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Group generosity in the direction of Ukrainian newcomers praised at Malanka

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Ukrainian meals, dancing and music crammed Shell Place as greater than 400 folks and 76 dancers celebrated Malanka with Fort McMurray’s Avrora Ukrainian Dance Membership.

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Malanka is New 12 months’s Eve on the Julian Calendar, which is utilized by a number of Christian denominations in Jap Europe.

It’s normally the final time for partying and feasting earlier than Lent, the 40 days earlier than Easter Sunday that’s normally marked with prayer and fasting by many Christians around the globe. Malanka falls on Jan. 13, though Fort McMurray hosted a belated gathering on Jan. 21.

This 12 months’s pageant was each joyous and sorrowful for Fort McMurray’s Ukrainian group. Whereas it was the primary time the group might collect collectively since 2019’s celebrations, this 12 months’s occasion was overshadowed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Lee-Anne Kumka, president of the society, mentioned a minimum of 110 Ukrainians have registered with the Fort McMurray Ukrainian Cultural Society for the reason that begin of the struggle. Lots of them have been in attendance at Shell Place.

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In speeches at the beginning of the night, each Kumka and Mayor Sandy Bowman praised the generosity of the group to welcome the newcomers.

Kumka mentioned it might take too lengthy to thank all the person folks and group teams who helped the newcomers. However, she took time to formally thank Bowman for his efforts. Bowman requested the society how the municipality might assist Ukrainians at the beginning of the struggle. He was gifted a portray of a dove by Olena Khymych, a Ukrainian artist who has arrived in Fort McMurray.

“Whether or not you may’t wait to get again dwelling otherwise you wish to make Fort McMurray your own home, we’re right here to welcome you and help you,” mentioned Bowman.

“Individuals have reached out and provided furnishings, meals and so many gadgets to make people who find themselves coming from Ukraine really feel welcome and a part of the group,” mentioned Kumka. “We wished to welcome you and allow you to know that our arms are open and we’re a extremely incredible group.”

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