International Children's Festival
Several thousand children and adults were educated about Ukrainian culture, history, and geography by members of TUCA on April 16, 2011 at the International Children's Festival in Hampton. After we proceeded in the Parade of Nations, (past president Wally Melnítchouk participated also, with lovely daughter, Olivia), Olena Boyko welcomed the audience with the traditional bread and salt. Braving dirt-blowing severe winds, the visitors were nonetheless enthralled to hear Joanna explain and illustrate how the beautiful tradition of pysanky are "written." Joanna gave the children paper pysanky designs to take home to color.
Myron Bilyj, our festival chairman, explained the history of how other nations sporadically succeeded and failed to conquer Ukraine. Andy Grynewytsch played "customs agent" as he stamped the children’s "passports" With a "Ukraine" stamp. Elaine Hampton, co-chairman, asked and showed the visitors where Ukraine is located on a map, and also wrote their names in Ukrainian.
Elaine explained how our flag illustrates Ukraine being called the "breadbasket of Europe": the blue represents the sky, the gold represents the wheat fields. Olena Boyko (with the help of her granddaughter, Lilliana,) sold Ukrainian items as part of fundraising for the orphanages. Ukrainian items, loaned by Myron, Andy, Elaine, Olena, Joanna and Melanie Paul, helped to add to the cultural décor of the entire tent. It was another successful endeavor by TUCA to educate the public about the beauty and uniqueness of Ukraine.