By Sue Tiffin
Ginger Kulas spoke to the Minden and District Horticultural Society on the art of decorating Easter eggs, a Ukrainian tradition she learned about when she married Bill Kulas 44 years ago and has shared with the community for about 30 years now.
Kulas taught herself how to create pysanky, or decorated Easter eggs, step-by-step from a pamphlet with supplies she purchased from a shop on Queen Street in Toronto many years ago.
“That was before YouTube,” she laughed.
At Easter time, Ukrainian custom is to take a basket to church filled with pysanky, kielbasa, cheese, pasta, and bread, have it blessed, then sit on the lawn and share the meal, said Kulas. Light coloured pysanky are given to the young or a sweetheart, while the dark coloured pysanky are given to the elderly, or head of a family, to show respect. The eggs are decorated with symbolic ornamentation using a wax-resist method involving beeswax, dye and a tool called a kistka.
“When most people look at it, they think, oh, that’s a pretty egg. But when a Ukrainian looks at it, it tells a story,” said Kulas.