PUHI — Do the eggs you use come from a rooster, or a rabbit, retired judge Alfred Laureta wanted to know Thursday at the Regency at Puakea.
The question brought forth a burst of laughter from the residents of the Regency at Puakea and the Kauai Adult Day Health Center, who gathered to watch Ron Horoshko demonstrate the art of Ukrainian egg dying, or pysanky.
Horoshko said the Ukrainians never sell the eggs.
“Traditionally, the Ukrainians give them away,” Horoshko said. “I’ve never made a penny from any of the eggs for as long as I have been doing this.”
This year, Horoshko has started a new twist to the giving.
“I’m going to be at the Safeway Store at Hokulei Village, Saturday (today) from 8 to 10 a.m.,” Horoshko said. “I’ll be making eggs there as well as have a supply I’ll be making ahead of time. There is a young person in the pharmacy who just got through going through her first week of chemotherapy. All the donations that come in for the Ukrainian eggs will go to help that person with her fight against cancer.”
Horoshko said his wife is dealing with complications from fighting cancer.
“She’s not doing so well,” he said. “This might be the last time I’ll be demonstrating this traditional style of Easter eggs from the Ukraine.”
Horoshko, who moved to Kauai 17 years ago, said he does pysanky as a pastime.
“I do it because I learned how to do it,” he said. “My favorite, though, is working with children in theater. I do the Ukrainian eggs as a pastime.”
Sharon Lasker, marketing director for Regency at Puakea, said she still has her egg from several years ago.
“He’s not been here for awhile,” Lasker said. “He’s been occupied with taking care of his wife.”
Pysanky is a traditional craft in the Ukraine and Poland. The method is similar to batik, where patterns are drawn on the egg with wax, which protects the covered areas from the dye when applied. By repeating this process with different colors of dye, a multi-colored pattern emerges.
Kazue Taniguchi received an egg for her great granddaughter who lives on Oahu.
“I have to try and figure out how to get it to her,” she said. “It’s her favorite color.”