Ukrainian students at Temple Carrig School, Greystones gave their fellow students and visitors a taste of their country’s vibrant culture, history and food on Thursday, November 17.
A total of 18 Ukrainian students attend Temple Carrig across various year groups and they, with the help of their parents, organised the event to show their appreciation for the welcome they have received.
The celebration featured favourite Ukrainian songs, including its National Anthem, a traditional carol as well as a performance on guitar.
A traditional welcome dance called ‘Pryvit’ was performed by Nina Yelenchuk who travelled from Portlaoise for the event. She also performed a new dance with the students. The audience was given a visual tour of Ukraine’s major cities, the names of which have become all too familiar since February. The audience was also treated to a presentation on the many cultural contributions made by Ukrainians. This was all followed by delicious homemade borscht and dumplings as they thanked the school community for their kindness.
Among the invited guests was the school’s patron, Archbishop Michael Jackson, local clergy Canon David Mungavin and the Revd Nigel Waugh, Aubrey McCarthy of Tiglin in whose Greystones centre the students live, and local TD Jennifer Whitmore.
Speaking in Ukrainian, the school’s principal Alan Cox welcomed everyone. His words were translated into English by Ukrainian student Eva Trachuk: “When we knew we needed to welcome people from Ukraine to our small town, we didn’t know what to do. But we already 100 per cent knew that we wanted to help.”
Mr Cox stated through his interpreter. “All our thoughts were with your souls. We were glad to welcome you and you gave us a lot in your spirit, culture and kindness. It is a big privilege that you came to us. Parents, your children have really strong spirits. They are kind and funny. You came here like neighbours, but now you are friends.”
Archbishop Jackson thanked the students for their performance. “You have welcomed us into your hearts and your culture. You have enriched our understanding of Ukraine. We pray for peace for your people and in your country.”