Sep 10 2009
One of the highlights of our stop in Dickinson, North Dakota, was a visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Institute. This small museum showcases artifacts from the area’s Ukrainian heritage, and also contains meeting space for its members.
At first we were just going to look around, but when we asked a few questions the woman on staff took us around the whole building, explaining to the kids what the various articles were. She talked about coming to the new country with one trunk for the entire family, and children having to choose one item to bring for the journey.
She read to us from a book in her native language. She explained musical instruments and clothing and let the kids touch them. She showed us the beautiful pysanky, or Ukrainian Easter Eggs, and then showed us a video about how they are made. That was followed by a short film showing Ukrainian cultural dancing. We didn’t have time to stay, but she also invited us to taste some of the ethnic foods, such as pierogies, that they have for sale at the Cultural Institute.
The gift shop includes specialized supplies for making pysanky as well as gifts and cards.
It is free to visit the Ukrainian Cultural Institute. It’s not a large museum, but if you can get a personalized tour like we did, you will learn a lot about the Ukrainian people who settled in North Dakota.