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Welcome from the Ukranian Community

Welcome to the Ukrainian Pavilion – an exciting display of Ukrainian culture.

Alberta has a long history of Ukrainian settlement. There are over 300,000 Albertans of Ukrainian descent, the largest population of Ukrainian Canadians in Western Canada. Ukrainians are Slavic people and a nation with a unique language, culture, and national history.

While Ukraine has existed since prior to 900 AD, some historians estimate its origins from 6000 years ago. Present Ukraine stems from one of the most powerful countries in the 10th century - Kyivan Rus'. It is the largest European country having its entire territory in Europe. Ukraine is also known for its fertile agricultural land and was nicknamed as the "bread basket of Europe". Nowadays, the culture continues to be passionate, prosperous and flourish more than ever.

Please enjoy the Ukrainian pavilion!

So how old is Ukraine? 

Over the past 2 decades Ukraine became a popular travel destination for people around the world. It allowed more and more curious minds to discover Ukraine and learn its history. While others dive into its cultural core via social media. As for Canadians, they just have to ask their neighbor’s baba (grandmother) or dido (grandfather) to tell them about Ukraine. They will surely mention that this year Ukrainians are celebrating 130 years of their settlement in Canada as well as 30 years of the country’s independence. “Wait a minute!”, you exclaim. “If Ukraine is only 30 years old, then how come Ukrainians started immigrating to Canada 130 years ago?!”

The answer is simple, “In 2021 we aren’t celebrating Ukraine’s 30 years of independence. We are celebrating the 30 years since Ukraine’s independence was RESTORED”. The video with English subtitles from the famous YouTube channel “імені Т.Г. Шевченка” uncovers the fact that Ukrainian territory was populated 3,000 years BC. At that time, it was called Trypillia, then there were Skifs 700-300 years BC, all the way to the Kyiv Rus in the 9th century and eventually to today’s Ukraine. More info in the video below. Enjoy!






100 year of "Glory to Ukraine" Salutation

"Glory to Ukraine" (Ukrainian: Слава Україні! Героям слава!, Slava Ukraini! Heroiam slava!; translated as: Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!) is a well-known Ukrainian national salute. 

As per Wikipedia the phrase "Glory of Ukraine" has been used at least since the time of Taras Shevchenko. In his poem "To Osnovyanenko" («До Основ'яненка»; 1840, in the version of 1860) Shevchenko wrote:

   “Our thought, our song

    Will not die, will not perish…

    Oh there, people, is our glory,

    Glory to Ukraine!”

It transformed into a greeting at the beginning of the 20th century in different variations, when it became wildly popular among national Ukrainians during the Ukrainian War of Independence of 1917–1921. The second wave of popularity was in the 1940s and 1950s when the OUN/UPA partisan movement fighting against the Soviet occupiers swept across most of western Ukraine. "Glory to the heroes!" was also used by the Kuban Kozaks dating back to at least 1944 with the return of the Kozak (Cossack) Rebel Army who fought with the UPA. In the Soviet Union the slogan “Slava Ukraini! – Heroyam Slava” was forbidden and discredited via a decades-long propaganda campaign. After Ukraine declared independence in 1991, the phrase "Glory to Ukraine! – Glory to the heroes!" became a common patriotic slogan. In 1995, President of the United States Bill Clinton used the phrase in his speech in Kyiv (together with "God bless America").

In the 21st century this phrase was picked up by the soccer (football) fans in Ukraine and beyond. On July 10, 2018, Ukrainian supporters flooded the Facebook page of football governing body FIFA with over 158,000 comments, most saying "Glory to Ukraine", after FIFA fined Croatia's assistant coach for a video in which he used the same slogan after Croatia's World Cup victory. “Why did FIFA fine him?”, you’ll ask. Just because big FIFA investors from Russia didn’t like this salutation.

All in all, “Glory to Ukraine” is used as widely as “God bless America” and “Vive la France”. It is now a part of the cultural heritage of Ukrainian people around the globe and no political attempts will ever succeed to silence its worldwide echo. Next time you see the Ukrainian, greet them with “Slava Ukraini” and a warm welcoming smile will appear on their face instantaneously 😊

Ukrainian Embroidered Shirt

Embroidery has been part of Ukrainian life since ancient times. In English translations of Ukrainian texts, the word "vyshyvanka" is a loan word. Same way as kilt speaks about its Scottish origin, or moccasins attribute to Native American heritage, vyshyvanka proudly defines Ukrainian people.

The term originated from the East Slavic word "vyshyvka" meaning "stitch patterns".

They say vyshyvanka is used as a talisman to protect the person wearing it and to tell a story. A geometric pattern weaved in the past by adding red or black threads into the light threads, which was later imitated by embroidery, was believed to have the power to protect a person from all harm.

We even have a Vyshyvanka Day, that was originated in 2006 at Chernivtsi National University by its student Lesya Voronyuk and gradually became international as the International Day of Vyshyvanka. It is celebrated on the 3rd Thursday of May. It is intended to unite all Ukrainians over the world, regardless of religion, the language they speak or their place of residence. It is a flash mob holiday, which even prompts state and government officials to take part in the celebration. Many Canadian officials wear vyshyvanka in solidarity with Ukrainian immigrants. Our Premier Jason Kenney mentioned once that he had 6 vyshyvankas, which is quite impressive. And if you want to be impressed even more, check out the video from the Vyshyvanka Fashion Show at the Edmonton Heritage Festival from previous years.


Photo: Approximately 300 participants at the Vyshyvanka Day Rally at the Alberta Legislature Grounds closed off Edmonton’s celebration of Ukrainian culture by forming a giant human “A” to create the second letter of the word “C-A-N-A-D-A” in conjunction with similar rallies in five other provinces.


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