Many cultures and nationalities have dark tragedies woven into their roots and history that they will forever remember and pass down through generations. For the Jewish it is arguably the Holocaust, for Cambodians the brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge and for Rwandans the genocide in '94. For Ukrainians, the forced famine-genocide, Holodomor, is forever etched in their memories.
This past Saturday, the world commemorated the anniversary of Holodomor which saw the mass intentional starvation of millions of Ukrainians by the Soviet regime in 1932-33. Through the process of collectivization and to suppress Ukrainian nationalism, the Soviets stripped the often-called ‘breadbasket of Europe' of its grain and starved its citizens, while hiding the truth.
The famine-genocide was widely unknown until recently. Canada finally recognized the Holodomor as an act of genocide in 2008, as have many other countries.
Perhaps one of the greatest insults to Ukrainians around the world is that Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovych, reversed the country's position on Holodomor earlier this year, refusing to call it genocide. Russia continues to deny the Holodomor.
With all the Ukrainian descendents in the area, there are likely people whose ancestors died in the Holodomor or perhaps were lucky enough to escape. Let us honour them by refusing to forget the atrocities of the Soviet regime.