Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Ukrainian Community Convention 2013

Back before the Soviet adventure in Ukraine, two generations of Ukrainian immigrants had already settled into the Canadian rhythms of life.  These people were here to build a life in this land of political freedom, relishing economic opportunity. By 1918 Canada was home to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, registered under Canadian law and thankful of its abiding security.  So that meant a церква українського народу existed under Canadian Charter.  War struck, and Canadians of Ukrainian ancestry were themselves often awestruck at their fierce pride and attachment for their new homeland.  Many were detained in Canada's first War internment operations, it is true, however a huge contingent of them voluntarily enlisted in Canada's wartime services!  According to statistics 10,000 newly minted Canadians of Ukrainian descent served in the Canadian Armed Forces in WWI.

The times were very Canadian, but also truly, and resiliently Ukrainian. Momentum grew in a "self reliance movement" here.  Independent of governmental decree, religious oppression, and fear of political reprisals, Canadians of Ukrainian descent agreed their children's interests were not best served when forced into assimilation.  Rather, they felt cultural, linguistic and religious impoverishment.  With thousands of years in the making, Ukrainian culture was a way of life, but in Canada the living culture was "other".

The problem was, how to live in one world of economic freedom and democracy, yet convey ancestral wisdom to future generations who would not be able to visit the homeland for....til the end of Sovet times? It was a really avant-garde thinking to be "of two cultures", to be equally faithful to both at the same time.

Supercharged with purpose, the unique structures of The Ukrainian Self Reliance League of Canada gathered steam, and the Ukrainian diaspora changed forever.  No longer "renamed", no longer ache-ing for sights, sounds and smells of home, it is now easy to find a -chuk, -ski, or an -enko, in Canadian institutions of power and influence.  Many of them got their starts in public service through the example of groups like The Ukrainian Self Reliance League of Canada, who are inviting participants to their 87th Anniversary 2013 Summer Convention in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on August 21 to 25, 2013 for "Embracing Change". 

For complete information contact http://www.usrl-cyc.org/2013convention.htm
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