I LIKE THAT Frank once had a girlfriend who was Ukrainian. He’s mentioned her quite often and so when we saw the road sign broadcasting the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, we turned off the eastbound Yellowhead Highway outside of Edmonton and wandered around the museum. The temperature on August 6, 2012, was hot and the sky a brilliant blue but it was worth every wipe of my brow.
At the village, you can either take a guided tour for one hour or just wander around the property at a leisurely pace. You are transported back to 1892 and travel, building-by-building and character-by-character through to 1930.
The employees are trained to remain in character no matter their conversation. For example, Frank recognized quite a number of the artifacts and mentioned the updates that have occurred since their creation – like the advancement of farm implements. The young man, who was acting as a farmer, did not give up his roll as an 1892 grower and gave Frank a quizzical look. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” he said in his broken English and Ukrainian accent.
The woman of the house shared her borsht recipe with me and her husband led us into the next room where I spotted a violin. The farmer claimed it and agreed to honour us with a Ukrainian tune. The young man asked Frank to play a song and afterward he removed his bones from his kilt pocket and tapped along to a few more renditions of fiddle music. The other tourists were quite smitten with the show.
We left the open-air museum destined for Paradise Valley, Saskatchewan.
|Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village|
|A buggy ride into the past|