Fruit Dance to pay homage to valley’s Hungarian roots | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 23 Jul 2024 1pm

Fruit Dance to pay homage to valley’s Hungarian roots


    One of the more unique events planned for the Miner’s Centennial celebrations will see dancers trying to steal fruit hanging from the ceiling of the East Coulee School Museum in a Hungarian Fruit Dance.

    “It’s a little quirky and odd, the pictures you imagine are crazy” said Linda Digby of the Atlas Coal Mine. “What’s significant about it is that it wasn’t just the Hungarians who went there, but everyone because their culture was so much fun. They brought music, food, and everyone was invited to be a part of it.”
    At 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 at the school museum, dancers doing the polka will try to steal hanging fruit without an appointed judge seeing them. Based on a tradition brought over to East Coulee by the Hungarian community,  which had strong numbers in the then growing valley.
    In East Coulee, the Hungarian Community Hall was a centre of culture and entertainment, and many Hungarian descendants still live in the valley.
    In the early days, fruit was prized as getting an orange or apple in the dead of winter was very special.
    Digby said people in the valley then would be shocked at how little there is to do nowadays.
    “It’s so easy to entertain ourselves at home with the internet, TV, and games, that we don’t need to go out and socialize anymore.”
    Proceeds from the dance will go to the East Coulee School Museum. Carol Todor will be out teaching everyone to do the polka.

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