March 11, 2018


The program arranged by Winnipeg's Ukrainian youth organizations, began with a singing of Ukraine's National anthem. This was followed by a presentation by Nina Semchyshyn from CYM - the Ukrainian Youth Association. She spoke extensively on the life and times and literary contribution of the most celebrated poet-prophet of the Ukrainian people - Taras Shevchenko.

Ivanka Babiak was the master of ceremonies throughout the event, introducing the performances and inviting audience participation. Children were a big part of the program. Students from the Prosvita Institute's "Ridna Shkola" read a poem "In Memory of Shevchenko". Representatives of the scout organization PLAST led everyone gathered in singing the song to the words of Shevchenko "Dumy moyi". Representation from the Ridna Shkola of Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Cathedral performed a verse. Valentyna Maliarchuk of PLAST recited a part of Shevchenko's famous "І мертвим, і живим і ненародженим" "To the dead, to the living and to those not yet born".

At the close of the program CYM, PLAST and everyone joined in the traditional and very heartfelt custom of singing what is regarded as Taras Shevchenko's testament - Zapovit Заповіт.

Among the many participants that came out in the snowy but calm afternoon were representatives of the Manitoba Branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, as well as Sr. Ruth Aney, SSMI, Conservative MLA Blair Yakimoski and Chancellor Fr Michael Kwiatkowski.

[To one side of the event stood, silently, the statue of the little emaciated, barefoot girl - a memorial to the millions of victims of the Holodomor genocide... which another of many brutal attempts to crush the irrepressible desire of the Ukrainian nation to be itself, to love their heritage, their language and their land. Russia's recent intrusion into southern and eastern Ukraine show that the struggle is obviously far from over...]

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