If you are dating a Ukrainian woman and the time has come to meet her family in Ukraine, you will need to get filled up on information that might help you better understand the culture and traditions of this charismatic country.
Located on the border with the former Russian Empire, marked by the influence of Poland, the Ukraine has preserved strong cultural traditions, quite different from those of Russia.
The cultural riches of Ukraine are rooted in tradition and folklore (typical enamel eggs) and folk songs, accompanied by Bandura. But the traditions, in addition to the more ordinary aspect, is kept alive even in the orthodox style of many churches, such as the Cathedral of St. Sophia (declared for its beauty World Heritage Site) even though many monuments were destroyed during Stalinism.
The Ukrainian literature is confused with the Russian origins, to which it certainly gave a great contribution: only in the nineteenth century did you stop using Russian as a literary language.
Currently, however, the Ukrainians are proud of their cultural identity and tend to keep it distinct from the Russian one: the two cultures, in fact, even if they have elements in common, do not coincide and it would undoubtedly be reductive to consider them together.
The overwhelming majority of Western Ukrainians do not feel like they belong to the same cultural family as the Russians, and they recognize themselves more in the traditions of Central Europe. To the east of the country, the national sentiment is much less pronounced as most of the inhabitants speak Russian and maintain very strong ties with the old motherland. Today, the Ukrainian government is striving to promote the revival of Ukrainian language and culture, enhancing a rich artistic past. We should not forget that the most beautiful songs and dances of the Cossacks have Ukrainian origins. Ukrainian music has its roots in the old oral traditions that narrate the heroic successes and the fantastic rides of the Cossacks. In the rural environment, dances and folk songs are always very present, especially the dance of sabers and Cossack hymns.
A prominent figure in modern literature is certainly the 18th century philosopher Skovoroda, defined for his wisdom "Ukrainian Socrates". The first author of a certain level was Shevchenko.
You need to see Kiev festival, at the end of May, to measure the liveliness of Ukrainian folklore. It is a very religious country in which the Easter and Christmas celebrations are celebrated with pomp and fervor. Ukraine is proud of its religious heritage, its churches with wooden architecture dominated by domes, bulbs and multiple domes, which host admirable icons, mosaics, colored frescoes and illuminated manuscripts.
Family traditions in Ukraine are respected throughout the country. Even in the cities, the sense of the family remains very strong and it is often the grandmother, the "babouchka”, who occupies the central position in the domestic hearths. In a country long since subjected to famine, solidarity remains a principle of life. The tourist will not fail to remain moved by the warm welcome and the sense of hospitality of the population. Always ready to lend themselves, to an insatiable curiosity in front of foreigners, the Ukrainians show themselves as exceptionally generous towards their guests.
Each of us, as soon as we arrive in this world, has a family, it is that environment in which the personality of an individual is formed and developed. The family is a school that teaches you everything you need to be able to get away with it in the future, and it is very important, we must never neglect it, it is a school of life. The most important thing you learn in a Ukrainian family is the love of their parents.
In the Bible there is a phrase that goes: "Respect your mother and father and you will live a beautiful and long life on this Earth". Family life in Ukraine is built around this respect towards older generations, but also towards the man in the house. Ukrainian women are famed for being great wives to their husbands: they take care of the way they look and feel, they are great cooks and they are said to be extraordinarily selfless, putting the needs of their families first. It is traditional for women of Ukraine to get up early, cook three meals for their family members, and then head off to the office. In the evening, they can be seen doing rounds of laundry and ironing, as well as helping their kids with home assignments.
Becoming a part of a Ukrainian family means getting involved with many relatives whose affection you will have to share, alongside with a great deal of their problems. It is all about sharing in a Ukrainian family. But seeing how beautiful, intelligent, educated, caring and affectionate these women are, you will not be wishing for much more having become a part of such a family with deeply rooted traditions.