Ukrainians of Canada - Kinship, Marriage and Family

Ukrainian-Canadian marriage and kinship practices do not differ substantially from general Canadian norms. Predominant are monogamous marriage, nuclear families, and bilateral descent. Ukrainian kinship terms in many dialects exhibit a degree of bifurcation; terms differ for maternal versus paternal uncles and aunts. Such perceptions are being supplanted by a more classical Eskimo-type kinship system, especially since English is now often used. Godparents have traditionally been regarded as significant relatives. In-group marriage was encouraged by Ukrainian-Canadian society, particularly by parent generations, though the rate of intermarriage is high.

Socialization. The means and degree of socialization of Ukrainian-Canadians varies a great deal depending on the size of the local community, the commitment of family members, and personal choice. The church has traditionally played a major role in this process, as has upbringing. More involved families in larger centers often choose to take advantage of Ukrainian kindergartens, Ukrainian schools (and, recently, public bilingual education), Ukrainian scouts, choirs, dance groups, sports organizations, and many other pursuits. The adult community reaffirms itself in many performances, meetings, and other social events.

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