Nadya Roumeliotis, 11, doesn’t take Ukraine’s annual tradition of egg painting – pysanky – for granted.
“Most kids won’t be able to do it this year and may never do it again,” Roumeliotis said.
The annual egg-painting event is organized by the Ukrainian American Youth Association in the run-up to Easter. This year, all profits raised will go to humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
“We have started a GoFundMe for medical supplies for Ukraine and we will purchase the supplies with the funds we raise,” said Halyna Sabadakh, youth program director at the Ukrainian American Youth Association.
“It is important for us to preserve the artistic history that we have been trying to save for generations and that people have tried to erase in past history,” Sabadakh said.
The art of creating pysanky takes time and patience. First you need eggs, a special stylus that uses heated wax to draw patterns on the egg, then layers and layers of dye to add color.
“You take an egg and turn it into something else, you create meaning,” said association staff Victor Kurylyk.
This year, Nadya invited her cousin Anastasia Kalloo, it’s her first time.
“When we heard about this thing, we thought it would be organized and really fun to do,” Kalloo said. “It’s actually a lot of fun and also to help support Ukraine.”
From toddlers making their own versions to adults, everyone involved can create designs that mean the most to them.
“It’s a very difficult time for us, but at the same time we don’t feel isolated,” Kurylyk said.