SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – San Diegans’ ongoing support for those fighting in Ukraine in the war against Russia is unwavering as is their concern for their relatives who are still in country.
“I have my brother, his wife, and their newborn baby. Of course, they’re still scared,” Nina Lereminga, a Ukrainian refugee, said. “I think a few days before they had like new attack from Russia and they couldn’t sleep the whole night.
With the war raging on, the House of Ukraine at Balboa Park wanted to bring local refugees and others together to celebrate a unifying holiday in Ukraine on Thursday.
“Today is a holiday for Ukrainians. We are celebrating our traditional clothing, Vyshyvankas,” Mira Rubin, the president of the House of Ukraine, said. “We call it a code of nation because it represents our national identity. And all over the world Ukrainians are wearing their Vyshyvankas today. So, you can walk down the street and see somebody in the traditional clothing, and you know that they’re Ukrainian.”
And what’s a celebration without some dancing, more specifically a flash mob.
“I realized that it was bringing people out; a lot of new refugees that usually don’t often come to the rallies. Or you know, you don’t see them around that often. But when we started rehearsing for this flash mob, everybody would come. Everybody would join the dance. But it’s fun, I think it gives people a feel of belonging,” Rubin said.
That sense of belonging is something some of these refugees are feeling being able to celebrate this special day with their fellow Ukrainians.
“I don’t really know all the people. But, you know, I feel warmer,” said Ukrainian refugee Oleksandra Iuresku. “Just because we can speak Ukrainian, just because we see each other, just because we can recognize each other.”
“It’s (a) chance to feel like everybody together here. But we, all of us, thinking in our minds we’re every day with our country. And we feel safety here, but we want to; we never forget that we are Ukrainian,” Lereminga said.