Friday, December 10, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Re the ROM event

My thanks to all the folks in Toronto -- the Ukrainian Heritage Day at the ROM on Sunday was wonderful. Full house, standing room only, plus sitting room in front for the many kids. The concert was great. Prolisok and the Bandurist Capella were super. Many dance groups, very nice dancing, but I wish the directors of various dance groups would not have the females in the ensemble squeal and yelp and scream out. Very offensive, not traditional, not elegant, just totally not right. Some dance group in Ukraine started doing this in the last few years, and many ensembles in North America think this is "nice" or traditional! Awful. Does not belong, detracts from the performance, and is not at all Ukrainian. How do we get the message out to stop this?

End of rant.

Back to the events at the ROM. Museum was packed from Sunday morning. Young people in Ukrainian embroidered shirts volunteering at the desk, in the kids' activity centre, and just all over. My lecture on origins of Ukrainian Christmas was in the theatre after the concert, and I was pleased that so many attended. And relieved at the positive response! There was not that much time for discussion, because just down the street at Koerner Hall at 4 P.M., the Ukrainian Art Song project gala concert was beginning.

I was so delighted that I could attend. Amazing. For anyone interested in beautiful music, check out the website.

My thanks to my hosts in Toronto, and to all my friends whom I was able to meet -- some from long ago, even!

Have lectures, will travel!

War, women, and

Some food for thought -- especially in the letter to the editor in response to the article.

Esp. on this anniversary of John Lennon's death. His wishful thinking about peace was one thing, but somehow the fact that someone is an aggressor did not enter the picture. Giving peace a chance only works if EVERYONE is peaceful.

Women rule

Dr. W. Gifford-Jones again had an excellent article in your paper, Maybe it's time to let women rule world, on Dec. 3. As George McGovern, during his 1972 presidential campaign, put it, "I'm sick and tired of old men dreaming up wars in which young men do the dying."

When Dan Rather, the former CBS news anchorman, was on a hospital ship off the coast of Vietnam during the Vietnam War, he went into the hold of the ship and heard only one word from the lips of those wounded young soldiers, some with multiple amputations.

What was the word? It was "mother." As Rather put it, "None called for father, or for doctor or nurse. Only mother." Mothers the world over, are you listening?

Stan Penner