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embroidery85 From Monday, March 23 to Friday, March 27, students and staff of IHMS celebrated their unique culture and heritage with Ukrainian Week. The theme for this year was Legends of the Carpathians!.



The Carpathians are a group of mountains that run for approximately 1500 km in a north-west to south-east arc across Eastern Europe. About 10% of the Carpathians lie within the borders of western Ukraine, and the relative isolation of the area has given rise to several unique groups of “mountain people” with customs, music, food, and even a language that is completely different from the rest of Ukraine.


“Legends of the Carpathians!” displayed in Ukrainian on the gym wall


Junior-high students decorating eggs (pysanka) for Easter on the Friday before Ukrainian Week. Click here to view additional photos


Monday was a NUT 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. UkraineFlag2


Students dressed in  blue and yellow on Monday


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 the Carpathian mountains. 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.



Trivia Questions 

Monday’s Question: What is the name of the mountain range in western Ukraine? Answer: The Carpathian mountains.
Tuesday’s Question: What are the names of the popular cornbread and cheese in this region?  Answer: Kulesho and brynzo.
Wednesday’s Question: What is the name of the horn used to communicate in the mountain villages? Answer: The trembito.
Thursday’s Question: What is the name of the long-handled, hand carved, ornately decorated axe? Answer: Topirtsi.
Friday’s Question: This Carpathian hero was the leader of the opryshky and the subject of many legends? Answer: Olekso Doubush.



A Ukrainian Week display was also set up in the front foyer on Monday


Tuesday was also a NUT Day. Students were asked to wear either a t-shirt with a Ukrainian slogan or a favourite embroidered shirt.


Students wearing Ukrainian t-shirts or embroidered shirts on Tuesday


On Wednesday, students 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!


A grade 8 girl submitting her answer for the trivia contest


Thursday, in addition to being another NUT day, 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.


Junior high girls dressed up in their embroidered Ukrainian blouses


The concert, entitled “Legends of the Carpathians” 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 wide angle shot of the stage during the matinee performance of the 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.


Parent volunteers serving perogies to  junior-high and kindergarten students


svandoc3 At 1:00 p.m., students and staff marked the end of Ukrainian Week by attending Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral before being dismissed for spring break. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the IHMS staff and parent volunteers, Ukrainian Week for 2015 was another smashing success!


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