For this Thanksgiving, I'd like to share my deep feelings of gratitude to you all through this piece of dance, known as Pryvit.
Pryvit is a Ukrainian dance of welcome, where the honored guests are offered bread, salt and wheat.
Canada has a large Ukrainian population, mainly settled in the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with other large populations on the west coast in British Columbia, and in central Canada in Ontario.
When I worked as an usher at the live theatre in Toronto, we had a Ukrainian dance troupe who performed there, and I was so touched by this dance I welled up with tears. If you recall my story of the summer adventure with Russian sailors my sister and I had in 1984, you'll no doubt guess why.
While we were on board the ship, the sailors brought us several loaves of bread from below decks. This was their own food that they were sharing with my sister and me, who could have bought any number of loaves at the store anytime we wanted. I'm certain the stores of a Soviet ship were not quite as plentiful as all that.
So on this Thanksgiving, I'll let these dancers say for me what I hold deep in my heart for you.
The Yevshan Ukrainian Folk Ballet Ensemble, performing at the Vesna Festival in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
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