An amazing skill from the Ukraine
If you are not one of those eight people who gathered at the New Castle library on Saturday, March 19, you missed a lot. Here is a great chance for you to make it up.Even though half of the people have no idea where the Ukraine is, and like to ask naive questions like: “Is it in Africa?” and “Do people have cars over there?” Ukrainian Easter eggs are very famous over here.Jaci Spuhler is the director of the Garfield County Public Library system. In the past, she was a Russian translator and teacher. She learned how to paint Ukrainian Easter eggs in 1986, while living in Virginia. Now she lives in Colorado and demonstrates this wonderful skill to elementary- and middle-school students and anyone who attends her classes at the New Castle library. And I have to say there are always a lot of interested new students.”This is what I do during Lent, for me it’s a part of my religious observing. I’ve done it with fifth-graders to very old people.”Spuhler taught the art to Ann Honchell in 1992.”I love doing this,” she said. “I make them every year for gifts. I am also teaching a lot of people. My neighbors are coming for a class tomorrow.”From person to person this wonderful, ancient skill is spreading around. It’s calming and gives the participant only positive emotions. The time passes quickly, and you won’t even realize you spent two or three hours coloring one egg. But what a wonderful result you’ll get.Even 11-year-old Hannah Gentry, for whom it’s hard to sit in one place and who doesn’t count herself as an artistic person, after Spuhler’s class on Saturday, said, “It’s so cool.”The history of this amazing tradition starts hundreds of years ago. Ukrainian girls and older ladies used to gather together at nights and color “pusankas” (the Ukrainian word for Easter eggs) and sing songs. Now, people all over the world pick up this custom and enjoy doing it. It’s really an amazing part of the Ukrainian history and culture. If you’d like to make some pusankas, ask Jaci Spuhler: She is a professional in doing the craft of Ukrainian egg decorating. Olesya Bufan is a junior at Rifle High School and will be returning to Lviv, Ukraine, at the end of May. She is staying with Rifle High School assistant principal Danny Gentry and family.
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