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Ukrainian family works to preserve traditions amid war at home

For families impacted by the war in Ukraine, Easter will be celebrated a little differently this year.
One family is holding onto traditions from their homeland this Easter by baking bread.
One family is holding onto traditions from their homeland this Easter by baking bread.(WBTV)
Published: Apr. 16, 2022 at 10:48 PM EDT
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WAXHAW, N.C. (WBTV) - This Easter weekend, celebrations, egg hunts and more are being held in honor of the holiday.

But for families that have recently been impacted by the war in Ukraine, this Easter is a bit different than ones past.

“As soon as we heard about the first explosions, we were driving to the border,” Anna Bondar said. “I was really worried about kids and I didn’t want them to experience any of the war stuff. I didn’t want them to hear explosions, to see guns, nothing.”

Bondar, a mother of two, uprooted her family from their southern Ukraine home a little more than a week ago, finding refuge with a host family in Waxhaw, N.C.

Since arriving in the United States, Bondar said the lead-up to Easter hasn’t felt the same as in years past.

For one, Ukrainians typically celebrate the holiday a week after Americans do. This year though, Bondar and her family will observe Easter at the same time.

While it certainly won’t be the same, one way she has been able to preserve a traditional Easter feel is by baking ‘Easter bread’ with her daughters.

“The holidays don’t really feel the same and in Ukraine I doubt they celebrate a lot,” she said. “I think these people are so depressed about what’s going on because it’s so close. And here we will have the picture, I don’t know about the feeling, but we’ll try to make it as nice as possible.”

Easter may not feel the same for the Bondars this year, but the mother hopes that something as simple as bread can give her children a slice of their home half a world away.

Related: Ukrainian student at Wingate University fears for family in war-torn Ukraine

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