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'It's a high holiday': The Easter bazaar raising money for Ukrainian newcomers

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Winnipeg's Ukrainian cultural centre hosted an Easter-themed sale this weekend to help people prepare for the upcoming holiday and teach English to Ukrainian newcomers.

Oseredok's Easter Bazaar took place at 184 Alexander Avenue E. Mar. 24 and 25. Customers browsed a special selection of candles, decorations, postcards, and Easter basket covers, among other things.

"We're trying to provide different kinds of merchandise that people can use during their Easter celebration," said Rozalia Rohalsky, Oseredok volunteer. "So everything you would put in your Easter basket - which you take to church to be blessed - we try to offer here."

The Bazaar sold out of its selection of babkas and paskas, Ukrainian Easter bread, but it also carried the baking forms used to make the bread at home.

A selection of locally-made pysanka were also available, as well as supplies to decorate the beautiful Ukrainian Easter eggs. "We do offer the dyes, and the wax and the kistka, which is the writing stylus," said Rohalsky.

Rohalsky said Easter is a very important holiday in Ukrainian culture. "It’s a high holiday in Ukraine, and we celebrate as Ukrainians in Canada."

All profits made from the Bazaar will go towards offering English language courses for Ukrainian newcomers who have fled the war with Russia. The classes are for beginners only, people who have very little or no understanding of English.

"It helps them start getting a little bit more comfortable and even being able to understand, never mind just speak," said Rohalsky.

She said the classes not only help newcomers learn about our language, but also our culture.

Rohalsky said the weekly classes are very much in demand, with a large waiting list. We're hoping that the more we can make as far as profits, we can then put towards having more English courses for the newcomers," she said.

She added Oseredok is always looking for volunteers to help. "It feels like family when you walk in here, with the people that are working, the volunteers that are here," Rohalsky said. "If (newcomers) have questions about anything, whether it be about jobs, churches, schools, we try to provide them that here as well."

More information can be found on the Oseredok website

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