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Tameside community stands with Ukraine

Members of the local Ukrainian community gathered at Dukinfield Town Hall to celebrate Vyshyvanka Day and welcome a number of refugees to the borough. 

Amongst the gathering of local community members for the first time last Thursday (19 May) were refugees who had arrived from Ukraine in last few days and weeks. 

National Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) Chair Petro Rewko welcomed everyone on behalf of the Tameside Ukrainian Community, including guests, sponsors and hosts. He gave a short speech explaining that Vyshyvanka Day started in 2006 and is celebrated each year in the third week of May. 

Vyshyvanka Day is an international holiday that aims to preserve the Ukrainian folk traditions of creating and wearing ethnic embroidered clothes called vyshyvankas - vyshyvanka means embroidery/embroidered. 

Those gathered at the town hall - along with Ukrainian communities all around the world - proudly wore their embroidered shirts, blouses, t-shirts and scarves. 

Each embroidery pattern and colour of threads have their own meaning based on the regions of Ukraine and their traditions. The embroidered blouse and shirt make up part of the Ukrainian costume which again varies from region to region. 

“Although we are still in a state of war in Ukraine which seems to have no end in sight, for a few moments we could smile and enjoy the evening sunshine together with our new-found friends from Ukraine,” said Petro.

After a minute’s silence to remember those who have given their lives during this war and for those still suffering its effects, the short ceremony was ended by singing the Ukrainian National Anthem ‘Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished’.

Images by Nigel Wood

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