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Author Topic: Ukrainian culture  (Read 30812 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2008, 11:17:54 PM »
Ukraine's currency — the Hryvnia

Ukraine's currency, the "hryvnia" (abbreviation: UAH), is tied to the US dollar.  Bills come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 hryvnias as well as higher values.  UAH coins exist in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 kopecks, as well as a 1 hryvnia coin.

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Like the USD, UAH 100 kopecks = 1 hryvnia.  In general bills have a picture of historic persons on the front with famous landmarks and buildings on the reverse.  In 2004 new bills were introduced.

Ukraine's currency has been enviably stable the past five years since being tied to the dollar.  For current exchange rates of dollars or other currencies to the Hryvnia:  http://www.uazone.net/go/convert.cgi?rate=NBU

Dollars and, increasingly, euros are seen all over. Often dollars or Euros are for savings stashed around the house and for big purchases, while hryvnias are used for day-to-day expenses. Even though inflation has been low for five years, Ukrainians are still mistrustful of their monetary system after banks collapsed in the early 90s and everyone lost their savings. Many people still prefer to stash dollars in hiding places in their apartment rather than deposit them in a bank, even when the savings rate is over 10%.

Online bgreed

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2008, 05:28:58 PM »
I'll add something that most may not know about.  Lena and some friends went to this place outside of Kiev.  Seems the government has gone around Ukraine and collected traditional building and have brought them here for preservation.

They have people who are familiar with different folk arts doing demonstrations of musical instrument or even the traditional vodka drinking cup.

Offline Chris

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2008, 01:21:02 AM »
Greg

There is also the Museum of Architecture in Chernivsti where they have done the same.

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Offline Chris

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2008, 01:23:28 AM »
and some more, while I was here they were actually filming for a TV programme, but they wouldn't let me take pictures of them.

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Offline Chris

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2008, 03:28:55 AM »
I loved my times in Kharkiv, I once had an apartment right across the road from Fortress Cathedral, brings back many memories :)

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2008, 06:06:26 AM »
Kharkiv.. Didn't really like my time, but that was probably due to the apartment combined with feeling marooned by a lady who didn't like me all that much.
You can change anything in life, but a BMW only for a BMW
My first trip to my wife: To Evpatoria!
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2008, 02:10:48 AM »


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Soldiers memorial/memory day



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] St Mikhail Cathedral



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Independence Square



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] St Sophia Square



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Motherland Statue

Offline Jinx

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2008, 10:32:55 PM »
 Amazing photo's and great info as usual Mendeleyev...I miss Ukraine  :(  Nataly leaves next week to visit family, I wish I were going too.

 What a beautiful country, Kharkiv looks so cool from above, I had no idea it was a city of many trees. Next time I go I want to visit this city. I fell in love with Kiev when I was there, I didn't want to leave. Like many visitors I said to myself "I could live here"  :)  Nataly doesn't think I could survive the winters though, maybe she's right, but I would like to try.  :-*

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2008, 02:20:46 AM »
Amazing photo's and great info as usual Mendeleyev...I miss Ukraine  :(  Nataly leaves next week to visit family, I wish I were going too.

 What a beautiful country, Kharkiv looks so cool from above, I had no idea it was a city of many trees. Next time I go I want to visit this city. I fell in love with Kiev when I was there, I didn't want to leave. Like many visitors I said to myself "I could live here"  :)  Nataly doesn't think I could survive the winters though, maybe she's right, but I would like to try.  :-*

Yes Jinx Kharkov is a green city, like many others in Ukraine, it used to be the Capital city, I loved it there, happy memories of the city indeed. I will have to try and dig out some of my old photos.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2008, 12:36:40 AM »
Jinx, you would do fine in winter.  And a Kyiv winter is not as severe as in Moscow and St Petersburg is even more cold.  You should try it!


Chris, yes bring out those photos!


Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2008, 12:14:04 AM »
The economy of Ukraine


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Ukraine is moving to a market economy where the forces of supply and demand and private ownership guide the allocation of resources. The transition to a market economy is politically and socially difficult because the populace must endure rising inflation, unemployment, and economic uncertainty before it experiences the long-term benefits of a market economy.



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Gas pipeline from Ukraine to Europe.

Ukraine mineral resources have played an important role in supporting the Ukraine industrial development and in providing for its energy needs. During the 1980s nuclear power also became a significant source of electrical power, accounting for about 25% of Ukraine's electricity. The accident at the Chernobyl power station in 1986, however, created strong opposition to nuclear power in Ukraine, and efforts are now being made to phase out reliance on nuclear energy.


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The major industries are metalworks, machine building, construction, chemicals, food, and light industry. Ukraine is a major producer of steel and iron and had accounted for 33% of Soviet steel and iron production. About one-third of its industrial manufacturing comes from the machine-building sector, which produces tractors, machine tools, and mining equipment. Transportation vehicles manufactured by the Ukraine economy include cars, trucks, buses, railway cars, diesel locomotives, airplanes, and ships.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] The "Eurocar" is made in Ukraine.


The chief output of the Ukraine chemical industry is fertilizer, while the Ukraine food industry is involved with sugar refining, meat packaging, food canning, and wine production. Among consumer goods produced are television sets, refrigerators, washing machines, and clothes.


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Kyiv Metro Map.

Overall, Ukraine has a well-developed and diverse transportation system. Ukraine railroad network is extensive and links major cities with industrial enterprises. Waterways such as the Dnepr River and the Black sea and Azov sea, and their port cities, play an important role in shipping.  The Ukrainian highway system comprises about 147,000 kilometers (91,000 miles) of paved roads. Ukraine subway systems exist in Kiev and Kharkov. There are major airports near Kiev (at Boryspil), Kharkov and Odessa cities.


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Grain, sugar beets, coal, construction equipment, and select manufactured goods are Ukraine major exports. The primary Ukraine import items are oil, wood products, rubber, and consumer goods. Some of Ukraine major trading partners are Russia, Poland, USA, Hungary, Germany, France, and Iran. Ukraine is seeking to reduce its economic dependence with Russia.


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Once considered to be "the breadbasket of Europe" (prior to Stalinism), during the war Adolph Hitler ordered the German occupying forces to send trainloads of Ukrainian topsoil back to Germany.

Offline MND

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2008, 05:17:03 AM »
Ukraine's currency — the Hryvnia

Ukraine's currency, the "hryvnia" (abbreviation: UAH), is tied to the US dollar.  Bills come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 hryvnias.  Some higher values exist but are impractical and rarely carried.  (Attachment Link)


The 500 is carried often by people and exchanged easily in Ukriane

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2008, 06:09:02 PM »
Government of Ukraine


Today the historic capital of Ukraine is Kyiv although there was a period when the government was based in Kharkiv.  Kyiv was the very first capital of the country we now call "Russia."


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The President is Viktor Yushenko.  Ukraine is a Parlimentary democracy with a Prime Minister and a legislature known as the "Rada."  The President of Ukraine (Президент України) is the head of the state of Ukraine and acts in its name. According to the Constitution of Ukraine, the President is the guarantor of the state sovereignty and territorial integrity, the observance of the Constitution of Ukraine and human and civil rights and liberties. The President is elected by the citizens of Ukraine by way of a universal, equal and direct vote for a five-year term.  Currently, the President of Ukraine is Viktor Yushchenko who was sworn in on January 23, 2005.



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The Prime Minister of Ukraine, the very popular Yulia Tymoshenko was born on 27 November 1960 in Dnepropetrovsk.
After graduation she joined the economic faculty of Dnepropetrovsk State University to study cybernetic engineering. In 1979, while studying there, she married Oleksandr Tymoshenko and her daughter Evgeniya was born in 1980.

Ms Tymoshenko is a notably attractive lady as well as dynamic person with leadership ability.  She often wears traditional Ukraine costumes, is fluent in Ukrainian, and generally wears her trademark white or cream coloured dresses.  She is so attractive that the Prime Minister's website features no less that 7,224 photos of her!

Mendeleyev was able to find her dressed above in black, a rare departure from the white or cream colours she prefers.  The Prime Minister almost always wears her hair braided in a traditional Ukrainian style when in public view.  But would you like to see Yulia with her hair down?  Come on, you know you would!



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Mendeleyev delivers!  And this wasn't found on a government website either. 



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The chamber of Parliment, "the Rada." Ukraine comprises 24 regions called oblasts. In addition, the Crimea enjoys a special status as a republic within Ukraine, which grants it a significant amount of economic autonomy. Control of the Crimea is at the center of a political dispute between Ukraine and Russia.



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Ukraine is a country of rich culture and customs.  It is a beacon for the fine arts with world-class symphony orchestras, acting, art, theatre and ballet.

The range of Ukraine political parties reflects European traditions. They include the Green party, Republican party, Democratic party, Peasant-Democratic party, Christian-Democratic party, and Socialist party. These parties tend to have small memberships, numbering only several thousand each, which demonstrates the legacy of antiparty feeling following decades of Communist party rule.



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The government still has a long way to go in order to address many social ills left over from the slopply Soviet period. Old age pensions average about $55 dollars monthly and Red Army veterans wounded in more modern Soviet campaigns receive next to nothing.


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Ukraine has a population of 48 million people and is quickly becoming a desirable tourist market.  The Ukrainian government has started heavily promoting the country as a tourist destination and 23 million people visited the country in 2007.  This number is expected to grow and UEFA’s decision to host the Euro 2012 football tournament has resulted in a bunch of new investments, such as hotels with international names such as Intercontinental, Radisson, and Hilton.


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Unlike it's big neighbor to the East/North East, Ukraine has made an effort to be small business friendly.  Corruption does exist but is more actively fought on the government level.  Small markets, farms, restaurants and manufacturing are helping to rebuild Ukraine.


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The President's official residence for ceremonial purposes is Mariyinsky Palace. Other official residences include the House with Chimaeras and the House of the Weeping Widow.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2008, 09:58:34 PM »
Ukrainian language:


While it's difficult to find a Ukrainian who can't speak Russian, many simply don't want to.  Especially in areas of the West, older Ukrainians have deep hostilities towards Russians for centuries of aggression and domination.

But in the center and East, Russian is freely spoken although Ukrainian is gradually taking over. Except for the autonomous region of Crimea, Ukrainian is the official language.

Practically speaking, one can hear and see Russian and Ukrainian mixed everywhere.  Russia is a big neighbor and many of the radio and television outlets from Russia blanket Ukraine.  Advertising and street signs can be found in either language and the truth is that it will take a long time, if ever, before all street signs, newspapers, magazines and advertising is converted to Ukrainian.


So, isn't Ukrainian just a dialect of Russian?
Not at all.  The two languages share the Cyrillic alphabet, share a lot of words and are very similiar, but they are two different and separate languages.

Ukrainian (украї́нська мо́ва) is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a Cyrillic alphabet. The language shares some vocabulary with the languages of the neighboring Slavic nations, most notably with Polish, Slovak in the West, Belarussian to the North, and Russian in the East.

The Ukrainian language traces its origins to the Old Slavic language of early medieval state of Kievan Rus'.


The Ukrainian alphabet:
А а Б б В в Г г Ґ ґ Д д Е е Є є Ж ж З з И и
І і Ї ї Й й К к Л л М м Н н О о П п Р р С с
Т т У у Ф ф Х х Ц ц Ч ч Ш ш Щ щ Ь ь Ю ю Я я


Those who know the Russian Cyrillic will notice 3 letters not present in the Russian language:  Ґ ґ, І і, Ї ї.


Stalin strictly banned the speaking or writing of the Ukrainian language and tried to erase it from the face of the earth.  During the "thaw" after Stalin's death the language enjoyed a resurgence as a second language to a dominate Russian.  The Communists outlawed one letter however, Ґ ґ ("ge"), until Glasnost in 1990.




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On this Kyiv Metro sign you may be able to figure out some of the words, but this is in the Ukrainian language and there are significant spelling and even word differences from Russian.




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This is a sign from the train station in Kharkov.  Well, Ukrainains would insist that it's Kharkiv.  Look on the sign and find the word for "Kharkiv."

Although close, there is a difference in the sounds.  Notice the difference in the spelling, too:

Ukrainian: Харків  "Khar-kiv"

Russian: Харьков  "Khar-kov"



While we're on this sign, look for the word "Ukraine."  It's sounds slightly different and is spelled differently too:

Ukrainian: Україна  "ooh-kra-YE-nah

Russian: Украина  "ooh-kra-e-nah"

Yes, it's sometimes hard for the untrained ear to distinguish the difference, but keep studying and someday you will.


(Note: What you see on the sign above is України instead of Україна and these involve noun cases so until we cover those in the language thread just roll with the flow.)




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Of course the word for Kyiv (see note below) is going to be different also.  This sign above shows the Ukrainian spelling, Київ.

The Russian spelling is: Киев


While we're here on the subject, perhaps this is a good time to make certain you can impress your lady by saying "Kyiv" correctly.  If you do the old (wrong) "key-evh" then we need to practice!  It is pronounced all in one syllable (not two) and the "v" at the end is very, very, very, gentle. 

So let's work on it!   :)  What you wish is to avoid having the "evh" sound like the word 'Evan' when you speak it.  In one smooth syllable you want to say "keyve."  The "ve" is there, but oh, so gentle.  Focus on the "Key" and just let the gentle "ve" quietly slide in at the end.  One smooth syllable.

I think you've got it!



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Finally, if you've been practicing reading signs you may recognize many of these cities from this train schedule.  But you'll notice some differences as this is printed in Ukrainian.



Note from the Ukrainian Embassy: Americans tend to spell the name of Ukraine's capital using the Russian language "Kiev." As part of ongoing efforts to shed its Soviet past, the Ukrainian government has made "Kyiv" the official English language spelling for the country's capital. The word "Kyiv" corresponds to the Ukrainian pronunciation of the city's name.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2009, 02:21:56 PM »
More history of Ukraine


The following is taken from "Language and Travel Guide to Ukraine," by Linda Hodges.


The adage that history is written by the winners is well-understood by those with roots in Ukraine. Without a Ukrainian state, Ukrainian history was handed down as a footnote, considered no more than a provincial expression of dominant powers. By an extension of a stunted, simplistic logic, without a Ukrainian state, there was no Ukrainian identity. There ceased to be, for most of the world, not only a country with its own history, but a separate and distinct people who shared a unique language and a rich cultural heritage. With the possible exception of the batik Easter eggs, nearly every aspect of Ukrainian history and culture had been attributed to other groups. The mislabeling of things Ukrainian was carried to its logical absurdity in library card catalogs, encyclopedias, and history books. For example, college-level history of civilization textbooks discussed the Kyivan-Rus legacy without once using the word "Ukrainian."

Ukraina means borderland. As a frontierland bridging the East and West, Ukraine was vulnerable to invaders from all sides. Among the early peoples who roamed across the steppes and navigated the Dnipro and Black Sea were Scythians, Greeks, Goths, Huns, and Khazars. After the establishment of the modern state, Ukraine was threatened by the ambitions of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Ottoman Empire, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Tatar Khanate, and Muscovy. For centuries various parts were under the Russian Empire, Poland, or Austria. The many foreign powers that occupied and ruled Ukraine sometimes enriched the country, but also brought exploitation and devastation.

As a nation that for most of its history was not in charge of its own destiny, Ukraine has over and over again been trapped between two bad choices, forced to choose the lesser of two evils. Ironically, fate has thrust upon Ukraine the opportunity to emerge from the shadows and stand as a free and independent member of the family of nations.


SOME BASIC FACTS
With 233,100 square miles (603,700 sq. km.), Ukraine is the largest country completely in Europe. In size it's slightly bigger than France but smaller than the state of Texas. To the north is Belarus; Russia is to the northeast and east; Moldova and Romania and Hungary are to the south and southwest; Slovakia and Poland border on the west and northwest. The southern border is on the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. Ukraine is a relatively modern country with a highly educated population that is two-thirds urbanized. Even so, traditional family values still prevail, including a strong work ethic.

Its population of 50 million is Europe's fifth largest, after Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and France. Ethnically, 73 percent of the population identifies themselves as Ukrainian and 22 percent as Russian, with Ukrainians predominating in the western and central oblasts, and the Russian population in the south and east. Sizable minorities are Jews, Belarusians, Moldovans, Poles, Armenians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Romanians, and Tatars. Not surprisingly, the non-Ukrainian population tends to be concentrated around the borders. The country consists primarily of fertile steppeland with a forest-steppe area across the north and low-lying mountains along the western border. The Dnipro River flows down through the center separating the country into east and west regions and has played an active role in the country's development from prehistoric through modern times. Ukraine's rich soil and moderate climate make it ideally suited to agriculture. Its huge coal reserves and deposits of iron and manganese ore have led to heavy industrial development, especially in the eastern part.


HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS
Kyiv Rus, the historical ancestor of Ukraine, was established by Vikings and peopled by various Slavic tribes. Kyiv was the center of this powerful princely state that dominated eastern Europe from the 10th through the 13th century. It was a center of trade, Slavic culture, and Byzantine Christianity. Internal dissention weakened the state and it ended with Mongol invasions in the mid-13th century.

Kozak Period. Kozak, often spelled Cossack in English, comes from a Turkish word meaning free man. The term was originally applied to refugees from serfdom and slavery who fled to the borderland that was Ukraine during the 15th to the 18th century. The term later was applied to Ukrainians who went into the steppes to practice various trades and engage in hunting, fishing, beekeeping, and collection of salt. The Kozaks set up democratic military communities and elected their leaders, who were called hetmans. From their island stronghold on the Dnipro, the Kozaks launched attacks against the Turks and Tatars and struggled against the Polish and Russians. Their establishment of an autonomous Ukrainian state is a high point of Ukrainian history.

During the mid-17th century, Poland controlled most of Right Bank Ukraine (lands west of the Dnipro) while Muscovy controlled most of the Left Bank. Ukrainian culture enjoyed a great revival during this period of ambiguous political status. Religious and educational activity flourished and there was a high rate of literacy. By the late 18th century, however, 85 percent of Ukrainian land had fallen under Russian control, and Ukraine's window to the west was closed. It was a time of colonialism and Russification during which Ukrainian culture and language was suppressed.

The 20th century was a time of great turmoil and suffering in Ukraine. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Ukraine was engulfed in a chaotic civil war in which many different factions and foreign powers fought for control. On January 22, 1918 the Ukrainian Central Rada formally proclaimed Ukraine's independence and the next year joined with the Western Ukrainian People's Republic for a united, independent country. Soon, however, the western Ukrainians were defeated by Polish expansionists and Soviet Russian troops seized Kyiv, incorporating much of Ukraine in the Soviet Union. The Ukrainian intelligentsia was forced to either move or perish. In 1932-1933 some four to ten million peasants (according to differing estimates) were starved to death in a deliberately engineered famine designed to force them onto collective farms. During the Second World War, Ukraine bore the brunt of the Nazi drive to Stalingrad and the Red Army counteroffensive. Another 7.5 million people were lost, including almost 4 million civilians killed and 2.2 million taken to Germany as laborers. Cities, towns, and thousands of villages were devastated.


In addition to the excellent work above by Linda Hodges, RUA also recommends study of the material found at this site on Ukrainian History.