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Mayor Nirenberg, San Antonians don traditional Ukrainian garments amid time of war

On World Vyshyvanka Day, Ukrainian San Antonio educated Texans on the cultural importance of the embroidered clothing.

SAN ANTONIO — Members of San Antonio’s Ukrainian community donned traditional clothing during global celebration of the country’s heritage amid an ongoing war prompted by Russia’s invasion three months ago.  

Representatives of the nonprofit Ukrainian San Antonio took to the steps of City Hall, where they greeted Mayor Ron Nirenberg, dressed in intricately designed garments in honor of Vyshyvanka Day.

“This is a city of compassion. This is a city that always stands up and supports humanitarian efforts,” Nirenberg said. 

The vyshyvanka is an embroidered piece of clothing adorned with the diverse history of Ukrainians. Each shirt is woven and designed based on the specific region of Ukraine.

Ukrainian San Antonio’s Olena Tsalyk, who’s lived in the U.S. for 11 years, emphasized the significance of the vyshyvanka and what it stands for, especially these days as she believes Russia is trying to strip away Ukraine’s identity.  

The Igo Library on the northwest side is home to a temporary exhibit organized by the nonprofit that further explores the cultural importance of the vyshyvanka.

Ukrainian San Antonio has been at the forefront of spreading awareness about the war in the Alamo City, having raised more than $300,000 in funds amid the humanitarian crisis.

“This project is an instrument to fight the Russian Federation, to fight the war but in a different way,” Tsalyk said.

To learn more about Ukrainian San Antonio, go here.

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