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Author Topic: Ukrainian culture  (Read 35723 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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





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.






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.





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.


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.





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.





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.





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."





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.






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!






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






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.






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.







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.





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.





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.





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.







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.)







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!






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.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2009, 02:23:44 PM »
Ukraine or "the Ukraine"

by Andrew Gregorovich

THE NAME UKRAINE, which first appeared in the historical chronicles in 1187, has been common in the English language for almost 350 years. In the earliest years it appeared without the definite article "the" but in this century the definite article increasingly preceded the name Ukraine.

First of all we might note that the Ukrainian language has no articles so this is not a factor except indirectly. The reason for this is that many Ukrainian immigrant scholars, due to their imperfect knowledge of English, used the form "the Ukraine" in their books thus helping to perpetuate this usage.

Does English grammar require the definite article the before Ukraine? Ukraine is the name of an independent country. There are only two groups of countries which require the article in English: Those with plural names such as the United States or the Netherlands. The others have names with adjectival or compound forms which require the article, such as the United Kingdom, the Dominion of Canada, or the Ukrainian SSR.

English grammar does not require a definite article before the names of singular countries such as England, Canada or Ukraine.

Geographical regions such as the Arctic, the Atlantic, the North, the West, and the prairies all require the definite article, but these are not countries. Since 1917 Ukraine has had very definite borders so it cannot be regarded as merely a region. Some people have mistakenly thought that Ukraine is a general word meaning "the borderland;' "the steppes" or "the prairies;' which would require the article. A few neanderthal writers in the past have even promoted "the Ukraine" to reflect the original meaning "the borderland" in order to diminish the international political stature of Ukraine. They betrayed their ignorance of Ukraine, or their bias against it, with this usage. See for example, the view of Robert 0. Grover in the U.S. News & World Report (Dec. 9, 1991).

Is there any other reason to use the definite article in English with Ukraine? Usage has been suggested as a reason but this cannot be accepted today since the majority of books and newspapers do not use it.

For example, the authoritative five volume Encyclopedia of Ukraine edited by Danylo Struk and published by the University of Toronto Press does not use it. The article is not used by such prominent publications as The Ukrainian Quarterly (New York), Ukrainian Review (London, England), Forum Ukrainian Review (Scranton, Pa.), Ukrainian Voice (Winnipeg), Ukrainian Echo (Toronto), Journal of Ukrainian Studies (Toronto), Ukrainian News (Edmonton) or News From Ukraine (Kiev). In fact, today there is no Ukrainian periodical in English which uses the article although Harvard Ukrainian Studies once forced it on scholarly contributors.

But what about the regular daily press in the USA, Canada and England? Even The New York Times (which once required it in its Style Guide) does not use it now. Neither do The Times (London), The Economist (London), Washington Post, TIME, Newsweek or Maclean's. News services such as Canadian Press, Reuters, CNN and Associated Press do not use the article. When the December 1991 referendum confirmed the independence of Ukraine the White House in Washington, D.C. officially announced that it would discontinue use of the definite article before the name Ukraine.

Even the computer age has ruled that "the" Ukraine is wrong in English. Gram-mat-ik, the very popular grammar and style checker for computers by Reference Software International of San Francisco, uses Ukraine without the article and labels "the Ukraine" as a mistake of grammar.

There appears to be virtually no grammatical or logical reason to use the definite article before the name Ukraine. But it is still encountered occasionally because of habit or because the writer is careless or ignorant about Ukraine. Sir Bernard Pares the eminent English historian of Russia suggested that "the Ukraine" came from French usage. We say Ia France, le Canada and l'Ukraine in French but not 'the France; 'the Canada' or 'the Ukraine' in the English language. The definite article the does not add anything to the meaning or clarity when used before the proper noun Ukraine.

Now, the exception to the rule. Yes, it is possible for "the Ukraine" to be correct in English but it is a very rare usage in apposition to contrast the past with the present. For example, one could correctly say, "The America of George Washington is not the America of Bill Clinton" as well as "The Ukraine of Shevchenko is not the Ukraine of Kravchuk."

We may conclude then, that the use of the definite article in English before the name Ukraine is awkward, incorrect and superfluous. Writers who care about good style in their English grammar and the correctness of their language will always avoid the use of "the Ukraine" and use only the simpler and correct "Ukraine."

-Educated at McMaster University and the University of Toronto, Andrew Gregorovich has been a department head in the University of Toronto Library system for over 30 years. A past Chairman of the Toronto Historical Board, he is a member of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies and is on the Academic Board of the University of Toronto. He is Editor of FORUM Ukrainian Review.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2009, 02:37:37 PM »
RUA has excellent companion threads on Ukraine and we highly recommend you also enjoy these:


Western Ukraine--Life and Leisure activities in the Carpathian Mountains.

and

Western Ukraine--Village and Rural Life.


In these reports RUA moderator Chris, his wife and daughter returned to his wife's home in Ukraine. Taking a camera along with them they photographed their way across Western Ukraine and have shared these photos and their thoughts along the way. It's special on the scene reporting like this that makes RUA so unique among forums!

Offline Chris

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Ukrainian Markets - Village, Farmers and City
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2009, 12:44:05 PM »
Kalynivskiy Market

Chernivsti has many markets, but the biggest is by far this one, Kalynivskiy Market it is just outside the city centre on the banks of the River Pruth. It sprang up 20 years ago after many of the Ukrainian factories stopped producing goods during the colapse of the FSU.

When no more goods were coming out of the factories, entrepreneurial Ukrainians started going abroad to places like Turkey and China and bringing goods back home to sell. Many who started off in the early days of the new Ukraine made a lot of money by inflating prices 300, 400 up to 1000%, the general populace had no alternative but to buy, as goods were just not available elsewhere,  and this wealth can be seen in the many big houses that have been built from the procedes around the city and also by the cars they drive.

The nouveau riche love their bling, it is way over the top, I was recently at a birthday celebration meal,  no expense was spared, they all roll up in their Mercedez, Lexus's and so on but the bigget laugh is the amount of bling, gold and such like they wear. The Nouveau riche have no other way to show off their new found wealth, so they go out dressed like Liberace on show night  ;D


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Re: Ukrainian Markets - Village, Farmers and City
« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2009, 06:13:07 AM »
The market sells everything, from a safety pin to designer clothers to wedding dresses, to car parts, tyres, lawn mowers, plumbing equipment, you name it, you can buy it here.

There are thousands of stalls on this one market alone and it is an eye opener to watch woemn trying on clothing out in the open air, right under the noses of other shoppers. General clothing is one thing, but to see fully suited and booted brides trying on wedding outfits and dresses under a temporary tin roof or out in the open is quite another.

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Re: Ukrainian Markets - Village, Farmers and City
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2009, 06:23:27 AM »
One of the many entrances to the Market


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Some of the proper shop units at this market
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But most stalls are like these ones
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Gents suits for sale
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Re: Ukrainian Markets - Village, Farmers and City
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2009, 06:27:05 AM »
Anyone for an off the peg wedding outfit  :) try before you buy on the nice gravel carpet  :chuckle:


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or buy in relative luxury at one of the covered market halls.
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Offline Chris

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Re: Ukrainian Markets - Village, Farmers and City
« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2009, 06:30:40 AM »
and you can buy anything else you want here, no matter how obscure.


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Door handles
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Car tyres
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Tools of every description
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Bicycles of all shapes and sizes
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Thats just a snapshot of Kalynivskiy Market - Chernivsti


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Re: Ukrainian Markets - Village, Farmers and City
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2009, 11:28:09 AM »
Village Markets are a major attraction to the Carpathians and indeed to most villages throughout Ukraine.  Farmers and villagers alike bring their produce to market to sell. The markets usually take place on a Saturday morning, they start early and finish usually around noon.

In the Carpathians, many of the products sold at markets are made from the forests in the region. There are a lot of hardwoods in this area and also Juniper is a very popular material for wooden carved products and the like.

This picture is of a very modern style market, most are no where near this clean and tidy, see my other pictures below for examples.

Notice in this picture the donations/collection box in the foreground, this would be left there all day with no fear of someone stealing it.


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Re: Ukrainian Markets - Village, Farmers and City
« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2009, 11:32:19 AM »
Market in Kosiv

Pictures of Market Kosiv - high in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains.

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Traditional Ukrainian costume
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Wooden cup and pot stands, made from Juniper wood.
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Fruit, twigs and leaves carved from wood
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Re: Ukrainian Markets - Village, Farmers and City
« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2009, 11:35:29 AM »
Pysanka, Easter eggs made from wood and decorated
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Wooden bottles
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Hand made dresses
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Entrepreneurial :) selling home made ladders on the roadside, health and safety in the UK would have a field day at this place  :chuckle:
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Traffic on Market Days
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As you can see, market days means small towns and villages become a hive of activity and regularly double in size as people come from all over the region to sell their produce and buy necessities.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian Markets - Village, Farmers and City
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2009, 01:07:16 PM »
Great photos and reporting, Chris!

One of the things which your photos illustrate is that Ukrainians and Russians are satisfied shopping in conditions which in the West would be considered less than "ideal" for spoiled consumers. Many of these outdoor, even if somewhat covered, markets are near a train or a Metro station which is great for generating foot traffic. In this environment however the temperatures in summer can soar and then in winter plummet, yet what seems important to an FSU shopper is accessibility and availability. And those two things often trump comfort.

My wife and I were talking about this subject sometime ago and her comment was along the lines of 'but you've never had to stand in line for shoes or bread, and you don't know what its like for stores to have empty shelves.' The very availablity of so many things as demonstrated in these photos, represent a significant improvement in lifestyle from just 2-3 decades ago.

The accessibility of shops so near public transportation has also made a dramatic improvement to living standards in a region where so many rely on public transport daily.

Offline Chris

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Re: Ukrainian Markets - Village, Farmers and City
« Reply #41 on: April 20, 2009, 01:46:43 AM »
Great photos and reporting, Chris!

One of the things which your photos illustrate is that Ukrainians and Russians are satisfied shopping in conditions which in the West would be considered less than "ideal" for spoiled consumers. Many of these outdoor, even if somewhat covered, markets are near a train or a Metro station which is great for generating foot traffic. In this environment however the temperatures in summer can soar and then in winter plummet, yet what seems important to an FSU shopper is accessibility and availability. And those two things often trump comfort.

Yes they are quite happy shopping in most conditions that we wouldn't even look twice at. This market however is on the banks of the River Pruth, last year with the floods it was all under 4ft of water, but it now back to normal, it didn't take long, it is amazing how quickly they can do things when they really want too.

There is not carparking at all in the vicinity, so everyone goes to and from via dozens and dozens of bussess and taxi buses that are all over the place.

Quote from: Mendy
My wife and I were talking about this subject sometime ago and her comment was along the lines of 'but you've never had to stand in line for shoes or bread, and you don't know what its like for stores to have empty shelves.' The very availablity of so many things as demonstrated in these photos, represent a significant improvement in lifestyle from just 2-3 decades ago.

The accessibility of shops so near public transportation has also made a dramatic improvement to living standards in a region where so many rely on public transport daily.

I agree, we never had those problems of waiting in line, so it is hard for us to comprehend how bad it was. Now there is an abundance of goods at places like this and prices are good too, so it is a win win situation for the locals.

Offline Excedryn

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2009, 02:16:26 PM »
I love this song, and the pics selected for song on youtube - they give the essense of Ukraine, at least when i watch them i remember it so well... makes me really nostalgic..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKCscM4OHiQ
I absolutely got immersed in this. Very moving, if you get into things like this and as a musician myself I was quite captivated with the flowing movement of the piece in its entirety. Simply beautiful.

I watched every link presented in the post and while some links were pulled by the author I appreciated every one of them.

Thanks for sharing those.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.
Helen Keller
US blind & deaf educator (1880 - 1968)

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #43 on: June 26, 2009, 04:51:54 AM »
We say Argentina and The Argentine - another oddness...
O pointy birds, o pointy pointy, Anoint my head, anointy-nointy.

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #44 on: June 27, 2009, 06:06:17 AM »
Ukraine or "the Ukraine"

We may conclude then, that the use of the definite article in English before the name Ukraine is awkward, incorrect and superfluous. Writers who care about good style in their English grammar and the correctness of their language will always avoid the use of "the Ukraine" and use only the simpler and correct "Ukraine."


Nadia just explained this to me - bear with me I might have forgotten bits!

The word 'Ukraina' comes from the Russian verb (which I forgot - kriy, I think) which means or meant 'edge' cos Ukraine was on the edge of Russia.

Normally, she tells me you would say 'poekhat v rossiye' 'poezhat v germaniye' but for Ukraine you'd say 'poekhat NA ukrainye' - ie treated differently and the use of 'na' instead of 'v' implies a more definite, err definition.

Apparently the Yukes have changed the language here insisting on 'v ukrainye'.

Does that makes sense?

Also there is;

The Netherlands
The Philippines
The Sudan
The Lebanon

and I think 'die Sweiß' in German (for Switzerland).....
O pointy birds, o pointy pointy, Anoint my head, anointy-nointy.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #45 on: June 27, 2009, 06:59:33 AM »
More closely represents "border" but inclusive as part of something. Ukraine was it's own entity before being swallowed by Russia and is now independent again. Therefore it is not inclusive or part of Russia. It cannot be Russia's borderland any more than Belarus which also borders Russia can be "The" Belarus or Georgia "The" Georgia simply because they border Russia.

The Netherlands is called such because it is a kingdom which covers more than European Holland and extends to the Antilles for example. The Phillipines is a series of thousands of Islands. I've not heard of "The" being attached to Lebanon.

Officially Ukraine has taken great constitutional pains to rid itself of the idea of being a territory of Russia. The official name is one simple word: Ukraine.

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #46 on: June 27, 2009, 09:31:40 AM »
More closely represents "border" but inclusive as part of something. Ukraine was it's own entity before being swallowed by Russia and is now independent again. Therefore it is not inclusive or part of Russia. It cannot be Russia's borderland any more than Belarus which also borders Russia can be "The" Belarus or Georgia "The" Georgia simply because they border Russia.

The Netherlands is called such because it is a kingdom which covers more than European Holland and extends to the Antilles for example. The Phillipines is a series of thousands of Islands. I've not heard of "The" being attached to Lebanon.

Officially Ukraine has taken great constitutional pains to rid itself of the idea of being a territory of Russia. The official name is one simple word: Ukraine.


Yes but Belarussia and Georgia as proper nouns have no other (in this context) meaning as the word Ukraine semantically does/did.

Nabbed this from the internet which confirm what Nadia told me;

"Preposition usage in Ukrainian, Russian and other Slavic languages

In the Ukrainian language, there was a change in the way of saying "in Ukraine" following the country's independence. Traditional usage is na Ukrajini (with the preposition na, "on"), but recently Ukrainian authorities have begun using v Ukrajini (with the preposition v, "in", which is also used with most other country names). Meanwhile usage in Russian varies. Russian-language media in Ukraine are increasingly using the parallel form v Ukraine. However, the media in Russia continue to use the standard na Ukraine. Note that the preposition na is also used for some regions of Russia as well as with Rus, the historical homeland of Eastern Slavs (na Rusi).
The preposition na continues to be used with Ukraine (and with Rus') in other Slavic languages, including Polish, Czech and Slovak. This is a usage typically found with lands that have not always been considered distinct political entities (for example, Polish also uses na with its names for Hungary and Lithuania)."

'The Lebanon' - big hit by the Human League. Agreed tho - named after the Mountain Range.

The Gongo
The Gambia

Phew!


O pointy birds, o pointy pointy, Anoint my head, anointy-nointy.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2009, 12:21:09 PM »
Context is exactly the issue, agree. That is why in Russian usage (context) "the" Ukraine was a designation of territory of Russia, as it's "edge or border."

Its also part of a context in which many Russians feel anger that Ukrainians no longer wish to be treated as step children by their larger brother (really their younger but larger child). They love to remind the Cossacks of that power by continuing to use language which is offensive to Ukrainians. I have members of my family who feel this way.

That is obviously not the case any longer and the Parliment of Ukraine has gone to great pains to make it clear that the name of the country is one word: Ukraine. They are no longer a part of Russia and do not wish to have "the" attached to their name.  :)

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #48 on: June 28, 2009, 01:17:43 AM »
Vadim Urasov has written some "How to know if you are Ukrainian" tests:

You live in a bilingual society. You are as likely to have Russian as a native language as you are to have Ukrainian. Usually, though, you consider both to be your native language.

More people in the world have heard of your country in connection with the Chernobyl nuclear accident than anything else.

If you're young, you're probably familiar with popular culture figures and pop groups such as Ruslana, Les Podervyansky, Tartak, Vopli Vidoplyasova, Okean Elzy, Skryabin, Green Gray. If you live in Kiev, you've probably seen some of them in bars around town, too.

You've probably heard Les Podervyansky's obscene plays and find them quite funny, but you've not seen the pictures he paints.

If you're older, you are probably better familiar with the likes of Sofia Rotaru, Mykola Gnatyuk, Nazariy Yaremchuck and (oh-my-god) Verka Serdyuchka.

You are very familiar with the entire Soviet cultural heritage-- movies, cartoons, books-- and still love them nostalgically. You take particular pride in the excellent cartoons made by the KievNauchFilm studio, such as “Captain Vrungel”, “The Treasure Island”, and “The Cossacks” cartoon series.

You know what KVN means. If you graduated from a higher education institution, it is likely that you played in a KVN team yourself or had friends that did.

You are still culturally very connected to Russia. Most of the trashy pop and witless comedians you know originate from Russia. Okay, some of those comedians aren't that bad after all, particularly Mikhail Zhvanetsky who is in fact Ukrainian.

If you're male, you're very likely to be a football fan. (The word ‘soccer’ doesn’t mean anything to you... who would call football ‘soccer’ anyway?) You support Shakhtar Donetsk if you’re from the Donetsk region, and Dynamo Kiev if you’re from any other part of the country.

You also follow Italian football because Andriy Shevchenko plays in Milan. You think Shevchenko is the most famous Ukrainian in the world, and you’re probably right. (Incidentally, your national poet from the 19th century had the same surname.)

You are generally familiar with basketball and volleyball and maybe even played them at school. Baseball, cricket and American football are strange sports played by those strange foreigners.

Another sport that exists for you is boxing, at least since the Klitchko brothers hit the big time.

You expect to have one full month of holiday every year. You rarely use it, though. For holiday, you normally go to the Crimea and complain about how awful the service is, how high the prices are, and how full of Russians it is. If you’re richer, you go to Turkey, Egypt or Greece.

You live in a country where there are three Orthodox Churches and two Catholic Churches. You’re not sure about the real differences between them. You go to whichever church happens to be closer to your home once a year for Easter. That is unless you are a Crimean Tatar, in which case you’re Muslim.

You’re not really sure if God exists, but wear a crucifix just in case. Most likely, you regard Protestants with suspicion, unless you are one.


Food is very important to you. You spend a fair share of your income on food. Of course you eat at a table, sitting on chairs or benches.

You don’t consider insects, lizards, dogs, cats, monkeys, horses, frogs, snails or snakes to be food.

You like pork fat. Salted, smoked, peppered or spiced. No, you seriously like pork fat. You know that the Russians make fun of you because of this, but you still like pork fat.

You wonder what life would be like if McDonald's served pork fat?

You live in a country where pork is more expensive than veal.

You think that fast food like McDonald’s isn’t all that cheap (and you’ve never seen a Burger King or a KFC). You prefer local fast-food chains-- they’re much better because they serve ‘normal’ (i.e. Ukrainian) food instead of burgers.

In most cases you eat at home. Your wife/sister/mother is probably a good cook. Not as good as your granny, though.

You are convinced that Russians can’t cook.

Yoghurt is still a fairly exotic food; it’s widely available but not everybody buys it. Sour cream is a lot more popular and usually comes in plastic bowls.

You can take pride in being probably the only country in the world that has a word for vodka other than ‘vodka’-- you call it horilka. Naturally, Ukrainian horilka is the best vodka in the world.

You don’t have much taste for wine, but consume a fair amount of beer, particularly if you’re a student. The only beer worth drinking is Ukrainian. Okay, some German types are drinkable, but they’re quite expensive.

How do you confuse a Moldavian?

You don’t know how many political parties are active in your country, nor do you care. Unless you’re an aging Communist or a hard-line nationalist, you vote for leaders, not parties, and you choose them on a ‘lesser evil’ basis.

You feel strangely different from Russians when at home or in Russia, and strangely similar to them when in any other country.

Even if you speak Russian all your life, you still have a Ukrainian accent.

You easily spot Russians by their ugly accent, too.

You use the word ‘black’ (chorny) to describe people from the Caucasus.

You use the word ‘Negro’ to describe people with black skin, although you don’t get to see too many of these, only some foreign students.

You think Russians are thieves and drunkards, Jews greedy, Poles snobbish, Byelorussians inferior, and you tell jokes about Moldavians. At the same time, you have acquaintances, friends, or even relatives from these nationalities.

You have no trust in the court system whatsoever. You’re sure courts and judges are bought and sold just like anything else.

You probably studied some English at school or university, but saying anything more elaborate than “My name is Vova” is most likely beyond you.

You think that 13% income tax is too high, so you don’t pay any tax at all if you can get away with it.

State school is free but paid private schools are better.

In theory, you can still go to university for free. In practice, that’s less and less likely.

You use the day.month.year format: 24.08.1991. (You must know what happened on that date)

You measure things in metres, grams, and litres. Temperatures are measured in Celsius degrees. Pounds, feet, gallons and Fahrenheit degrees mean absolutely nothing to you.

The decimal point is the comma.

You expect to marry for love, but you’re used to seeing people marrying for money. You get married in the civil registrar’s office. A church marriage isn’t legally valid. It isn’t necessary to marry in church, but most people still do it, on the same day as their legal marriage.

If a man has sex with another man, he’s a homosexual. As long as he keeps it private, he’ll be fine.

Once introduced to someone your age or younger, you can usually call them by their first name. You normally address people over your age and your superiors by their first name and patronymic.

You’re most likely not a farmer, but chances are high that your parents or grandparents were born in the countryside and you still have relatives there, whom you occasionally visit.

If you’re a young woman from a big city, you have most likely sunbathed topless at least once.

On television and in cinemas, foreign films are dubbed. That clearly doesn’t apply to Russian films and TV shows, which are subtitled (which isn’t really necessary).

You haven’t seen a Ukrainian movie in a very long time. If you have, then you haven’t seen a decent Ukrainian movie in a very long time.

You can’t seriously expect to be able to transact business, or deal with officials, without paying bribes. Having friends in the right places or drinking with the right people would help enormously.

If a politician has been cheating on his wife, that’s got nothing to do with his ability to govern.
 
If you live in the city, just about any big store will take your credit card, although few people bother to get one.

Open-air markets are about as popular for shopping as supermarkets and malls. This applies not only to food, but also to clothes, books, home appliances and a lot of other stuff.

If you buy a CD, there is about 90% probability that it’s a pirated one. Some licensed CDs that are reasonably priced have finally appeared, though.

A company can fire just about anybody it wants. Trade unions existed in Soviet times, but you don’t hear much about them any more.

Can I get the whole Whitweek off?

Labour Day is May 1st. You remember a time when it was called The Day of Solidarity of All Working People. May 2nd is a holiday, too, as well as May 9th, as a consequence of which many businesses are shut for the first ten days of May altogether.

You have several new holidays-- Easter, Whitsunday, Constitution Day and Independence Day-- and you are not sure exactly when they are.

You’re not going to die of cholera or other Third World diseases. But unless you can afford expensive private medical insurance, you don’t want to get ill, because that would mean spending long hours in hospital corridors waiting for a physician who will not appear until next month.

You don’t expect your military to fight wars or get involved in politics. What you do expect the military to do, though, is to get their act together: look after their ammunition warehouses properly and stop practices such as shooting down civilian airplanes, aiming missiles at residential buildings and dropping fighter planes into the crowd at air shows.

You don’t really care very much about what family someone comes from, unless you’re Jewish.

Opera and ballet are rather elite entertainments. It’s likely you don’t see that many plays, either.

Christmases are in the winter of course. There is the Catholic Christmas on 25th December and the Orthodox one on 7th January, with New Year’s Eve in between. Many people celebrate all three. As a result, many businesses are shut for the whole period. You’ll have a New Years tree and exchange gifts on January first.

You don’t really understand the concept of “social security” because there isn’t any worth mentioning.

You’re not allowed to drink and drive. Not even a sip of beer.

Taxi cabs are operated by locals who know the streets reasonably well and will complain about the city being overrun by village folk. To get a taxi ride, you don’t need to look for a particular type of car-- whatever your sex, stand on the curb with a hand raised, and every other car will stop offering you a lift (often cheaper than official taxis).

It’s not polite to show up at someone’s place unannounced, but still acceptable among some people. If you do get unexpected guests, you’re likely to find a bottle of horilka in your fridge to serve them a couple of shots.

You have to obtain a passport once you’re over 16 year of age. You have to get a separate one if you want to travel abroad.

You studied Russian history and some Ukrainian history. The history of the rest of the world is pretty obscure. Your Ukrainian history was presented to you as a story of a long battle for unification with Russia. Now you’re told it was the other way round.

You still argue with Russians over the heritage of Kievan Rus. They claim it’s theirs or shared, whilst you claim it’s exclusively yours.
 
If the Russians want to piss you off, they call you Polonised Russians, whilst you know that Russians are not even a Slavic nation at all, they are savage Finns from the northern forests.

Your country has been conquered by wave after wave of invaders throughout its history. Tatars, Lithuanians, Poles, Hungarians, Austrians, Swedes, Turks, Russians, Germans-- they’ve all been here.

All your neighbours (with the potential exception of Byelorussians) think they’re entitled to some or even all of your territory. At the same time, you may think that some of Russia, some of Poland and all of Byelorussia should be annexed to Ukraine.

You can take rightful pride in your Cossack past and the heroic struggles against the Turks and Tatars. Plundering Moldavia on a regular basis was far less heroic and therefore less known.

Your history is one of uprisings, during which you allied with one conqueror against another as a matter of course. As a result, most of your neighbours believe that you betrayed them at one time or another.

You’re still not sure whether Ivan Mazepa was a traitor or the greatest Ukrainian patriot of all time. Same story with Bogdan Khmelnitsky.

Russia still tries to pretend it’s your best friend. Its most friendly act of all was wiping out a quarter of Ukraine’s population in the 1930s in artificial famine.

World War II was a total disaster-- Ukrainians fought on both sides and are still divided over it. The country was reduced to ruins and a civil guerrilla war lasted far into the 1950s. The positive outcome, however, was unification of all Ukrainians within the same state, for the first time in history.

You can be proud that your nation contributed greatly to the creation of the Soviet Union, one of the two greatest powers of the 20th century. You can also be proud that your nation (and possibly you personally) contributed greatly to the dismantling of the Soviet Union.

Generations of your ancestors fought for independence and were always defeated. Your generation did not really fight for independence yet won it.

You have a wide variety of choices for almost anything you want to buy-- if you can afford it, of course.

You own a telephone, a TV and a VCR. Those who have cars are considered better-off.

You’ve most likely got a mobile phone, but you haven’t had it for very long. All mobile communication providers are private.

You don’t have a dirt floor. Your house is under-heated in the winter, and you’re used to it. Air conditioners only exist in offices and big shops.
You don’t want to retire because the pension is so scanty you can’t live off it.

You think real estate prices are far beyond the reach of normal people, especially in Kiev, so you have to rent your accommodation unless you inherited or privatised it.

The bathroom is the room where the bathtub is. The washing machine is often in there too, but the toilet may be in a separate room.

Steel mills, chemical plants and other big factories in your country are now privately owned by the people you call ‘oligarchs’. Sometimes, oligarchs fight each other over some big piece of property, but you don’t really care, unless you’re a journalist, a politician or a politically-obsessed pensioner. In the latter case you believe all businessmen are crooks and must be jailed or shot.

You think the government at all levels in your country is corrupt and you’re pretty much right.

Dangerous parts of town include the crosswalks.

You generally expect that the phones will work, but you’re not surprised if they don’t. Getting a new phone for your apartment could be long and tedious.
 
Unless you’re a lucky car owner, trains are the only practically affordable means of long-distance travel. Trains are normally old, slow, dirty and generally ugly. You only fly within the country if somebody else is paying.

Trains, land telephones, municipal services and city transport are state-run. And that is why telephones don’t always work, the electricity goes out, the house is under-heated, trolleys (although cheap) can barely move, and trains are a mess. There are, however, some private phone providers and transport companies.

Show business in your country is not so much a means of making money as a means of wasting it. The pop scene is full of stupid long-legged scantily-clad daughters, wives and mistresses of rich people, who pay for their videos and releases that nobody else cares about.

You drive on the right-hand side of the road. If you’re in Kiev, you also drive on sidewalks, lawns, and wherever else you car will go.

You stop at red lights if there are people around. The time lapse between the appearance of yellow light and the honk of the car behind you is about 0.01 sec.

If you’re a pedestrian, you fear greatly for your life, but would still cross the street anywhere you please, whether the light is green or not.

You consider the Volkswagen Beetle to be an expensive little car for snobs.

The people’s car in your country is called the Tavria. City centres, however, are full of Hummers, BMWs and Mercedes.

The police are normally armed with truncheons and pistols only. Some task-force units have submachine guns, though.

Women are expected to be stunningly beautiful, and they surely are. Once you’ve married one, though, she will eventually grow plumper.

The biggest meal of the day is usually at lunchtime, although it’s becoming harder and harder to follow this habit.

If you put your wealth on display, you definitely want to avoid some parts of the city at night. Or you may even get in trouble in the centre, for that matter.

You feel that your kind of people aren’t being listened to enough in Kiev, even if you are in Kiev.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukrainian culture
« Reply #49 on: July 09, 2012, 09:27:58 PM »
When you have very cold winter temperatures, unless your home is in a city with central steam heat boilers every few blocks to pipe in some warmth, one needs a very large firewood supply.


ila_rendered
Firewood stacks.

Scenes like these are common in the countryside as farms and villagers stock up wood which will be needed in the coming winter months for heating and cooking.



Orthodox nuns stacking firewood.

Monasteries and Convents often provide their own winter heat fuel by gathering and cutting wood from nearby forests.