NP-UN Western Bureau.
An estimated 300 people attended the “Embroidery in Ukrainians’ Life”, presented by the Ukrainian Women’s Organization of Canada, Ukrainian National Federation and Ukrainian National Youth Federation Edmonton branches, and held April 13-14 at the UNF Hall.
The exhibit included many artifacts from UWO, UNF and from private collections, some of which were over 100 years old.
The objective was to acquaint members of the younger generation and newcomers from Ukraine with the embroidery that many of the earlier Ukrainians who came to Canada brought with them, explained UWO Edmonton President and exhibit organizer Tamara Vorotilenko. “It’s our treasure and we wanted to show people… that Ukraine is alive, that Ukraine lives and that we are preserving our history of our ancestors,” she told New Pathway-Ukrainian News.
Embroidery is a form of applied decorative art where the wonders of folk imagination, beauty of native nature, customs, spiritual aspirations, experiences and feelings of the master are brought to life in a patterned motif. Embroidery served as a protection from everything evil and negative. The roots of this art form come from the depths of ages. Data from archeological excavations, the testimony of chroniclers and wanderers from the past permit us to confirm that the beginnings of the art of embroidery on the territory of present-day Ukraine derive from the most ancient past and its development was never interrupted – starting from forgotten times to the present.
Following the Orange Revolution of 2004, embroidery became a symbol of patriotism and rebirth of the national spirit in Ukraine. With the rebirth of the independence of Ukraine, embroidery once again became fashionable, not only as holiday, but also everyday wear. Starting from the year 2006, the third Thursday of May is celebrated as International Vyshyvanka (embroidered shirt) Day. This holiday has attained wide popularity and became traditional. Festive events, dedicated to the Ukrainian embroidered shirt are not only held in Ukraine, but far beyond her borders – in the countries of Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, and so on. One of the most colourful traditions of this holiday has become the embroidery parade. Ukrainian motifs are utilized in the collections of such world-renowned fashion houses like Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Valentino.
On the first day of the exhibit, visitors could also participate in a watercolour pysanka workshop by Valeriy Semenko as well as a paska decoration and baking workshop.
On the second day they were treated to a concert featuring the Verkhovyna School of Ukrainian Dance, Trembita School of Dance, Prolisky, Piast Polish Dance Ensemble, the Dzherelo Children’s Theatre, and the Ruta Musical Ensemble.
Paskas and babkas were available for sale on both days as was Marusia’s kitchen featuring Ukrainian cuisine.