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Date and Place of Birth: July 11,1957, Toronto, Ont. Canada 
Date of Interview: March 4, 2020
Place of Interview: Toronto, Ont.
Length of Interview: 1 hour 15 minutes
Interviewer: Ariadna Ochrymovych
Language: English


Marijka: I think about the big questions that kind of keep me awake at night. How do we insure that our hromada (community) is sustainable, can sustain itself going into the future? The kind of upbringing that I had was very special, the kind of upbringing that we tried to give our children is very special, and I think they consider themselves very lucky as well. And I would like every Ukrainian Canadian to be able to experience that. And you start thinking, jak zberihty vse shcho my majemo,i jak zabezpechyty vse shcho my majemo?( How do we ensure everything we have and how do we maintain everything we have?)

So having the infrastructure in place and the services in place for all of us and everyone at every phase of our lives, so sadochky, tserkvy,* our day schools which I worry a little bit about now. What’s gonna happen to our day schools?  Again because our children benefited so greatly from them I would like other children to have the same benefits, to experience that: youth groups, University groups, molodechi orhanizatsii,** sports, cultural organizations right up to senior residences.

We were fully, fully immersed in the whole Ukrainska spilnota, Ukrainska hromada (Ukrainian community).  Everything we did revolved around the church, my father was instrumental in raising funds for Holy Eucharist Church, when it was built in 1967. We belonged to SUM Oseredok*** in Toronto, so of course every possible sviato (holiday) associated with that , Sviato Vesny ( Celebration of spring) every year, tabir (camp). As I mentioned my father was hospodar  (caretaker) so there was a lot of involvement on his part, always fundraising, supporting events. So my brothers and I tagged along to all of it. It was an expectation….. Ukrainska shkola (school),  we would get on the subway and go to Christie [Street ]****three times a week, kursy (Ukrainian high school) on Saturdays. We all did our matura (Ukrainian high school graduation).

Interviewer: What do you like about the Ukrainian community?

Marijka: It’s a sense of belonging and it’s like an extended family…

Interviewer: So, What would you like to see different about the community now?

The one thing we’ve talked about from time to time, the one thing I think we could do a little differently is not focus so much on having delineated groups. And actually I do see this happening, I see our churches working more in tandem. I grew up, “ ja nichoho ne znala  pro pravoslavny tserkvy “( I didn’t know anything about the Orthodox church). And that’s not a good thing, oh,  “vony pravoslavni “ (oh, they’re orthodox), What does that mean? When you're a kid what does that mean ? But now there is a lot of movement towards changing that culture and I would like to see that religiously and I'd like to see that politically as well. I mean, the Ukrainian hromada, is no different than any other hromada in the sense that it’s diverse:  it’s diverse  politically, it’s diverse  religiously, it’s diverse in many different ways, culturally. Now we even talk about sexual orientation in the Ukrainian community which never would have happened thirty or forty or fifty years ago when we were growing you. But that’s the kind of movement, I think, that will make a big, big difference.

* kindergardens, churches
** youth organizations
*** Ukrainian Youth Organization
**** location of SUM

excerpt from the Interview with STADNYK, MARIA

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