26 December 2010

The passing of John Warhola

John Warhola in front of Andy's portrait of
their mother, Julia, at the Warhol Museum

John Warhola, the older brother of the best known of American Rusyns, Andy Warhol, died Christmas Eve at the age of 85.

He is survived by his older brother, Paul, and his sons:  Donald, Mark and Jeffrey.  

Here is his obituary from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Here's the obituary from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Here's the report, in Slovak, from the Slovak press agency SITA.

Vičnaja jemu pamjat!

24 December 2010

Христос раждається! Christos Raždajetsja! Christ is born!

"Rusyn Christmas," an oil painting by Michal Sirik

12 December 2010

A little Rusyn Christmas music

With two weeks left until Christmas (unless you're on the old calendar and have a couple more weeks), I'm sure holiday preparations are going on in homes across North America.

A little Rusyn Christmas music may help when you're making nut roll, or wrapping presents, and the Internet offers a couple great choices.

The archive of Jerry Jumba's old "Carpatho-Rus' Radio Show" provides a few hours of Christmas tunes here, here and here.

And, of course, there's the continuing Sunday afternoon broadcasts of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society's radio show, hosted by Dean Poloka. Here and here are last year's Christmas special.

07 December 2010

The details of our January 15th Rusyn New Year pot-luck

The Lake Michigan Chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society invites you to a Rusyn New Year Pot-Luck on Saturday, January 15 at St. Michael Orthodox Church, 7313 Waukegan Road, Niles, IL.

The doors open at noon for socializing, shopping at the Rusyn market and photo scanning.

We're collecting the history of Rusyns in the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana. You can help by bring your old family photographs and documents for us to scan and make digital copies without harming the originals. Please bring typed or printed names of the people and places and the date of the photo to include in the archives.

The feasting begins at 1 p.m., followed by some traditional Rusyn Christmas carols.

Bring your favorite Rusyn or other covered dish, or dessert. Beverages will be provided.

RSVP by January 10th the number coming and what you'll be bringing to  cpconjelko@frontier.com (Charlotte) or 708-895-3074 (Ken) Be sure & leave a message.

Directions from the north:  Take I-294 South to Exit IL-58/Golf Rd.  Turn left on East River Rd. then left (east) on Golf Rd.  Turn right (south) on IL-21/Milwaukee Ave.  Make a left on Howard St. and a right on Waukegan Rd.  Turn left into church parking lot across from Marathon Gas Station. 

Directions from the south:  Take I-90 to Touhy Ave. exit (I-Pass users stay to right as exit is immediately after tollbooth).  Stay on Touhy thru Park Ridge.  Turn left on Milwaukee (small park on right with Christmas display), staying in right lane and immediately after turning bear right onto Waukegan Road.  Church sits back off road across from Marathon Gas Station.

06 December 2010

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Here's a nice version of the traditional hymn to St. Nicholas, from St. George Orthodox Church in Taylor, Pa.

05 December 2010

Carpatho-Rusyns prepare to celebrate St. Nicholas Day

Traditional Rusyn image of St. Nicholas
December 6 (December 19 on the old calendar) is the feast day of St. Nicholas, one of the most beloved saints among the Carpatho-Rusyn people. 

Rusyns celebrate him with the hymn that begins with the words, "O Kto Kto, Nikolaja L'ubit":

O kto kto Nikolaja l'ubit,
O kto kto Nikolaju služit.

Tomu svjatyj Nikolaj,
Na vsjakij čas pomahaj:
Nikolaje, Nikolaj!

Here's an English version:

O who loves Nicholas the saintly,
Oh who serves Nicholas the saintly.

Him will Nicholas receive,
And give help in time of need.
Holy father Nicholas!

Here's a link to the melody, if you'd like to sing along. 

If you're looking for other ways to mark St. Nicholas Day -- which is honored by many other ethnicities -- you can browse through the countless and always growing offerings of the St. Nicholas Center

Icon from St. Nicholas
Byz. Cath. Church,
Munster, Ind.
The site offers plenty of beautiful images, holiday details and other materials on the model for Santa Claus. There's a lot of information on how various ethnic groups mark the fest of St. Nicholas. 

Many Rusyn-Americans have warm memories of waking up on the morning of Dec. 6 to shoes or stockings filled with little treats left by the saint the night before. It's a tradition that originates in our ancestral villages, in impoverished times when the gift of  an orange was a major treat.

In a more serious holiday tale, St. Nicholas figures in the survival of hundreds of Rusyn immigrants to the United States, coal miners, who weren't in the mines when disaster struck back in 1907.

The Carpatho-Rusyn Society's Christina Duranko tells that fascinating story here.

If you're looking for a modern version of St. Nicholas, the Smithsonian Channel offers "In Search of Santa Claus," which tells the story of the evolution of St. Nicholas into the modern symbol of Christmas gift-giving.

The one-hour special is  scheduled for 7 a.m. (Central) on Sunday, Dec. 5, with repeats at 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, and midnight Friday, Dec. 10.

04 December 2010

Finalizing plans for our Jan. 15 Rusyn New Year potluck celebration

The site of our board meeting on the grounds of Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church.
The board of the Lake Michigan Chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society met Friday evening at Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church in Homer Glen to finalize plans for our potluck lunch marking the old calendar Rusyn New Year on Jan. 15.

While we'll be getting out a flyer, here are the basics:

What: A potluck lunch, with some Rusyn Christmas tunes to celebrate the old calendar New Year (which falls January 14). We're hoping for traditional Rusyn dishes, favorite family recipes to share with other Rusyns.
When: Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011. Doors open at noon, lunch starts at 1 p.m.
Where: St. Michael Orthodox Church, Niles, Ill.

We're also hoping to begin collecting Rusyn family photos as we start to archive our history in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. We'll have a scanner on hand to make digital copies of your treasured old photos if you'd like to share them with our Carpatho-Rusyn community.

It should be a great way to wrap up the holiday season and get to know each other in a relaxed social setting.

And while it's still a few months (and a full winter season) away, the board set a date for a Pysanky Workshop: Saturday, March 26.

We'll announce the location and other details later. But we plan on a speaker, who will explain the traditional Rusyn craft of Easter Egg design, and offer hands-on help in making your own pysanky.

Save the date for a look at one of the most treasured traditions of the Carpatho-Rusyn people.

We'll get you more information as the plans are set.