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Posted: Jan 12, 2012 IT'S MORE THAN FOOD - IT'S CULTURE
The following article about OSM member Tammy Marlow Johnson's film, Perogy!, was written by Kenton Smith and originally was published in Uptown on January 12, 2012. It can be seen on MTS Winnipeg Video On Demand.
MTS Winnipeg Video On Demand doc Perogy! explores the warmth and nostalgia wrapped up in those doughy little pockets
By: Kenton Smtih
"Spiritual" is perhaps not the word you’d expect one to use to describe the humble perogy — but Danny Schur nonetheless feels it appropriate.
"Every Ukrainian person has some strong emotional attachment to perogies," says the Winnipeg composer of the musical Strike!, who penned his own fond ode to the doughy foodstuffs in The Perogy Supper Miracle. "Perogy-making was likely something your baba taught you. It’s bound up with your childhood."
Schur’s musical comedy debuted in Winnipeg last fall and is now touring other Canadian cities, but the composer himself — and appropriate snippets from his latest work — are featured in the new MTS Winnipeg Video on Demand documentary Perogy!, directed by Tammy Marlowe Johnson. The doc appropriately became available last week as Manitobans across the province celebrated Ukrainian Christmas.
"I wanted to answer the question, what makes a perogy a perogy," says Johnson, a veteran reporter, TV writer and Ukrainian herself. For Schur — who describes himself "as Ukie as you can get" — the culinary dimension is the least of it: "It’s about the culture, the old country and tradition."
By now, of course, the perogy is as much a (regional) Canadian item as it as an ethnic food; it is, as Johnson says, part of Prairie cuisine. It’s a fixture inlocal frozen food sections, where one can find even "Mexican-flavoured" varieties, much to the horror of the likes of Orysia Tracz, a Winnipeg writer and Ukrainian translator who’s featured in the doc.
Visit here to read the full article.