Celebrating heritage with Malanka in Belfield
The Ukrainians of southwestern North Dakota will celebrate their heritage and the New Year during Malanka -- an afternoon immersed in cultural traditions.
A highlight is the selection of a couple to represent the North Dakota Ukrainians.
Dave and Cathy Logosz are the 2012 Malanka couple.
Growing up north of Belfield, Dave Logosz said, "Our culture was a very important part of family -- we always lived out our Ukrainian traditions, all the holidays and marriages."
Dave's maternal and paternal sides of his family have Ukrainian backgrounds -- setting north of Belfield and north of South Heart. Dave's parents, Max and Mary Logosz moved their family to Dickinson when Dave was age 12.
"The food was very important, as well as the music," he said. "My earliest memories as a little boy were when the Christmas carolers came around. I can remember, maybe when I was 2 years old, Christmas carolers outside the house at night."
Dave also remembers St. Nicholas coming with gifts of candy and small presents.
Dave married his wife, Cathy, 35 years ago in a Lutheran church, so she has learned to love the Ukrainian culture, as well.
"It's been very interesting to learn about the Ukrainian heritage, coming from the Norwegian community in Watford City," she said. "They've warmly welcomed me into the Ukrainian community."
The couple has no children to share their heritage with, but they've done their part as Malanka couple.
The couple represented the Ukrainian community at state events. A highlight was attending the National Ukrainian Canadian Festival in Dauphin, Manitoba, where they were immersed in the Ukrainian traditions of central Manitoba.
"It's been an honor," Cathy said. "We look forward every year to a great feast, entertainment and a good time."
The Malanka celebration begins at noon on Sunday, Jan. 13, in St. Bernard's Parish Hall, Belfield. Guests will receive a champagne welcome, along with Ukrainian appetizers followed by a buffet meal.
There is no admission to Malanka with a 2013 UCI membership. Non-member admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children. Everyone is welcome.