We can travel the world without leaving Chicago. So this week I visited the Ukrainian Village Fest located one block south of Chicago Ave, at the corner of Oakley and Superior. Upon arriving, the first thing I noticed were two Ukrainian Churches located within one block of each other. The St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral immediately caught my attention because the exterior features (13) green domes. The thirteen domes represent Christ and the twelve Apostles.
The second church, Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Church, is adorned with golden domes and a mosaic above the entrance depicting the Christinazation of Ukraine. The architecture of both Church buildings is aw-inspiring.
Cultural dancing was on full display at the Ukrainian Village Fest. I attended my first Hromovytsia, which is a Ukrainian Dance Ensemble based on talent, heart and soul. Translated in English, the word "Hromovytsia," means Thunderstorm; but it has nothing to do with dancing in the rain. (Yup, I asked).
I also asked were there any black people in Ukraine. I wanted to know because I was the only black person in sight. (BTW, I didn't see any black people at the Taste of Polonia or German Day Fest either). It is what it is. You have to step outside of your comfort zone to experience different cultures, languages, and perspectives. That's how you expand your world-view. Unfortunately, some people want to preserve the culture of their community like a mosquito in amber. That mindset limits our opportunities and possibilities to our immediate vicinity.
Enough with all the racial tension, Miss Ukrainian Diaspora told me there is a black presence in Lviv, Ukraine. I also ate a Pelmeni, which is a pork dumpling, dipped in Sour Cream. I'm trying to learn something new every week.