WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY EASTER!
Spring has sprung, with the promise of new signs of life all around us. As the days get increasingly longer, we will see the grass turning greener, leaves sprouting on trees, and flowers blooming. As the temperatures gradually get warmer, we will be storing our winter coats and boots, and pulling our short pants and sandals.
On Sunday, April 17, many young ones will be waking up early to see if the Easter Bunny remembered to leave treats in their baskets. For children—well, some adults too—it usually means there will be lots of chocolate to eat before going on the annual Easter egg hunt. Families and friends will gather for a special meal as they celebrate traditional symbols of new life and hope, such as baby chicks, bunnies, and of course Easter eggs.
Whatever traditions are practiced in your household, I hope that your celebrations are meaningful and memorable, and the ‘new beginning’ for the rest of the year.
One of the treasures that has always fascinated me at this time of year is pysanky, or Ukrainian Easter eggs. These exquisite creations are not painted, but decorated with remarkably detailed folk designs using beeswax. This year, pysanky also serve as a somber reminder of what Ukrainian families are facing this spring.
UPDATE ON UKRAINE At the time of writing this, Ukraine has been under siege for over one month with Russian forces invading their cities and causing unfathomable chaos. By flagrantly breaking established international protocols, Russia is demonstrating that they have no interest in a peaceful resolution, nor following the international rules-based order that has protected global security for the past 73 years. This war on freedom, on democracy, and on the rights of people to determine their own future has currently resulted in ~2700 civilian deaths (including many children), over 4.1 million Ukrainians seeking refuge
in other countries, and an estimated US $565 billion in property damages. It is my hope that by the time you read this, Russia will have withdrawn their military from Ukraine. While it may not seem likely at this point, we can all hope. Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs) are intricate hand painted works of art that are known around the world for their amazing craftsmanship. Photo credit: Association of United Ukrainian Canadians (Winnipeg, MB) On March 16, I took my place in the House of Commons for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to Canada.