Monday, March 28, 2011

A Taste of Easters Past

EASTER CELEBRATIONS will take place throughout the world this coming April. Surrey, BC, is no exception. Many families attend church during this religious time. Because the area attracts people from across the globe, it is a multicultural community with many denominations from which to choose.

When I spotted this charming church a few weeks ago in the Whalley district of Surrey, I knew I would come back. The Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary is a unique cultural landmark in the community, historically as well as architecturally.

But I was not seeking a feast for the soul during my return trip. Rather I was looking for traditional Ukrainian food available at the adjacent hall.

The bulletin board seen upon entering showed the spirit of Ukrainian dance is alive and thriving, in part thanks to groups such as the Kvitka Dancers.

A table of leaflets showed that pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg) workshops were available throughout March in anticipation of the season.

Traditional embroidery decoratively fanned the walls of a large hall.

The dining area was being prepared for a special event. I was told there would be a wedding there the next day.

The handmade sauerkraut perogies and meatless cabbage rolls my husband and I purchased from their kitchen freezer for dinner later were delicious, winning Penelope's seal of approval.

Discovering the church brought back fragmented memories of Easter. My mom, who passed away many years ago, came to Canada as a young bride from the Ukraine before I was born. Her attempt to keep up traditions largely failed. My celebrations evolved into serving store-bought perogies and chocolate eggs for Easter dinner. Symbolizing rebirth and spring, the traditional hand painted egg morphed into watered down designs, requiring far less skill than the originals.

The melting of cultures and merging of customs left me, as it does so many in multicultural societies, much like an offshoot plant attached to its roots but growing independently. That is probably why this small taste of Easters past was so sweet.

Explorers can find more sites from around the globe at My World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. Actually, that watereddown egg looks lovely. I think I prefer it to the higly decorated ones.
    Haven't done that for years. Blowing out the inside was such a chore.

  2. What a lovely post and so interesting. Love your pictures.

  3. What a fascinating and interesting post for the day! Love the history and your photos as always! Ah, and the food reminded me that I haven't had lunch!! Hope you have a great week!


  4. Very interesting, all what you show. The egg is beautiful. I miss seeing Easter eggs this time of the year.

  5. Wonderfully informative post.

  6. Thank you for this interesting journey. From where I come from, people used to say, that 'food holds body, mind and soul together.'

    Please have a good Tuesday.

    daily athens

  7. great post. your pictures remind me of colourful Easter eggs during this time of year in Salzburg. have a wonderful week.

  8. Wonderful shots. The church is very interesting.

  9. Going back to your roots through your visit to the church made an interesting post. Keeping customs alive is sometimes difficult in a new culture.

  10. A beautiful post. No culture is an island unto itself. Thanks for sharing the journey and the joy.

  11. I like this festive mood. Lovely pics, the pot particularly has fascinated me a lot.

  12. The photos of the food and church are wonderful.

  13. That easter egg looks great. I too prefer it over the highly colorful ones. Great informative post.

  14. I was hoping you would go pack to sample those perogies! I only taught a small band class at the Ukrainian Community Centre in Montreal, during a stint when I had returned to university as an adult. I still remember watching the dancers in another room, and I still have a couple of the beautifully decorated wooden eggs that were given to me as gifts. There is something about the traditional costumes, architecture, and decor that is unmistakeable, and you have really caught that beauty in your photographs.

  15. How wonderful that these traditions are still being celebrated. I like it that Easter Bunny hasn't taken over completely.


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