Thursday, February 25, 2010

Canada congratulates Ukraine's new president

“Canada looks forward to continuing to collaborate closely with Ukraine and to advancing common values and shared interests,” said Canada's Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas). The Honourable Peter Kent attended the February 25 inauguration of Viktor Yanukovych as Ukraine’s new president.

The Government of Canada is a strong supporter of Ukrainian democracy, and this is reflected by the fact that over 300 Canadian observers monitored the conduct of Ukraine’s presidential elections.

More than a million Canadian citizens are of Ukrainian origin. Canada is the fourth-largest donor of technical assistance to Ukraine, and the Canadian International Development Agency has designated Ukraine a country of focus. Canada is also a strong supporter of Ukraine’s EuroAtlantic aspirations.

Many Canadians of Ukrainian descent as well as Ukrainian emigrés living here are not happy with the outcome of the recent presidential election in Ukraine. Five years ago, however, they were happy with the winner ... yet in the ensuing years became bitterly disappointed in his performance.

Let's hope that this time they, along with a large percentage of unhappy Ukrainian voters, will be pleasantly surprised.

We in the west are quick to sweep under the carpet of our collective consciousness the fact that our democracies (or at least economies) were founded in large part by robber barons. What the rest of the people did was try to ignore them as best they could, and get on with the business of making the lives of others better.

These robber barons are still around, and always will be. But they have always been vastly outnumbered by honest, intelligent, hard-working folk. And whenever and wherever the latter ignored the former and went about creating, and/or working in, companies who made the lives of others better, they built the foundation for a successful, functioning democracy... and an environment that makes life a little less easy for robber barons.

To resurrect a lovely but now tarnished cliché: Razom nas bahato.

I hope the time has come when enough honest, intelligent and hard-working folk will band together to help this new president get, and keep, Ukraine's current robber barons in check... and create an economic climate in which the citizens are encouraged, and empowered, to make each others' lives better.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hutsul Hoolihan

Saw this guy Saturday night ... what a great show!! He was one of the performers at the Ukrainian charity ball in support of Ukraine House and the Ukrainian Paralympic team.

Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to speak with him but picked up a couple of his CDs. This song aired on Nash Holos Sunday night. It's a rather cutting indictment of the politician who lost the recent presidential election. But a great tune. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nash Holos recipe: Nalysnyky (crépes with cabbage)

Did you know that Ukrainians eat about seven times as much cabbage as the average North American? With recipes like this, it's no wonder!

Here's another one to help you celebrate World Cabbage Day.

Nalysnyky (crépes) with cabbage

Crepes:

2 eggs
½ cup milk
3 tablespoons water
½ cup sifted flour
¼ tsp. salt

Beat eggs until light; add the mild, water and the remaining ingredients. Beat until smooth. Use a small frying pan about six inches in diameter. Butter it lightly and heat well. Pour a few tablespoons of the batter into the pan, just enough to give it a thin coating. Tile the pan back and forth to spread the batter evenly. To assure tenderness the cakes should not be turned over. Make sure you butter the pan each time. Layer onto a plate until all batter is used.

Kapusta (cabbage) filling:

2 cups cabbage, shredded
2 cups sauerkraut, drained
½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms (or more)
1 onion
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper (or to taste)
6 Tbsp oil

Fry cabbage and sauerkraut in 3 Tbsp oil until all liquid evaporates. Remove from pan. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to pan and add chopped onion, mushrooms. Fry until tender (about ten minutes).

Add to cabbage mixture and season with salt and pepper.

Divide filling according to number of crepes made. Place one portion of the filling on each pancake and roll up. Put the pancake rolls on a greased baking dish, drizzle with melted butter or oil and bake at 350ºF until golden brown, about thirty five minutes.

Smachnoho!

Nash Holos Recipe: Kapusniak

February 17 is World Cabbage Day! Celebrate by making this hearty, delicious traditional sauerkraut soup.

For this recipe, you will need:

2-3 lbs pork spareribs or pork neck bones
1 pork hock, smoked
8 cups water
1 large onion
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons salt
1 jar or large can sauerkraut

Wash the meat, place in a soup pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and skim off the scum that comes to the top. Turn down and simmer until meat is tender, about an hour and half.

Add seasonings, onion and sauerkraut, and continue cooking until vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust the salt. If you like, remove the meat and bones from the pot. Discard bones and cut the meat into bite size pieces, then return it to the pot. Serve with rye or pumpernickel bread.

Smachnoho!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Prime Minister Harper congratulates Ukraine's new president

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has congratulated president-elect Viktor Yanukovych following his victory in Ukraine’s February 7 presidential vote:

“I extend Canada's congratulations to Viktor Yanukovych on his victory," said the Prime Minister in a statement issued February 15, 2010. "These presidential elections were a source of pride for Ukraine, as they were deemed free and fair by independent election observer missions. This included more than 300 Canadian elections observers who monitored the conduct of the election.

“Canada and Ukraine have a strong and significant relationship, based on the shared values of human rights, peace and democracy. Ukraine is a key partner for Canada in Europe, and has an important role in the development of democracy and security in the region.

“In this spirit, I look forward to working closely with President-elect Yanukovych to continue to advance our countries’ common values and shared interests."

This document is also available at the website of the Prime Minister of Canada .

Monday, February 15, 2010

Welcome Team Ukraine!

A warm (literally!) west coast welcome to Team Ukraine, which consists of 47 athletes, 34 coaches and personnel, and 9 physicians.

These are the athletes:

Biathlon

Men: Andriy Deryzemlya, Sergiy Sednev, Sergiy Semyonov, Oleaxnder Bilanenko and Vyacheslav Derkach
Women: Oksana Khvostenko, Lilia Vayhina-Efremova, Vita Semerenko, Valentyna Semerenko, Olena Pidhrushna and Ludmyla Pysarenko

Figure Skating

Pairs: Tetiana Volosozhar - Stanislav Morozov, Kateryna Kostenko - Roman Talan;
Dancers: Anna Zadorozhniuk - Serhiy Verbillo
Single skating: Anton Kovalevskyi

Cross-Country (Nordic) Skiing

Women: Valentyna Shevchenko, Maryna Antsybor, Vita Yakymchuk, Kateryna Hryhorenko

Ski Jumping

Vitaly Shumbarets, Volodymyr Boshchuk, Olexandr Lazarevych

Nordic Combined

Volodymyr Trachuk

Luge

Single: Women - Natalia Yakushenko, Liliya Ludan
Pair: Andriy Kis - Yuriy Hayduk, Taras Senkiv - Roman Zakharkiv

Freestyle

Women: Olha Volkova, Nadiya Didenko, Olha Polyuk
Men: Olexander Abramenko, Enver Ablaev, Stanislav Kravchuk

Alpine Skiing

Women: Bohdana Matsotska, Anastasiya Scryabina, Tetiana Zavaliy, Lada Nesterenko, Roman Leibiuk and Oleksandr Putsko
Men: Rostyslav Feshchuk

Snowboard

Annamari Chundak and Yosyp Peniak

In reserve:

Alla Beknazarova (figure skating), Maryna Halaydzhyan (Luge), Volodymyr Zuev (figure skating), Sergiy Lifirenko (short track), Roman Prima (biathlon), Inna Suprun (biathlon).

Best wishes to all for stellar performances!

If you’re in Vancouver, drop in to Ukraine House and watch the televised events on big screen TV. While you’re there, indulge in some traditional Ukrainian food and beverages (like Obolon beer and Khortytsia vodka), and keep your eye out for Olympic athletes who may be milling about while not on the slopes or the ice.

Ukraine House is located in St. Mary’s Ukrainian Centre at 3150 Ash St. in Vancouver, near Cambie and 16th. Admission is free. For hours of operation and more details visit the Ukraine House website.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Nash Holos recipe: Almond Fish

Almond fish is often served on Ukrainian Christmas eve, but it's delicious any time of the year! This is an adaptation from a recipe in the hugely popular Ukrainian Daughters Cookbook .

For Almond Fish you will need:

1/3 cup of flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp salt
½ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup almonds, finely chopped
1 lb. white fish
4 tablespoons butter (or oil if for Christmas Eve Supper)

Put the flour into a small bowl.

In a second bowl, combine egg and salt.

In a third bowl, combine breadcrumbs and almonds.

Coat fish on both sides with flour, then dip into the egg mixture, then into crumb mixture. Place on a plate. Continue until all fish is coated.

In a large skillet, melt two tablespoons of the butter. Cook fish over medium heat, turning once and adding more butter or oil as needed, until fish flakes easily with fork, about 5-8 minutes.

This makes 4 servings, and the recipe can be doubled/tripled.

Smachnoho!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ukraine's post-Orange election analysis

Brit musician Ludwig gives a pretty insightful musical overview of the recent Ukrainian election ... and the past five years on the political scene there.

This is actually an updated version of the Orange Kolomeyka he wrote not long after the Orange Revolution started to go sour. It has hit number 3 in the political humour charts!

Ludwig tells me he's working on a "closure" conclusion and has three extra verses ready. He's just waiting for the politicians to "hurry up and sort it out!"

You can hear it on the podcast from last Sunday's braodcast of Nash Holos, and you can download it from his site (here). The original version aired on the Jan. 31 program as well as the shortwave broadcast at 0200UTC this Friday on Radio Miami International. (Archives available here.)

In the meantime, here are the lyrics so you can follow along. Quite clever and, pretty much sums up the situation!


The Revolutionary Kolomeyka




“A History of post Kuchma Ukrainian politics in Song”
(To the tune of the merry Oy ta duna Kolomeyka.)

Once there was a business man
Who fixed his own election
Then they had a revolution
Tried to change direction

All Ukraine was then united
Around a simple song
That said corruption was the countries’
Biggest single wrong.

Yushchenko became the leader
In this situation
Tymoshenko’s speeches made them
Heroes of the nation

Yanukovych failed to trick them
With his dirty plan and
Then he was renamed
The nations biggest bogey man

Oy Ta Duna Duna Duna
Orange Revolution!
Oy Ta Duna Duna Duna
What a great Solution!

Yushchenko then said that the
Corruption hasn’t gone
Sacked his government
And said that this can’t carry on

Tymoshenko was the highest
Profile in the sacking
Some say that she made her millions
With some dodgy backing.
With her sacking she’d become
A lady unprotected
She could be arrested now that
She had been rejected.

So she turned her charms to Putin
Russia’s leading man
Said he's not that bad at all
A really clever plan

Oy tay Duna Duna Duna
Orange Revolution
Oy ta Dun Duna Duna
What a big confusion !

Putin said “we’ll drop the charges
You are not detested.
If you visit Russia now
You will not be arrested”
Yushchenko was tactical
In choosing his new friend. He
Took a new prime minister
A Russian to the end.

Kutchma then gave Yushchenko
And Yanukyvych blessing
Looks as if those arguments
Were only window dressing

Nice to see the clans are pals
And all are shaking hands now.
Its just difficult for us
To fully understand

Oy tay Duna Duna Duna
Orange Revolution
Oy ta Dun Duna Duna
What a big confusion !
Makes you wonder what’s the point
And whose behind these plans
Was the revolution just a
Switch between the clans?

There were demonstrations on the
Streets that cold December
Difficult for anyone in
Office to remember?

You’ve all kept your millions
And there’s no one there to blame
If the country changes now
Or if it stays the same!

Since that time a lot has happened
Some good and some bad.
Yulia’s Prime minister
The craftiest we’ve had!

Oy tay Duna Duna Duna
What an institution!
Oy tay Dun Duna Duna
What a convolution!

Yushchenko was trying hard
To make Ukraine Ukrainian
Yulia was treating him
As if he was an Alien

Then two thousand ten arrived
And time for an election
Yushchenko knocked out
There wasn’t much of a selection

Yanukovych Putin’s stooge
An Oligarch transparent
Tymoshenko bleating on
As if the heir apparent

Both of them are different
But both are quite the same
Neither wanted Yushchenko
In charge of “our Ukraine”

Oy ta Duna Duna Duna
Where’s the revolution?
Was there ever really one
Or was it an illusion!

Now it looks as if they’ve got
Exactly what they planned for
Question is just how much more
Will all the people stand for.

Some would say it’s all made up
And some would say insane
One thing seems for sure
It had to happen in Ukraine!

Oy ta Duna Duna Duna
Where’s the revolution?
Was there ever really one
Or was it an illusion!

© Stepan Pasicznyk aka Ludwig
© 2005 October (Original)
up to verse 15
Updated January 28th 2010
Verses 16 onwards
http://www.the-ukrainian.co.uk/

Original can be heard here.

Update to be recorded soon!
Watch this space!
http://www.the-ukrainian.co.uk/
http://www.myspace.com/ukrainians
http://www.youtube.com/ukrainianmusicvideo

Friday, February 12, 2010

Nash Holos recipe: Sour Cherry Torte

Judy Hrynenko of Prairie Cottage Perogies shared this decadent and delightful torte on Ukrainian Food Flair last fall. It comes courtesy Sofika Vandrovych of Selo Rozdil in western Ukraine. Sofika is known for her tortes and is well respected in the community for her baking abilities.

This recipe consists of three parts.

First part: White Dough

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter melted
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder.

Combine all ingredients and divide into three equal pieces. Roll each dough out evenly.

Second part: Chocolate Dough

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups flour
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine ingredients and divide into three equal pieces. Roll each dough out evenly into a triangle, trim all sides so they are equal in shape. You can put the white onto the chocolate then trim sides down.

Combine a rolled out white dough and place on top of chocolate dough until you have three layered pieces. You should have three white/chocolate sections.

Put onto a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown. About 15 minutes at 350ºF. Let cool.

Third part: Cream Filling

1¼ cups unsalted butter softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 large jar of sour cherries

[Tip: You can purchase canned sour cherries at Superstore, in your area or at a speciality store. If you are lucky to have your own fresh or frozen, by all means use them!]

Beat butter, icing sugar and cocoa until whipped, and peaks form. Spread half over the first cake layer.

Then add well drained sour cherries to cover the top. Over this, place second layer of cake, and repeat with cream filling, finishing with sour cherries.

Then top with your last layer of cake. Sprinkle one half cup crushed walnuts, pecans, or almonds over the top, then add shaved or grated dark chocolate to cover … 1/2 cup or more … depending on your mood!

Like all tortes, this one has absolutely no calories. ;-)

Smachnoho!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nash Holos debuts today on shortwave - Radio Miami International

On Thursday at 6 pm PST (Friday at 0200UTC ) Nash Holos will air on shortwave radio on the 31 metre band at 9955 khz, and online, streaming live at www.wrmi.net .

However, if you miss it, you can catch it on Live365 or download it at the PCJ Media site. There's a link to the Live365 broadcast at the PCJ Media site, and the download will be there for the time being.

It's not exactly the same as the Vancouver broadcast as it's tailored to an international rather than a local audience. So for now the international archives will be at the PCJ Media site. Later this year, however, I'll also be making some changes to the Vancouver broadcast to accommodate plans for potential expansion into other markets.

Needless to say, this is a very exciting time for me... and, I hope, Nash Holos listeners!

A special note of thanks to Keith Perron of PCJ Media for remembering me from the early days of Nash Holos on CHMB, for believing in the concept of Nash Holos, and for providing me the opportunity to pursue my vision for the program.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

91 year-old Ukrainian Canadian appointed for Olympics 2010 Torch Relay

Olga Kotelko, at age 91 known as the oldest long jump competitor in the world, was nominated as one of the 12,000 XXI Winter Olympic Games Torch Bearers.

Holding history in her hands, she carried the Olympic flame in the Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay on Wednesday, February 10 at 7:45 p.m., on Marine Drive in West Vancouver between 15th and 17th Street.

“I am so very happy and so overwhelmed to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said an emotional Kotelko before the event. “Carrying the Torch represents inspiration, dedication, hope, perseverance and community spirit. To me, this Flame is a shining symbol saluting good health and well being.”

This diminutive and personable former teacher from Burnaby, BC is a role model for youngsters, masters and seniors. Since 1997, at the age of 77, Olga Kotelko has been running, jumping and throwing – and breaking Canadian and World records in the W80, W85 and W90 age categories.

Starting with the World championships in Gateshead in 1999, she has competed internationally, indoors as well as out, winning hundreds of gold medals.

Her W85 record for the high jump, set in the 2004 B.C. Masters athletics championships in Penticton, earned her an age-graded ranking of 92.64%. In May at the 2009 B.C. Masters athletics championships in Nanaimo, she set 8 World Records, plus two national marks for a total of 10 Canadian records. She competed in the women shot put 90-94 years and broke the world record during the 2009 Sydney World Masters Games at Sydney Olympic Park on October 11, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.

"Through sport and exercise, I try to promote the importance of maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit," Olga explained.

In total, Olga Kotelko has 5 bronze, 12 silver and 600 gold medals scored in hammer throw, shot put, javelin, discus and weight throw, as well as long jump, discus, shot put, high jump, triple jump and 100m, 200m and 400m.

Olga Kotelko's achievements have not gone unnoticed.

Besides having been named BC’s Masters Athlete of the Year, she has also won the Vancouver YWCA’s Women of Distinction in Sports award. In her West Vancouver community, she is sought after as a motivational speaker for seniors, and is well known in her local elementary school where she coaches the shot put. Olga Kotelko is also included in the Canadian Masters Athletics Hall of Fame.

“I am enjoying the benefits of doing what I started at the age of 77… track and field” she stated. “As the Chinese expression says: “It is not how old we are, it is how we get old!”

Nash Holos recipe: Navy Bean Dip

This zesty, garlicky bean dip is as delicious as it is nutritious, and perfect for Olympics parties!

It’s actually a traditional ritual Ukrainian Christmas dish, but can be enjoyed any time of the year. Serve it hot as a side dish with a meal, or cold as a dip or spread on crackers or bread for an appetizer or snack.

For navy bean dip, you will need:

2 14 oz cans of navy beans
1 large onion, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
Four cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Drain beans, rinse, and mash. Sauté onions in oil until very tender. Then add to the beans. Mash chopped garlic and add to the bean mixture. Mix well. Reheat and season to taste.

This will make about three cups.

Smachnoho!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Nash Holos makes debut on shortwave

This Thursday (or Friday, depending on where you are), Nash Holos will make its international shortwave debut on Radio Miami International (WRMI), under the auspices of Taipei-based PCJ Media.

In the Americas, it will air on 9955khz (at the 31 metre band) on Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 0200UTC (Thursday, Feb. 11 at 6 pm PST). You can also catch the live stream at http://www.wrmi.net/ .

The debut program will be a slightly modified version of the original Vancouver broadcast which aired on January 31st. For the time being, Nash Holos will air on shortwave once a month.

The shortwave world has been notified. Details here.

It's been an interesting experience for me so far! I'm enjoying becoming acquainted with the international radio scene, courtesy Keith and co. at PCJ Media.

Keith Perron is the head honcho at PCJ Media. We worked together briefly in the early days of Nash Holos at CHMB radio until he left for greener pastures in Beijing. About a year ago he revived the world's longest-running shortwave radio program, The Happy Station Show, an extremely entertaining variety show which he now hosts.

He is not Ukrainian himself (his pronunciation kind of gives him away) but has very eclectic musical tastes. He thought that since Nash Holos is delivered in English, it would be a good fit for his budding media network. The broadcast schedule is here.

Stay tuned for more developments as they occur!

Ukraine House in Vancouver during 2010 Olympics

Ukraine House invites one and all to come celebrate the Olympics.

• Listen and dance to music by entertainers from Ukraine and across Canada
• Indulge in homemade Ukrainian dishes such as pyrohy (perogies), holubtsi (cabbage rolls), and kovbassa (garlic sausage) at reasonable prices throughout the day
• Enjoy Ukrainian pyvo (beer), horilka (vodka), and other beverages while watching events on large screen TV
• Participate in an auction of sports memorabilia, including running shoes belonging to Ukrainian Olympic gold medal pole-vaulter Sergei Bubka (Sunday February 21st)
• Meet new friends and mingle with Ukrainian athletes
• Purchase souvenirs and Team Ukraine clothing
• For an elegant evening, take in the Olympic Ball Feb. 20th. See website for details, and/or contact Myrna for tickets.
• On-site parking

Ukraine House will officially open on February 11, 2010 and will be open to the public during the period of February 12-28, with the exception of Sun. Feb 14 - Tue. Feb 16, Tue. Feb 23, and Sat. Feb. 27, as well as the evenings of Sat. Feb. 13 and Sat. Feb 20.

Ukraine House is located at the Ukrainian Catholic Centre 3150 Ash Street (near Cambie and 16th) in Vancouver, BC. General Admission is FREE!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Nash Holos Recipe: Chestnut cookies

This unusual cookie recipe using chestnuts comes straight from Ukraine. It was given to Judy by Sofika Vandrovych from Selo Rozdil.

Decadent and truly delicious!

Sofika's Chestnut Cookies

2 cups flour
1 cup butter
5 boiled eggs, yolks only
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 dozen chestnuts, cooked and peeled

(Tip: You can buy ready-to-use chestnuts if you don’t have time to prepare and peel them yourself. If you cannot find chestnuts for this recipe, substitute pecans.)

Mix all ingredients and put into the fridge for two hours. Remove from fridge, pinch off a piece about the size of a walnut. Add a chestnut in the middle and roll up like a ball.
Continue until all dough is used up. Bake in a 350º degree oven for about 12-15 minutes.

While the cookies are baking, make the cream coating.

4 tablespoons hot milk
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons each of icing sugar and butter
chopped chestnuts or crushed pecans

Cream together milk, cocoa, icing sugar and butter. When cookies are cooled, roll each into this mixture, then into chopped chestnuts or crushed pecans.

BTW, don’t waste those egg whites… use them for egg salad sandwiches! (Make sure you add some fresh dill to it, adds great flavour.) Serve the sandwiches with bread and butter pickles, and enjoy one of these wonderful cookies for dessert!

Smachnoho!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Vancouver's Ukrainian community greets Ukraine's Olympic athletes

A group of about 20 members of the local Ukrainian community descended on Vancouver International airport on Thursday Feb. 04 to greet athletes from Ukraine arriving to compete in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

The entourage was coordinated by Myrna Arychuk of Solaway Travel in Burnaby. More details here.

(Video courtesy the Richmond Review.)