Ukrainian Week


embroidery85 From Monday, March 24 to Friday, March 28, students and staff of IHMS celebrated their unique culture and heritage with Ukrainian Week. The theme for this year was “Taras Shevchenko – Sun of Ukraine”.


taras11 Taras Shevchenko was a Ukrainian writer and artist who was born 200 years ago in a tiny village just south if Kyiv. Although he was born into a very poor family, he overcame these humble origins to become one of the most important literary figures in Ukrainian history. He’s often referred to as “the people’s poet”, a national hero who had an opposition to all forms of oppression and an uncompromising love for his country. His literary work was instrumental in shaping the modern Ukrainian language, and it contributed greatly to the development of a Ukrainian national consciousness. As a result Taras Shevchenko is now revered as one of the most important and iconic figures in Ukrainian history.


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has proclaimed 2014 a “Year of Shevchenko”. Accordingly, almost 200 nations from around the world marked March 9, 2014 on their event calendars to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko. tarassp4


The Taras Shevchenko display set up in the school’s front foyer


UkraineFlag2 Monday was a N.U.T. Day –  “No Uniforms Today”. Students and staff wore blue and yellow clothing symbolizing the colours of the Ukrainian flag – a blue sky above a brilliant yellow field of wheat. Students could also wear a t-shirt with a Ukrainian slogan on it.


Students dressed up for Monday’s N.U.T. day


Also on Monday, and for every day throughout the week, the students were able to participate in a daily trivia contest that helped them to learn more about Taras Shevchenko. The trivia questions (and answers) were in an information sheet sent home with the students. Students entered their answers for the chance to win a daily prize.


 taras2       Trivia Questions        taras2


Monday’s Question: In relation to Taras Shevchenko, what is the significance of the year 2014? Answer: 2014 is the 200th anniversary of his birth.


Tuesday’s Question: What was the date and year of Taras Shevchenko’s birth?  Answer: March 9, 1814.


Wednesday’s Question: Taras Shevchenko listened to “kobzars” as a young boy. What is a kobzar? Answer: A kobzar is a wandering minstrel who would play the kobza (a stringed instrument) while travelling from village to village.


Thursday’s Question: Aside from being a great poet and writer, what other artistic talents did Taras have? Answer: He was an outstanding portrait painter, illustrator, and engraver.


Friday’s Question: What is the name of Taras Shevchenko’s first collection of poems and stories? Answer: “Kobzar”, released in 1840.



On Tuesday and Wednesday, stidents continued with their rehearsals for the Ukrainian concert. Many students also submitted  answers for the trivia contest, which was separated into 3 different grade levels. This increased the chances of winning a prize!


Grade 4 student Martin D. enters his answer for the daily trivia contest


Thursday was the most exciting day of Ukrainian Week because it was the day of the concert. Unlike last December’s two separate Christmas concerts (one for K-3 and and one for 4-8 students), there was only one Ukrainian concert where all grade levels participated.


Grade 8 students painting props for the Ukrainian Concert


The concert, entitled “Taras Shevchenko – Sun of Ukraine” was performed twice on Thursday in order to accommodate the schedules of parents who work shift work. As has been the case for years, there was a 1:30 matinee performance in addition to the traditional evening performance at 7:00.


A scene from Thursday’s Ukrainian Concert


perogies Friday, March 28th was the last day for the trivia contest, and the last day before the beginning of the Spring break. Thanks to perogy donations from various Ukrainian Catholic parishes, students were able to purchase a delicious perogy lunch served by the IHMS Parents Guild.


Junior high students enjoying perigees for lunch on Friday (top photos) and some of the parent volunteers who cooked and served them


svandoc3 At 1:00 p.m., students attended Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral before being dismissed for their spring break.


Ukrainian Week was another great success this year. Thank you to Mrs. Wdowiak and Mrs. Stanowych (the school’s Ukrainian teachers), Miss Karhut, Mr. Picklyk and Sr. Anne for planning the activities. Their dedication and hard work made Ukrainian Week 2014 the success that it was.