Ukrainian: Canadian #AtoZChallenge

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Did you know that the largest population of Ukrainians in the world outside of Ukraine and Russia is in Canada?

Although it is suspected Ukrainians came to Canada prior to 1891, but the best documented movement of Ukrainians into Canada happened then as Canada was advertised as a great place to settle for those wanting to escape famine and strife from the Austo-Hungarian and Russian rules.   It’s believed approximately 170,000 Ukrainians came to Canada between 1891 and 1914. Canada was also advertised as a great place to settle and farm by Canada’s Minister of the Interior – hoping for expanded agriculture in the prairies.  This is likely why the largest Ukrainian communities are in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Now, even though Ukrainian immigrants were needed for Canadian agriculture growth, during the First World War, the War Measures Act allowed the government to intern any person who originated from any ‘enemy state’ (sound familiar?).  As a result, about 5,000 Ukrainians were interned in various work camps across Canada.  Some weren’t released until almost 2 years after the war ended. In 2008, the Government of Canada established a $10 million fund called the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund (CFWWIRF) aimed at providing monies to commemorate those who had their liberties taken from them during the war. Some of the projects have included documentaries, monuments and interpretive centres.

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Commemorative plaque and statue at the location of the Castle Mountain Internment Camp, Banff National Park. Source: Wikipedia

Another large wave of immigration happened after the First World War when the Canadian government again opened immigration to former citizens of the Austrian Empire.  This saw another 70,000 Ukrainians come to Canada.

Ukrainian Canadians have a very unique culture, distinct from their European heritage and are very proud to protect that culture. The Ukrainian language is still taught in prairie schools, and Ukrainian dance is practiced regularly in these communities. Which I find funny because my Ukrainian husband refuses to dance.  Anywhere! 😉

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Ketchup Chips: Canadian #AtoZChallenge

KYes!  Of course!  How could I not??

Ketchup Chips, although available sporadically through the U.S. as a less flavourful version made by Herr’s, are known as a quintessential Canadian snack. You would think, since Americans put ketchup on EVERYTHING, that Ketchup Chips would be a thing down here in the states.  But for some unexplained reason, Ketchup Chips are not only scarce here, Americans seem to detest them! Buzzfeed asked some of their American staff to taste Canadian snacks, and it seems that Ketchup Chips “taste like a mistake”.

A glorious, dreamy, delicious mistake!

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I will throw out clothes so I can fit bags of Ketchup Chips in my luggage when I’m travelling back home. I will pay $30 for a taxi to take me to where I can get Ketchup Chips. Of all the things that I miss about Canada – Ketchup Chips ranks up there right after my family and friends!

But the trick is this.  Forget those Lay’s Ketchup Chips.  There are only two kinds even worth buying.  The first is the classic Old Dutch Ketchup Chip (not the baked kind – the real chips) and then the President’s Choice Loads of Ketchup Rippled Potato Chips.

These:

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There is so much ketchup flavouring on these chips, it’s almost questionable whether you even need the potato. #sogood.

I still wonder why the stark difference between Canadian and American tastes when it comes to potato chips? We are a lot alike on a lot of things.  So why not Ketchup Chips?

Maybe Canadians actually don’t really know they hate Ketchup Chips because they are so set on loving something Americans don’t.

I asked my Facebook friends what they thought:

American Friend: “Because your tastebuds have frozen off your tongue?”

Canadian Friend: “We’re being patriotic: they’re red like our flag.”

Canadian Friend: “Canadians prefer salty, while Americans prefer sweet.”

American Friend: “Ketchup Chipes are reason number 5751 to be suspicious of Canadians.”

Canadian Friend: “Ew, I don’t like Ketchup Chips. Maybe I’m secretly American.”

So…. what do you think?  Have you tried Ketchup Chips? Would you?  If you’ve tried them, yay or nay? Why do you think there’s such a difference in preference between our two countries?

 

 

Amazing Africa Part 4: Lake Manyara

5 September 2009

We have arrived at the Lake Manyara Serena Lodge.  We’re perched on the edge of the Rift Valley, overlooking the Lake Manyara conservation Area, The huts are designed after Maasai villages and each hut has four rooms; two on each level.  My room is on the second level with a breathtaking view of the valley.

Birds stop to enjoy the sunset on the edge of the pool.

Birds stop to enjoy the sunset on the edge of the pool.

Endless Africa...

Endless Africa…

It’s quiet here, but for the sound of a large variety of birds singing their evening songs.  There was some entertainment tonight at the outdoor pool and bar.  In this little area at the top of the Rift Valley is a tribe called the Iraqw tribe, originally from Ethiopia.  They did a song and dance for us.

Members of the Iraqw tribe sing and dance during supper.

Members of the Iraqw tribe sing and dance during supper.

6 September 2009

The next morning, the lodge did all my ‘Mountain Laundry’ for $18 and while I was eating last night!  Now I am clean, and so are my clothes!  I was starting to feel really grungy, especially with the other travellers I joined for the Safari having just arrived fresh on their first days of vacation with clean clothes and lots of energy.  I was still feeling the fatigue from the Kili climb!  At this point, Kilimanjaro seemed a distant memory.  It almost felt as though I had dreamt the whole thing!

We visited the conservation area this morning and I got my first taste of baboons, elephants, giraffes, hippos, warthogs and zebras in the ‘wild’.  It was absolutely amazing, and I couldn’t get over all those animals cohabiting in one area without fences or gates!

Always take time to stop and smell the flowers!

Always take time to stop and smell the flowers!

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It’s Pumba!!

Hello, giraffes!

Blissful coexistence.  Or so it would seem...

Blissful coexistence. Or so it would seem…

We drove to the Serengeti after lunch and were late arriving at the hotel because there were so many animals to see along the way. We saw san ostrich and stopped to check it out, and when our driver went to restart the engine, there was a BANG! like a gunshot and the truck wouldn’t start!  We had to push and jump-start it, but when we stopped to look at a group of hyenas, our driver accidentally turned off the engine.  I heard him say “Oops!” and all of a sudden felt very vulnerable our there in the plains.  Luckily, the hyenas were afraid of us and bolted when the driver threw rocks in their direction.

Run! Ostrich! Run!

Run! Ostrich! Run!

Hyenas are just as weaselly as you may think from watching the Lion King.  Didn't get a warm fuzzy being broken down beside them!

Hyenas are just as weaselly as you may think from watching the Lion King. Didn’t get a warm fuzzy being broken down beside them!

Cheetahs resting after a chase and hunt, taking in the warm evening sun.

Cheetahs resting after a chase and hunt, taking in the warm evening sun.

There is nothing more beautiful and serene than an African sunset.

There is nothing more beautiful and serene than an African sunset.

At the hotel, we had armed escorts to take us to our rooms.  We were told to call for an escort to come back to the main building for dinner, as buffalo and other large animals often wandered onto the property! What a day!  I was beat, but couldn’t pass a hearty meal and some lounging on the terrace.

Our huts for the evening, perched on the edge of the Serengeti.

Our huts for the evening, perched on the edge of the Serengeti.