What a week
While Ukraine continues to bravely resist, Putin’s army is closing in on Ukraine. More than a million Ukrainian refugees have fled the terror. The world has rallied around Ukraine and against Putin’s aggression, which is incredibly heartening to see, but the Ukrainian people continue to suffer.
Looking to food and art
Food and art bind us together as humans, and I’ve found myself looking to Ukrainian food and art as a way to express solidarity and also to find hope. As this week, I held space on this blog, I thought that instead of recapping the week on the blog that I would instead share with you what I’ve found.
On Instagram and other social media sites, the hashtag #cookforukraine has brought people together raising money to support Ukraine through food. Chef Olia Hercules, a London-based Ukrainian chef and cookbook author, has been raising the alarm for her family and her people and raising money to help.
It’s a small thing, but cooking can be a way to fuel solidarity. I am checking out recipes to try this weekend. I’m taking suggestions. What are you cooking?
Food brings people together, and Chef José Andrés, founder of World Central Kitchen, is on the ground in Ukraine and at border crossings right now, feeding refugees. WCK goes where it is needed in the aftermath of disasters, mobilizing quickly to provide the most basic of human needs. While I hope someday to not have a reason to keep donating to this organization, this is a go-to when disaster strikes.
A friend of mine shared his love of the Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha. This one song Yelena is just incredible. These brave people as of this writing have stayed in Ukraine to defend their country, and they have become a symbol of free Ukraine. Very, very cool music.
Art sustains us in challenging times. Friends have shared posts from Ukrainian artists, including Olya Haydamaka and Maria Primachenko, some of whose work was sadly destroyed in the Russian invasion.
To my mind, what has made this attack more disturbing than others is that it appeared to me that Putin was trying to take advantage of frayed alliances and weakened democratic institutions to remake the Western world. This has felt like a domino, and I think the response to Putin’s attack has reflected the importance of resisting this.
But we must resist all acts of aggression. The war crimes Putin is committing, unfortunately, are nothing new. Other conflicts also produce refugees, and those refugees have not been given the welcome that white Ukrainians have received. This is especially highlighted by the treatment of non-white Ukrainian refugees at border crossings.
When human beings need our help, we must do what we can.
The upcoming week.
Tomorrow, instead of a travel post, we’ll have a post with some thoughts about taking care of ourselves enough to be able to help others in times like these. On Sunday, we’ll pick back up again, with a simple pasta recipe that celebrates spring. On Wednesday, we’ll likely pick up again with single living. And on Monday, we’ll have a Sundry Wonders post that follows the path of winter to spring.