Happy Ukrainian New Year

The band Friends performs on stage during the Malanka celebration hosted by Gimli Barvinok Ukrainian Dance at the Fraserwood Hall on Jan. 11. (Brook Jones/Interlake Spectator/Postmedia Network)

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The Malanka celebration in Fraserwood, which was hosted by Gimli Barvinok Ukrainian Dance had a bit of everything for the crowd who was celebrating Ukrainian New Year’s, including the placement of a fork in the ceiling.

The celebration at the local hall on Jan. 25 was the 38th annual celebration hosted by Gimli Barvinok. The event got underway with a welcome dance where bread and wheat were presented to the audience. The evening is always capped off with the Kolomenka, which is when dancers from all levels showcase their skills and talents.

According to Sarah Pinsent, it was no surprise to see the evening capped off with a human pyramid of male dancers, who build themselves up to the ceiling and then the dancer at the top of the pyramid sticks a fork in the ceiling.

Samantha Michaluk, who is a member of the Gimli Barvinok executive, said that everyone who attends loves to dance.

“We have good food and we have a lot of people coming back year after year,” she said.

Karling Riley attended the event with brothers Dawson and Jordan. Despite not having Ukrainian in their family’s roots, the siblings have embraced the culture since a young age and all are Ukrainian dancers.

“We are here because we love our culture,” Karling said.

The siblings, who live in Stonewall, decided to attend the Malanka celebration in Fraserwood for the first time.

Karling noted that dancing is a really good way to connect with other people.
“I am dancing here with my older brother here so I am really excited about that,”
karling said.

Karling, who is 14-years-old, dances each summer with

“When it comes to competitions and performances you give the same amount of energy, whether you’re competing or not” Karling added.