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Refugees grateful for Ukrainian Christmas party

Published on 2023-05-28 10:07:58 source:NBC News

Ukrainian refugees in Worcestershire have expressed gratitude for being able to celebrate Christmas with friends.

It is the first time the Orthodox Christians have marked the festival in the UK since fleeing the war.

Droitwich Working Men's Club staged a Christmas Eve dinner on Friday, after getting suggestions from refugees in the town.

One partygoer, Hanna Hlazkova, thanked the organisers for "what you are doing for our children".

Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on 7 January.

Ms Hlazkova said: "Thank you for what you are doing for our children, because you're prolonging their childhood.

"Thank you so much for being willing to appreciate our culture as well."

Mykola Zhukov said: "We can feel a bit better, because we're surrounded by other Ukrainians.

"Christmas is a family celebration, always my family used to be together in my grandma's home."

He said it would not matter what had happened between his family during the year, because "at Christmas we had to be together".

His family have all remained in Ukraine, but the party had lifted his spirits, especially when he was able to eat traditional dishes with his fellow Ukrainians.

"Thanks to party like this we can feel a bit better and brought back happy memories, because we're surrounded by other Ukrainians," he said.

"I'm just looking at this table and I see this dish and I see how we shared the same dish last year with my family."

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