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Author Topic: Ukrainian culture  (Read 30797 times)

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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



Offline Chris

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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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Offline Chris

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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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Offline Chris

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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


Offline Chris

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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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Offline Chris

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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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Offline Chris

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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.

Offline Ste

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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.


 

 

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