Thursday, 14 June 2012

Are you Ukrainian too??

It is interesting to me that when new immigrants arrive to Canada from Ukraine, they are charmed by the economic opportunity presented by the Calgary experience. They believe there are few Ukrainians here, and sink themselves into an assimilation experience that can be emotional trying.  Eventually some surface, and seek the company of the Ukrainian community.  It seems small.  But did you know that there were times when Calgary's Ukrainian community was huge?  Well, it is easy to assimilate, we all do eventually - or do we?  It seems there is usually something that stays.

Over the years I have encountered many colleagues, who eventually drop a "pyrogy" or "holubtsi" in the conversation.  You get to know who you are talking to.  But sometimes you don't. 

I have taught for a while, and recently at the Calgary Ukrainian Festival heard my professional name being called out.  Seemed strange in those circumstances.  I turned around to see a beautifully dressed little dancer, who looked so charmed with the surprise on my face.  So I have taught this little person for a year, and didn't know we are of the same cultural ancestry.  What a lovely, and increasingly common, surprise. 

Take a look at this one page history of Calgary, which indicates that Calgary's Ukrainian community, way back in the first decade of the last century was quite big - take a look and see for yourself.
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