For The Next Generation
Newark Plast's girls earn first place at Orlykiada
by Lida Doll
NEWARK, N.J. - Orlykiada is one of the highlights of the Plast calendar of events, and this year's was as exciting as ever. A history competition sponsored by the Plast fraternity/sorority Orlykivtsi, Orlykiada attracted 134 participants from cities all over the U.S. and Canada, such as Denver, Cleveland, and Montreal, who came not only for the competition, but also to see old friends and make new ones.
This year seven girls represented the 20th Kurin (unit) in Newark: Andrea Lebed, Talia Temnycky, Olenka Borkowsky, Deanna Kochan, Liana Buniak, Katria Misilo and I. We all had a fantastic time, especially because we won first place overall in the girls' division.
According to tradition, the annual competition takes place in November at the beautiful Ukrainian resort Soyuzivka. This year's historical theme was Ukrainian women as preservers and protectors of the Ukrainian heritage throughout the ages.
The Orlykiada competition is composed of three parts: an oral examination, a visual project and a short skit. The oral competition took place on Saturday morning, and consisted of a question-and-answer segment and a reading segment. The teams were awarded points based on their knowledge and articulation of the subject - all in Ukrainian.
The other two parts of the competition took place in the afternoon. Each team performed an eight-minute skit based on the theme. We won first place in the skit competition for the quality of our skit, which included several humorous yet informative songs in Ukrainian about individual Ukrainian heroines.
Later, each team presented and explained their projects to a panel of judges. My team chose the topic of "Ukrainian Women's Extraordinary Achievements," which were presented in Time magazine's "Woman of the Year" format. Other projects had a range of topics, from art to embroidery.
Orlykiada is not all work, however. Everybody had a great time at the dance on Saturday night.
We girls from Newark were rewarded for our efforts by winning first place overall at the closing ceremony on Sunday morning.
We thank our extremely helpful counselors, Lisa Milanych, Larysa Nycz, and especially Christine Kochan for all their guidance and support.
Orlykiada was a wonderful and educational experience, and we cannot wait to do it all over again next year.
See story on page 23 for more about the 2003 Orlykiada.
Passaic's youngest "plastuny" collect gifts for kids in Ukraine
PASSAIC, N.J. - "Novatstvo" (kids age 6-10) and "ptashata" (preschoolers) of the Passaic branch of Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organ-ization continue their tradition of decorating Christ-mas trees with a good deed in mind.
For the past three years, the children have adorned two trees with items that are donated to orphanages in Ukraine after the holiday season. This year the children collected toiletry items such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, brushes, bandaids and towels.
The two trees, which are displayed in the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic School auditorium, are overflowing with toothbrushes that look like icicles and bars of soap that look like Christmas ornaments.
In the past, the children collected mittens, scarves and gloves one year, and school supplies the next. Each year this event is more and more successful, and the children experience a real sense of the giving spirit of Christmas.
Houston dancers perform at international festival
HOUSTON - The Ukrainian Dancers of Houston performed on November 8, at the annual International Food Extravaganza, at the St. Maximillian Kolbe Catholic Church in Houston. The food extravaganza was chaired by Ralph Subotich and the St. Maximillian Kolbe church fellowship. Church parishioners prepared a wide array of ethnic dishes from around the world, and all were invited to sample the tasty foods and enjoy the entertainment that was provided by the Croatian Dancers, the International Folk Dancers, the Irish Dancers and The Ukrainian Dancers of Houston.
The Ukrainian Dancers of Houston have been performing for three years under the direction of Martha Noukas at various Ukrainian community events and festivals in the Houston area.
Rochester troupe dances in D.C. area
WASHINGTON - The Yevshan Ukrainian Dance Ensemble from Rochester, N.Y., was invited on September 13-14 to perform at the first annual Ukrainian Festival in the Washington area at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral.
The festival was sponsored by the Embassy of Ukraine. Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, was to officially open the ceremonies but was recalled back to Ukraine.
In the midst of a downpour, the festival ceremonies began at noon with a brief liturgy and blessing from Bishop Anthony.
Representing the Ukrainian Embassy was Volodymyr Yatsenkivsky, minister counselor, deputy chief of mission and chargé d'affaires; Pavlo Tertytskyi, air attache and assistant defense attaché; and Lt. Gen. Yaroslav Illitch, commander of the Ukrainian air force.
As the performance began, the sky cleared and the sun shone brightly on the festival-goers and performers. The Yevshan Dancers put on a wonderful performance both days and received great applause from the crowd. They have been invited to return for next year's festival.
December is the month during which children of all ages celebrate the Feast Day of SAINT NICHOLAS the WONDERWORKER. The FEAST day falls on December 5 according to the Gregorian calendar (the new-style calendar) and on December 19 according to the Julian calendar (the old-style calendar).
Now, just in case you're confused, St. Nicholas, unlike Santa Claus, has nothing to do with CHRISTMAS. (It's just that his feast day happens to occur right before Christmas.) In accordance with Ukrainian TRADITION, St. Nicholas brings gifts to children, placing them under their PILLOWS, on the eve of his feast day. That probably is one reason he is one of the most popular and BELOVED saints.
But the real reason for his popularity and the fact that he is so revered is that St. Nicholas was known for his charity, especially toward children. According to the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, stories of MIRACLES associated with him were spread throughout Europe.
St. Nicholas was BISHOP of MYRA, which today is located in Turkey, in the 4th century. However, little more is known about his LIFE.
However, we do know, from the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, that the cult of St. Nicholas was probably introduced in Ukraine in the 11th CENTURY by Metropolitan Yefrem, who is believed to be the author of a manuscript on the saint's miracles. A church was built in KYIV in honor of St. Nicholas during the reign of PRINCE IHOR in the 10th century.
The encyclopedia also tells us that the Ukrainian CHURCH encouraged the writing and performances of little PLAYS dedicated to St. Nicholas, in which the angels and devils play a prominent role. (How many of you, dear readers, have seen or participated in such plays?) The theme of the plays is GOOD DEEDS and, thus, children were encouraged to do good for others.
St. Nicholas is also honored in many songs. ICONS of the saint used to be found in just about every Ukrainian home and they are prominently displayed in churches.
OUR NEXT ISSUE: To make it into our next issue, dated January 18, 2004, please send in your materials by January 12.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, December 14, 2003, No. 50, Vol. LXXI
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