Being of Ukrainian descent, I take great pride in the President of Ukraine visiting Canada, and being asked to address Parliament. I've never been to Ukraine, or Europe for that matter, but a little bit of the Ukraine lives in our family, they are called perogies and kulbasa.
I remember my parents talking Ukrainian at the dinner table, personally I think they were telling dirty jokes because they would never translate for us kids. My Mom's first language was Ukrainian, but she quickly learnt English as did my Grandfather.
I never tire of hearing the stories of work crews helping with the harvest, the yearly trip from Mundare (home of the biggest kulbasa in the world) to Edmonton by horse buggy, and my Mom's pet pig...until, well you know what happened to that pig! They kept some traditions, but most integrated into Canadian society.
There is a strong Ukrainian community here, but we are not in cultural ghettos like new immigrants in Toronto, we are everywhere. The Ukrainians, Germans, Italians and other European people shaped the west as it is today. It's quiet out here, the Germans are not fighting the Ukrainians, there is no need.
We do seem to have Kurds and Turks attacking each other though! What's up with that?
Anyone who wants an authentic recipe for perogies, cabbage rolls, pickled beets, pickles, or borscht, I've got them, I use them, and I plan to pass them on to my kids, and if you ever eat a real homemade perogy, you will understand why.
So kudos to PM Harper for forging better ties with Ukraine.