The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!
Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Follow our Twitter
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Carroll’s Ukrainian Society through Pysanky

A look at this unique Easter celebration
Mariya Dydyk
Students show off their Pysanky designs at the “Pierogis and Pysanky” event

On March 26, a group of dedicated John Carroll students had one of their biggest meetings to date. The Ukrainian Society, formed in the fall of 2022, states they are “geared towards unity, service, education, and fundraising; we aim to educate others on our history, culture and current situation while also learning about other cultures and bonding with them.” 

To fulfill this goal, they hosted a “Ukrainian Pysanky and Pierogies” event, meant to teach JCU students about Ukraine’s Easter celebrations, as well as enticing involvement with Cleveland’s starchy staple – pierogies. 

According to Vlad Tchepak ‘25, president of the Ukrainian Society, “Everyone was welcome” to hear Ukrainian pop music, indulge in some authentic Ukrainian candy and make Pysanky. 

Despite in reality being dyed Eggs, fitting for Easter, they look more like ornate Faberge eggs – another famous Eastern European cultural icon. In the words of TIME Magazine,  Pysanky “is derived from the Ukrainian verb pysaty, which means ‘to write,’ or писати in Ukrainian… while many Ukrainian Easter eggs often feature complex geometric and floral designs.”

Though for this event, the average American chicken egg was hollowed out and used, certain artists use larger goose eggshells and create intricate works, going for upwards of $100.

The most expensive Pysanky online currently seems to be by Canadian artist So Jeo, who was inspired to use the “passion and dedication that [she] put into [her] work to make beautiful creations.” Her eggs, traditional and experimental, can go for up to $500 but are far more of a canvas for expression than a check. 

Since 2022, Pysanky decorating has passed from a national pastime to a war industry essential, as organizations working from Ukrainian homes, in Ukraine, America and abroad have sold Pysanky to fund aid for embattled Ukrainians. 

The Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, or UNWLA, has created a yearly “Pysanky of Hope” program, meant to sell the eggs to those wishing to support the Ukrainian refugees. To keep up with the digital age and reach more customers, they even launched the project Pysanky NFTs. 

At John Carroll, the effort to create Pysanky was more educational. Dozens of students got to create their own Ukrainian Easter eggs, and though they perhaps weren’t Picassos or Van Goghs, it was very enjoyable and “pretty fun to make,” said Tchepak. 

When discussing the events in Ukraine, Tchepak stated his first and only goal was to “advocate for peace in Ukraine and an end to the Russian invasion”. Multiple students asked how to help in the future, as the war in Ukraine is now in its second full year of active combat. To answer this question, he asked that students to “continue to show up to events and fundraisers and bring joy to these events to celebrate Ukrainian culture.”

Memory is incredibly important, and some would argue that is exactly what is being lost currently. As the news cycle has continued onto the newest controversial topic it is important to continue to remember and advocate for peace for many Ukrainians. 

Along with this sentiment the Ukrainian Society’s members ask that students continue to “educate themselves” about the issues the Ukraine faces.

So, as Easter Break begins, maybe we can remember the Ukrainian Society, Pysanky and how some Ukrainians will be celebrating the holiday, in Cleveland, Kyiv and all around the world. 

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The Carroll News allows comments on articles to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards.
All The Carroll News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *