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MYROSLAVA OLEKSIUK


Activist, journalist, filmmaker, magazine editor

Date and Place of Birth:  1946 in Kiel, Germany


Date of Interview: August 10 2016

Place of Interview: Toronto, ON

Interviewer:  Kassandra Luciuk

Length of Interview: 03:08:13



(Excerpt):


We wanted to know about their feelings also as immigrants. And he, the story he told was, going back to Hydro, his time, and there was a, the supervisor that was in charge of their group would frequently call them god damn DPs. And at one point my father said: “If you call me a god damn DP once more I will kill you.” And I felt that that was…encompassed a very important lesson for our children. And I think for all Ukrainian children to understand, you know, because they have no conception of the hard times, the very hard times that their ancestors, their grandparents went through. And that little story, I think, gave them an indication. And because Yvan and Meelena, my daughter, had many occasions to be with my parents, that was very important because that story, again, was reinforced with other stories. Not necessarily negative stories, but stories about their life. And I think that played…because we are surrounded, we who are trying to imbue…to retain some of our Ukrainian culture and to imbue our children with the meaning of some of that and…more than a “sharavarshchyna,” I think the most impactful way is with personal stories, personal experiences. Because you learn the history in Ukrainian school, and you learn…you go to these concerts, you go to these anniversary commemorations of historical events and that is, that is necessary to have that knowledge, to know the facts.

But to feel a closeness to that, you have to have a personal experience of some sort with that. And so through their close life with my parents, and what they conveyed, which was so fresh, because they experienced it themselves – it wasn’t through me – they could reinforce that culture, that history, which helped me so much because, of course, I was married to an English speaking Canadian –who was very supportive of everything Ukrainian, and of everything that I attempted to convey to my children, including being able to speak Ukrainian – which was…I mean, he was forewarned that was my goal, so, but he understood that and he shared that to the extent that he could. And being…he found that very interested as well and very enriching of his life.



CROSS REFERENCES:


“Today’s Independent Ukraine: Can Our Community Continue to Support the Cause?”, Ukrainian National Federation - Toronto Branch, Toronto, Canada, 13 December 2009

The interviews can be accessed at the UCRDC. Please contact us at: office@ucrdc.org

excerpt from the Interview with MYROSLAVA OLEKSIUK
ORAL HISTORY OF UKRAINIAN CANADA