I thought when I left Winnipeg for the last time in 1988 that I would never live in another place so full of Ukrainians. There are hordes of people of Ukrainian ancestry in Manitoba, and they weave a fascinating influence into the tapestry of region. There are elementary schools in Winnipeg that have Ukrainian language immersion classes. You can get Ukrainian food in lots of places.
Imagine my surprise when we moved to western ND and found ourselves fifteen miles from Belfield, a vibrant Ukrainian enclave of immigrants and their descendants with a strong cultural identity and customs, including a Cultural Institute, Ukrainian churches, and a summer dance festival. There are locally made perogies in all the grocery stores here.
I was talking with a Belfield native last week, a foster mom and Licensed Addiction Counselor, who is married to a Ukrainian national who immigrated about ten years ago. She noticed my diploma from the University of Manitoba, and asked how expensive tuition must have been for me, since I was a foreign student. I told her that tuition was “Cheap like Borscht”, as there was no differential cost to out of Province students. She was amazed about my description of tuition costs, since the only person she ever heard use that phrase was her immigrant husband.
The foster mom found her husband in Winnipeg at a Ukrainian dance competition. “Cheap like Borscht ” is a common phrase in Winnipeg. I assumed it was something everyone said, but apparently not. I think it is a lovely phrase.
What are your favorite turns of phrase? Got any good Borscht recipes?