Slovak Easter Traditions: Hrudka Cheese

Hrudka is custard-type cheese that is part of a traditional Easter basket for Slovaks and other Slavic groups. Hrudka is made by gently simmering a mixture of milk, eggs and sugar until firms curds are formed, straining the mixture through cheesecloth and letting the curds from into a ball. Hrudka has a bland, sweet taste which is meant to symbolize the the moderation Christians should have in all things. An Easter basket is also comprised of other food items such as Paska, ham, sausage, eggs, horseradish, butter, bacon and salt. Each of these items also has a special religious significance. Since Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians fast during Lent, the food in the basket is not eaten until after Mass on Easter Sunday

The attached recipe was provided to us courtesy of Mary Fedor.

Mary Fedor’s Hrudka Recipe

Slovak Easter Traditions: Paska Bread

Paska is a Slovak bread that is traditionally eaten during Easter.  It is often the centerpiece of the traditional Easter basket that is blessed on Easter Sunday.  A traditional basket usually contains smoked meats, sausage, butter, hrudka (a sweet custard-like cheese), bread, salt, horseradish and pysanky eggs.  Since Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians fast during Lent, the food in the basket is not eaten until after Mass on Easter Sunday.  Each food item in the basket is symbolic of a religious theme.  Paska represents Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, and is considered to be the most important food in the basket to be blessed. Paska is typically baked into a round loaf and usually features a dough braid around the edge along with a decorative cross or other religious symbols made from dough placed on top.

The attached recipe was provided to us by the Belensky family.

Slovak Easter Paska Bread

 

Andy Warhol: The Carpatho-Rusyn King of American Pop Art (4/21/2017)

April 21, 2017 
Embassy of the Slovak Republic 
3523 International Ct NW
Washington, DC
6:30 PM

Dr. Elaine Rusinko will make a slide presentation on “Andy Warhol: The Carpatho-Rusyn King of American Pop Art”

Andy Warhol is the world’s most famous American of Carpatho-Rusyn ancestry; the icons of the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church were his first exposure to art.  The fall of communism in Eastern Europe (not long after Warhol’s unexpected 1987 death) gave rise to the Rusyn identity movement, which embraced the flamboyant pop artist, filmmaker, and jet setter as an iconic figurehead. Rusyns—traditional, religious, provincial—have reconstructed their own unique image of Andy, emphasizing aspects of him that have gone largely unnoticed. In turn, Warhol has had a significant impact on the Carpatho-Rusyn movement, and on the recognition of Rusyns worldwide.

This slide presentation establishes Warhol’s Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity and explores its influence on his art and his persona. It also looks at the Rusyns’ reception of Warhol, with a focus on the Warhola family’s ancestral village and the Warhol Museum of Modern Art in Slovakia. The presentation will demonstrate to art scholars and fans of pop culture that recognition of the Rusyn Andy Warhol contributes to a distinctive perspective on the American Andy Warhol.

Elaine Rusinko is Associate Professor of Russian in the Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. After completing a Ph.D. in Russian literature at Brown University, she wrote numerous articles on modern Russian poetry. Upon the emergence of the Rusyn movement for identity in Eastern Europe in 1989, she turned her attention to Carpatho-Rusyn culture.  Rusinko is the author of Straddling Borders:  Literature and Identity in Subcarpathian Rus’ (2003). Her translations of present-day Rusyn literature were published as “God is a Rusyn”: An Anthology of Contemporary Carpatho-Rusyn Literature (2011). Her interest in Andy Warhol stems from their common Carpatho-Rusyn ethnic background. She is currently writing a biography of Andy’s mother, Julia Warhola.

Copies of Dr. Rusinko’s monograph, “We Are All Warhol’s Children”; Andy and the Rusyns, will be available for purchase.

Please send your RSVP to rsvp@dcslovaks.org

This event is co-sponsored by the National Capital Chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society.

 

 

 

Accidental Hero at Ford’s Theatre – April 2nd

Ford’s Theatre Society, the American Friends of the Czech Republic, and Mr. and Mrs. Frederic V. Malek cordially invite you and a guest to attend a special performance of “The Accidental Hero,” a miraculous true story about freedom, World War II, and the inescapable question, “Who am I?”

Ford’s Theatre
511 Tenth Street, NW,
Washington, DC
Sunday, April 2, 2017

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Performance followed by a conversation with the artist.

“The Accidental Hero” is written and performed by Patrick Dewane, telling the true story of his grandfather, a World War II officer who miraculously liberated his own grandparents’ native villages in Czechoslovakia. 

Patrick Dewane’s grandfather refused to talk about his service in the war. Yet when he died, his basement yielded a treasure trove of typewritten accounts, photos and rare film footage. 

Dewane brings this archival material to glowing life as an enthralling, humorous and heartwarming tale of miraculous escapes and astonishing coincidences. Dewane takes on a dozen different roles as he powerfully recounts his grandfather’s journey from Omaha Beach, the Battle of the Bulge, and the end of WWII.

Reserve tickets online at www.fords.org/productions/accidental-hero/

Epiphany Church in Annandale, VA serving meals during Lent

Epiphany Church in Annandale, VA will be serving savory, meatless, Eastern European meals every Friday during Lent (March 3 – April 7) for dining-in and take-out. The menu will include pirohy (potato & cheese-filled), halushki (sauteed noodles with cabbage) and homemade vegetarian soups & desserts.

Meal items are priced separately. Quantities may vary.

Take-out: 4-7:00pm
Dine-in: 5-7:00pm

Slovak and Ukrainian handiwork and ceramics, egg decorating kits, nut rolls, and cookbooks will also be on sale. Sale times of these items may vary.

Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church
3410 Woodburn Rd.
Annandale, VA
(703) 573-3986
www.epiphanyofourlord.org

SASW Appoints Virginia Sorkin to its Board

The Slovak American Society of Washington (SASW) is pleased to announce the appointment of Virginia Sorkin to its board of directors.  Ms. Sorkin, the holder of two masters degrees, will fill the seat of Ludo Hintos who resigned recently. Virginia Sorkin most recently worked in information technology at the Library of Congress. She also managed the National Digital Library Visitors Center.

Ms. Sorkin said she was pleased to join the board and will focus her efforts on membership and scholarship fundraising.  She is a member of the American Association of University Women, the Brandeis National Committee and The Transition Network.  She hopes to develop some joint activities with these groups.

The SASW Board urges its members and other interested parties to consider running for the board at its October membership meeting to be held at the Slovak Embassy.  Three seats of the nine member board will be up for election, including the seat held by Ms. Sorkin.  One or two other seats may be open.

Interested parties should make their interest known to the SASW Board (info@dcslovaks.org).  The board meets monthly and would be pleased to host interested parties at one of its board meeting.

Book Talk: Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity (2/23/2017)

socialist-modernity

Kimberly_Zarecor_web

February 23, 2017
Embassy of the Czech Republic
3900 Spring of Freedom St., NW
Washington, DC
6:00 PM

Professor Kimberly Zarecor of Iowa State University will give a talk on her recent book, Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity: Housing in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1960.

Eastern European prefabricated housing blocks are often vilified as the visible manifestations of everything that was wrong with state socialism. For many inside and outside the region, the uniformity of these buildings became symbols of the dullness and drudgery of everyday life. Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity complicates this common perception. Analyzing the cultural, intellectual, and professional debates surrounding the construction of mass housing in early postwar Czechoslovakia, Zarecor shows that these housing blocks served an essential function in the planned economy and reflected an interwar aesthetic, derived from constructivism and functionalism, that carried forward into the 1950s.

With a focus on prefabricated and standardized housing built from 1945 to 1960, Zarecor offers broad and innovative insights into the country’s transition from capitalism to state socialism. She demonstrates that during this shift, architects and engineers consistently strove to meet the needs of Czechs and Slovaks despite challenging economic conditions, a lack of material resources, and manufacturing and technological limitations. In the process, architects were asked to put aside their individual creative aspirations and transform themselves into technicians and industrial producers.

Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity is the first comprehensive history of architectural practice and the emergence of prefabricated housing in the Eastern Bloc. Through discussions of individual architects and projects, as well as building typologies, professional associations, and institutional organization, it opens a rare window into the cultural and economic life of Eastern Europe during the early postwar period.

RSVP by February 22 to https://booktalkwithkimberly.eventbrite.com

Please Note: No bags or suitcases allowed at the Czech Embassy. Only small purses are permitted, but will be checked at the door. You must pass through security for entrance. RSVP confirmation and photo ID required. Doors open at 5:30 pm and close at 6:15 pm.

Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity is available through AmazonSmile. Please click on the link below whenever you shop on Amazon and you’ll help support the SASW.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1906440

Contributions to the SASW will only be made on purchases through the AmazonSmile website.

Book Discussion: Out Of This Furnace (June 2017)

Dr. Charles Sabatos will discuss Thomas Bell’s classic historical novel, Out Of This Furnace, which tells the tale of a Slovak/Rusyn family in Braddock, PA from their migration in 1881 from Austria-Hungary to the United States and their lives until World War II.

Out Of This Furnace is available through AmazonSmile. Please click on the link below whenever you shop on Amazon and you’ll help support the SASW.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1906440

Contributions to the SASW will only be made on purchases through the AmazonSmile website.

 

2017 SASW Speakers’ Series

The SASW is proud to announce its 2017 Speakers’ Series. Since 2003, the SASW has hosted a diverse range of speakers ranging from policy experts, academics, genealogists, folklorists, diplomats, authors and historians on Slovak-related topics. 

February 23rd – Dr. Kimberly Zarecor will talk about her recent book, Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity: Housing in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1960.

April (TBA) – Dr. Elaine Rusinko will give a talk on “Andy Warhol: The Carpatho-Rusyn King of American Pop Art.”

June (TBA) – Dr. Charles Sabatos will discuss the classic historical novel, Out Of This Furnace, which tells the tale of a Slovak/Rusyn family in Braddock, PA.

October 21st – Dr. Paul Hinlicky will give a talk on “Lutheranism in Slovakia: From the Reformation to Samuel Stefan Osusky.”

Further details will be provided closer to the scheduled date of the event.

The books, Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity and Out Of This Furnace, are available for purchase through AmazonSmile. Please click on the link below whenever you shop on Amazon and you’ll help support the SASW.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1906440

Contributions to the SASW will only be made on purchases through the AmazonSmile website.