of  Ukrainian  Arts  and  Crafts  such  as  ceramics,  embroidery,  wood  carvings,  jewelry  and  Ukrainian  Easter  eggs. The  Ukrainian  Stage  offers  a  variety  of  entertainment  including  Tradition  Ukrainian  Folk  Dancers  and  Singers  both  from  Rochester,  New York  and  Canada.


Ukrainian Fall Fest Victoria Park

August 25

Regina, SK

Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Regina Branch proudly announces its annual outdoor cultural festival! The event aims to celebrate Ukrainian-Canadian culture and recognize its people’s contributions to Canadian society at all levels.  UCC Regina Branch coordinates the activities for 19 Ukrainian cultural organizations of very dedicated volunteers in our city and this event!  Come and Celebrate with us! Bring a lawnchair for your seating comfort!


Ukrainian Folk Festival

August 26

Horsham, Pa

Exciting, spectacular, dazzling, breathtaking, exhilarating, spirited, soulful, enchanting, captivating, and intriguing – modest words which describe but by no means capture the essence of Ukrainian folk art, music, and dance. From the rich color and deep symbolism of the delicate “pysanka” (Ukrainian Easter Egg) to the thunderous, climatic, power, rhythm and strength of “HOPAK” – the world’s most exciting ethnic dance, and every brilliant “Kolomiyka” (polka) and soulful folk song in between, we invite you to experience the TWENTIETH ANNUAL UKRAINIAN FOLK FESTIVAL, celebrating the anniversary of our ancestral homeland’s independence. Enjoy a festival stage show, a public dance, Ukrainian foods and baked goods, BBQ pit, kid’s fun area, and Ukrainian hospitality.


imageFriends’ Ukrainian Music Festival

August 26

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Alberta

Catch the musical magic at the Friends’ Ukrainian Music Festival featuring an array of the region’s finest Ukrainian folk musicians. This dynamic event encompasses an abundance of entertainment, exhibits, children’s activities, a village market, and delicious foods. Visit the Historic Village where you can enjoy wagon rides and chat with historic settlers as they go about their daily routines.


Ukrainian Day at Golden Gate Park

August 26
San Francisco, CA

Ukrainian Cultural Program for Commemorating of 20th Anniversary of
Independence of Ukraine


Montreal Ukrainian Festival

September 7-9

Montreal, PQ

Quebec’s Ukrainian community is 18,000 strong with active members in the development of Quebec in areas of art, culture, politics and business. In Canada, Ukrainians constitute more than 1,000,000 in population. Ukraine is an independent democratic state in Eastern Europe with more than 50 million people living in an area of 603,700 sq. km, an area larger than France and fifth in size by population in Europe


Baltimore Ukrainian Festival

September 8-9

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore Ukrainian Festival Committee works to share the Ukrainian heritage & culture by providing the following:

Live Entertainment: Traditional Ethnic Dancers, Musicians & Singers
Serve traditional foods, breads & beverages of Ukraine the bread basket of Europe
Ukrainian Folk Arts:  Paintings, Carved Wood & PSYANKY Egg Demonstrations
Novelties: Ceramics, Embroidery Clothing, Jewelry, & Religious artifacts
History of Ukraine – Famine, Chernobyl, Orange Revolution


Toronto Ukrainian Festival

September 14-16

Toronto, ON

The Festival was born in 1995 as the result of the twinning of Toronto and Kyiv. It then came under the umbrella of Ukrainian Canadian Congress Toronto Branch as one of its projects.  While attendance in the first year was estimated at 3,000, within ten years the Festival has grown to attract audiences of 350,000.

The Toronto Ukrainian Festival is a celebration of Toronto’s diversity. It has established itself as one of the premier Ukrainian festivals in North America. The Festival takes pride in showcasing contemporary professional and amateur artists and performers of Ukrainian heritage who celebrate Ukrainian culture through music, dance and visual arts.


Barrie Ukrainian Festival

October (TBA)

Barrie, ON


Sudbury Yarmarok Festival

October (TBA)

Sudbury, ON


Malanka Guide 2011/2012

Planning on attending Ukrainian New Years Eve a.k.a. Malanka? Here’s an extensive list of events happening around the world:

Malanka- A Ukrainian New Year’s Celebration

Sunday, December 4 at 5:30pm

AUUC Ukrainian Hall in Strathcona, 805 E. Pender St., Vancouver, BC


Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 4:30pm

Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization in Lethbridge, Alberta

Malanka 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 6:30pm

Crystal Grand Banquet Hall & Conference Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, 2110 Dundas Street East

Ukrainian New Year ( Malanka)

Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 5:30pm

Five Mile Hall, Alberta


Friday, January 13, 2012 at 9:00pm

The Rockpile Nightclub, 5555 DUNDAS ST. WEST, Etobicoke, Ontario M9B 6C1


Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 6:00pm

St. Luke’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Warners, New York, 3290 Warners Rd


Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 8:30pm

St. George Academy in New York, New York, 215 EAST 6TH STREET


Friday, January 13, 2012 at 7:30pm


Malanka — Julian New Year

Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 6:00pm

St Demetrius Ukrainian Community Center Banquet Facility in Carteret, New Jersey, 691 Roosevelt Ave.

Coventry Malanka 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012 at 8:00pm

103 Leicester Causeway, Coventry Ukrainian Social Club., England


Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 5:30pm

Melrose Reception in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Corner of Melrose and Carrick Drive Tullamarine

The Malanka Tour Bus

Friday, January 13, 2012 at 6:00pm

Midlands/Bradford M1, England

2011 Whippany Malanka

Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 7:00pm

Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey in Whippany, New Jersey, 60 North Jefferson Road, USA

Susydka hosts Malanka

Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 6:00pm

Vita Hall in Vita MB

New Britain Malanka

Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 9:00pm

St. George Hall – New Britain, Connecticut

Malanka in the Mountains

Friday, January 13, 2012 at 5:30pm

Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper, Alberta

USC KARPATY Malanka 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 7:30pm

Crystal Grand Banquet Hall & Conference Centre in Mississauga, Ontario


Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 5:00pm

Ukrainian Youth Unity Complex (Cym) in Edmonton, Alberta, 9615-153 Avenue

Elite Malanka 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 6:00pm

Oakville, ON – SVCC

Toronto Plast – Пласт Malanka

Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 6:00pm

Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Toronto, Ontario

Malanka! (Ukrainian New Years)

Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 6:30pm

Royal Canadian Legion Innisfail 5208 49 Street Innisfail

Ottawa MALANKA 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 6:00pm

Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Hall , 1000 Byron Avenue, Ottawa, ON

S.A. Ukraina & DESNA Malanka 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 5:30pm

Renaissance by the Creek in Toronto, Ontario, 3045 Southcreek Rd.

Boston Ukrainian New Year’s Dinner and Dance – Malanka 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 8:00pm

The Lantana in Randolph, Massachusetts, 43 Scanlon Drive

Slavic New Year Gala / Malanka

Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 8:00pm

John J Sulllivan’s, 557 Wakelee Ave, Ansonia, Connecticut


Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 8:00pm

Karczma Regionalna, Czarny Potok 26a, Krynica Zdrój, Nowy Sacz, Poland


Friday, January 13, 2012 at 7:30pm

THE UKRANIAN HALL, Geelong West, Australia

Plast Winnipeg Malanka – Пластова Маланка

Friday, January 13, 2012 at 6:30pm

Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba, 222 Broadway Avenue

Malanka (ie Ukrainian New Years!!!) (Not on new years…)

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 5:30pm

Ukrainian Cultural Center , 805 East Pender, Vancouver, BC

Plast Calgary Malanka 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 5:30pm

Calgary Petroleum Club – 319 5th Ave SW

Malanka- A Ukrainian New Year’s Celebration

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 5:30pm

Ukrainian Cultural Centre, 805 E. Pender St., Vancouver, British Columbia


Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 5:30pm

3270 Beaubien E

Boston Ukrainian New Year’s Dinner and Dance – MALANKA 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 8:00pm

The Lantana in Randolph, Massachusetts, 43 Scanlon Drive

Suzirya Ukrainian Dance Theatre’s “Spirit of Malanka”

Friday, January 20, 2012 at 5:30pm

Thorncliffe Greenview Community Assoc in Calgary, Alberta

Thornhill Malanka: St. Volodymyr the Great Ukrainian Catholic Church (15 Church Lane) Saturday January 14, $35 – call 905-889-0187

Missing your event? Please leave the details in a comment.


Holodomor news round-up–Nov 21 2011

Today kicks off Holodomor Awareness week which runs until Sunday November 27th, commemorating the genocide of 7-10 million Ukrainians through forced starvation by the USSR from 1932-33. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress has a full list of Holodomor events happening this week, and here are some news worthy events that have happened so far:

Kyiv – Ukraine to honor famine victims on Nov. 26

Kyiv will host mourning events on Ukrainian Holodomor Remembrance Day on Nov. 26 with the participation of the country’s leaders, government members, other officials, and the public, the press service of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych reported on Nov. 18
According to the report, it is planned to hold a funeral procession, lay flowers at the Memorial in Commemoration of Famines’ Victims, and observe a minute of silence for the victims of famines.
On the same day, a requiem concert will be held at the National Opera House of Ukraine.

Buffalo – Area survivors recall horrors of forced famine in ’30s Ukraine

"I look around in the field, and I see lots of people dead," Iwaszczenko recalled Sunday, following a requiem service commemorating the 78th anniversary of the Ukrainian genocide.


Iwaszczenko, now 86, lost aunts and uncles in the great starvation, when agents of the Soviet state went into homes and confiscated any vegetables, grains and even seedlings — so peasants couldn’t grow their own food.

"The local government came in, and they took away all vegetables. They created hunger. They threw food in the ocean, but they wouldn’t give it to the people," said Iwaszczenko, who moved to Western New York in 1950. "We ate what we could from the fields."

Iwaszczenko’s parents survived the famine, too, but his father was arrested in 1937 by the KGB, the Soviet secret police. Iwaszczenko said he never again saw his father, and he still doesn’t know what happened to him.


Family members of Holodomor survivors also relayed stories passed down to them: of children being forced to vomit to prove to authorities they had no food in their homes; of a small head of cabbage feeding dozens of people in a soup seasoned only by the cook’s salty saliva; of villagers digging up floor boards for a bite of a spoiled seed.

"Stalin’s henchmen confined millions of Ukrainians in their villages, confiscated every grain and leaf of sustenance and prevented international relief efforts from reaching the millions of starving men, women and children," said John Riszko, secretary of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Buffalo Chapter.

Obama press secretary Jay Carney on Ukrainian Holodomor Remembrance Day

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence — a testament to the spirit and determination of the people of Ukraine — we also remember the suffering they endured seventy-eight years ago during the catastrophic famine that has come to be known as the Holodomor — the “death by hunger.”

This terrible tragedy, created by the intentional seizure of crops and farms across Ukraine by Joseph Stalin, was one of communism’s greatest atrocities. Today, Americans join with the people of Ukraine and Ukrainians around the world in remembering those who suffered and died senselessly as a result of this manmade famine.

Sadly, no mention of genocide.


Hamilton – Local Ukrainians commemorate 1932 genocide

Ukrainians have succeeded in getting the UN and countries, including Canada, to recognize the famine was genocide. But they want present-day Russia to acknowledge it, too, and to offer compensation, Sheweli said. “They just say it was a famine, that neighbouring countries experienced it as well — which is revisionist history.”

An acknowledgment, she said, would go a long way to restoring historical justice. Hamilton, with about 14,000 Ukrainians, has Canada’s sixth or seventh largest Ukrainian population and has 13 famine survivors still living according to Sheweli.

Sheweli, born in Ukraine, heard first-hand accounts of the genocide from her mother and grandmother. They and the other children survived by eating mushrooms and other edibles in the forest, as well as soups made of forest greens.


“In 1932, Stalin decided to vanquish the Ukrainian farmers by means of starvation and thus break the Ukrainian national revival that had begun in the 1920s and was rekindling Ukrainian aspirations for an independent state,” it states.

“The territory of Soviet Ukraine and the predominantly Kuban region of Northern Caucasus (Soviet Russia) were isolated by army units, so that people could not go in search of food to the neighbouring Soviet regions where it was more readily available. The result was the Ukrainian genocide of 1932-33 known in Ukrainian as the Holodomor, or extermination by famine.”

The article also mentions all Holodomor events happening in Hamilton this week

Scholar: Pius XI wept when he learned of Stalin’s starvation of Ukraine

“The Pope [Pius XI] learned about the Holodomor from the French Jesuit Bishop Michel d’Herbigny, who was the president of the Pro Russia Commission,” says Father McVay. “D’Herbigny was receiving letters from the Soviet Union as well as reports from foreign diplomats who had witnessed the situation first hand. D’Herbigny attempted to move mountains in order to convince Pius XI to launch an aid-mission to the Soviet Union.”

“The emotional Pius XI wept when he received one report, and he insisted that something must be done,” he continued. “Unfortunately churchmen and diplomats all concurred that no aid would ever reach the people because Soviet authorities were officially denying the existence of a famine that Stalin had deliberately orchestrated. In the end, the Pope was only able to authorize a gift of 10,000 Italian lire to be forwarded to starving Catholics via German charitable organizations that had contacts in Ukraine.”

St. Catharines – Genocide Revealed

Film — Genocide Revealed, Nov. 23, 6:30 p.m., St. Catharines Centennial Public Library, Rotary Bankers Room, 54 Church St. Admission, non perishable food for Community Care. Memorial Service — Ecumenical Memorial Service Commemorating the Holodomor, followed by a short program. Nov. 27, 2:30 p.m, Ukrainian Black Sea Hall, 455 Welland Ave. Sponsored by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. Call 905-935-5186.

Ukraine – TV and radio companies are called to cancel entertainment shows on memory Day of Holodomor victims

National council of Ukraine on TV and radio broadcast has sent an address to heads of TV and radio companies to change the programs on November 26, the memory Day of Holodomor victims, press office of the National council reports.
The National council notes in his address that November 26 is the day of national mourning and calls all the TV and radio companies to demonstrate humanity and civil position.

MPP Dave Levac elected Speaker of The House in surprise result

Liberal Dave Levac was elected Speaker of the Ontario legislature Monday, taking over as chief political referee in Ontario’s first minority parliament in a generation.

Dave Levac was first elected in 1999. After his re-election in 2003, he was given the role of Chief Government Whip. In 2009, Levac sponsored a private member’s bill 147 – The Holodomor Memorial Day Act. As the first bill sponsored by three parties, bill 147 honours the victims of the Ukrainian Famine.