Holiday Happenings all Through the Weekend

From Friday, December 10th, to Sunday, December 12th, we represented [nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-1″] at five holiday parties.

The first party was the Ukranian Museum’s annual Christmas gathering where we were greeted by Mr. Andrew Fedynsky, Director Emeritus and Resident Scholar, who introduced us to Mr. Sasha Maslov, a highly accomplished photographer from Ukraine who now lives in New York.

The first party was the Ukranian Museum’s annual Christmas gathering where we were greeted by Mr. Andrew Fedynsky, Director Emeritus and Resident Scholar, who introduced us to Mr. Sasha Maslov, a highly accomplished photographer from Ukraine who now lives in New York.

We read some more and learned that “…although the country and the world are consumed with much larger issues, the people with folded yellow flags (i.e. the railroad ladies) play a big, yet silent role in Ukrainian everyday life.”

Certainly, this is because “they are a symbol of certain things in this country that don’t change, standing firm in the present as a defiant nod to the past. Unfazed by the passing of trains and time, they are here to stay.”

After we left the Ukrainian Museum, we drove to Phunkenship by Platform on Sackett Avenue where we took part in the Ugly Sweater Holiday Fundraiser put on by the Young Latino Network and sponsored, in part, by [nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-1″].

Even though we were almost full of because we ate a lot of excellent European food at the Ukrainian Museum, we still managed to consume some excellent vegetarian tamales prepared by Dona Leo while we listened to music provided by DJ Chevi Red.

Midway through the night, we received a visit from the “Parranderos” which is a musical group that travels from house-to-house in honor of a Puerto Rican tradition.

Later, it was explained to us that the Parranderos’ visit was the result of a collaborative effort by the RTA (i.e. they arrived on an RTA bus), the Young Latino Network, and JumpStart, Inc. aimed at elevating the Latino community while supporting entrepreneurs, artists, and culture.

One of the people that we met that night was a fine fellow named Ricardo who recalled that he helped pull our car out of a snow drift after we had recently re-settled in Cleveland about a dozen years ago before we had gotten used to winter-driving.

The next day was Saturday, December 11th, and our event for the day was the Estonian Christmas Service and party that took place at Faith Lutheran Church on Mentor Avenue in Mentor.

For sure, we couldn’t understand the words of the service, which was conducted in Estonian, but Pastor Peeter Pirn was glad to review it with us later.

During the service, Ms. Lembi Veskimets, a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, offered a beautiful violin solo.

While we were enjoying a delicious luncheon prepared by Ms. Anna Holda and Ms. Paula Tubalkain, we sat across from a lovely lady named Silva who came to the United States as a refugee from Estonia in 1951 when she was twelve.

Not surprisingly, Silva expressed an interest in immigration issues so when we returned to the office on Monday, we were quick to mail her a copy of Ms. [nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-1″] book, “The Immigrant’s Way.”

We also learned that a musical titled and about “The Singing Revolution” that led the way to reestablishment of Estonian independence in 1991, will be opening shortly.

As Mr. Toomas Tubalkain, who made the announcement explained, it will be a testimony to the power of peaceful resistance.

On Sunday, November 12th, our first event for the day was the annual Danish Christmas Party that took place at Tom’s Country Place in Avon as it has been for the last several years.

Once more, our good friend Mr. Fred Zwich provided the music, as he has at every celebration since 1977, and we took part in the singing of various Christmas carols, some in Danish and others in English and at least one combining both languages.

We shared a table with a family who told us the story about how their grandfather was granted permission to immigrate to the United States from Denmark after WWI because, since he was a carpenter, the authorities assumed that he would go to work in the shipyards since craftsmen were needed at that time.

Instead, he found work elsewhere and devoted a lot of time to helping a friend of his who had lost his leg in an accident.

Ironically, he met the Danish woman that he would eventually marry in a Greek restaurant where she worked in the kitchen.

Upon their meeting, she told him that she was having trouble learning English and he laughed and replied that it was because she was being confused by the Greek language that she was exposed to every day on her job.

Of course, the two of them ultimately married and happily spent decades together.

Unfortunately, we had to leave the Danish Christmas party early in order that we might speed over to the Cleveland Cultural Garden Holiday Party that took place outdoors in the Centennial Peace Plaza.

Dr. Wael Khoury, who acted as emcee, announced Recess Cleveland shared their email list with the CCGF so there were quite a few local families there with their young children.

[nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-1″] donated to the successful event which featured activities for the kids, hot chocolate, hot coffee, plenty of cookies, holiday carols (i.e. some of them sung by Mr. Ken Kovach and his Cuyahoga Cossacks) and a Christmas tree to be decorated with ornaments, some of them made by the children.

All in all, it was a nifty wrap-up to fine holiday weekend!

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