Fun Facts about Ukraine

Hey blog fam! How are you all doing?

Today’s post is a follow up of  Things You Should Never Do In Ukraine post  especially for my fellow tourists (yes I consider myself one atimes) who are planning on spending or visiting Ukraine this summer.

Will start off with things you can do while in Ukraine beside touring and visiting the fun places Ukraine has to offer.

  • Greet with a strong handshake along with direct eye contact. Well, this applies to all count and rule of life.
  • Beside the “здравствуйте” “как дела ” usual greetings, other forms of informal greetings exist. For instance close female friends will cheek kiss three times, starting with the left cheek while Close male friends pat each other on the back and hug.
  • Awon “Feminist” are not in Ukraine. It’s important to understand that feminism is a little behind in Ukraine. Men will usually hold a door open for women, pour their drinks, light their cigarettes, etc. Infact it’s more of a woman’s world here if you understand what I mean.
  • It’s paramount that you comply with dress code in churches (women are expected to cover their heads when entering Orthodox churches; no aboveknee skirts for women and no hats for men) although in some  Pentecostal churches here, it’s not a rule.
  • When visiting or invited to a Ukrainian household, go along  with a gift such as dessert, wine, flowers or something from your hometown .  However, avoid yellow flowers (yellow is considered a color of separation) or bouquets of flowers in an even number. Even numbers of flowers are for funerals.
  • Upon entering a home take your shoes off.
  • Toasting is a very important part of Ukraine’s social culture, therefore partake in toast.

To the fun Facts

  • Kiev zanaposhArsenalna, a station on Kiev’s Sviatoshynsko-Brovarska line, is the world’s deepest at 105.5 metres below ground
  • It’s considered really bad luck when you hand anything or shake hands over a threshold .
  • When given gifts in Ukraine, it is opened later and not upon receipt.
  • Handkerchiefs, mirrors or sharp objects are never given as presents. Should you decide to give a purse or a wallet, then remember to put some money in it first.
  • People are not congratulated or birthday celebrated before the day arrives, it is a tradition to celebrate it on the day or after.
  • It is seen as being rude when you turn down food. Try everything and save room for seconds. For a foodie like myself, I wouldn’t and pledge not to be rude😁😁.
  • DON’T suggest that salo is unhealthy. Salo is translated to English as “bacon” or “lard”, it is a Slavic food consisting of cured slabs of fatback, with or without skin.
  • It is unacceptable to refuse to drink vodka at a funeral banquet.
  • DON’T whistle while indoors. It is considered quite rude and it is believed that you will lose a large amount of money soon after.
  • Another Ukrainian claim to history is Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear power plant disaster is a home to ghost to. The location in northern Ukraine is now the centre of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, established by the USSR soon after the accident in 1986. Within the zones are a number of abandoned towns, most notably Pripyat, that draw interest from all over the world. Tours of the area, including the power plant, are available, at the risk of the traveller. Radiation levels remain dangerously high
  • DON’T put your feet on the furniture. I like this fun fact for I am yet to understand why someone should put feet filled will microbes on the furniture.
  • A vulgar gesture among Ukrainians is to make a fist with thumb in between middle and index finger and it’s frowned upon so don’t do it.
  • Gesturing is only acceptable if beckoning a little kid or a dog, other than that don’t gesture to someone with your index finger.
  • Data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks Ukraine sixth for alcohol consumption, with 13.9 litres glugged per capita per year. Only Belarus, which tops the chart, Moldova, Lithuania, Russia and Romania consume more (you don’t want to know about this alcohol consumption) .
  • 20200127_152032The city of Lviv is sometimes claimed to have the most cafes in the world per capita and I believe so for you need to visit Lviv.
  • Kiev was the birthplace of the world’s biggest plane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya. It has the largest wingspan of any aircraft, at 88.4 metres and weighs 640,000kg. A brainwave of the Soviet Union, only one was ever made.
  • Ukraine, which inherited a large nuclear arsenal after the break up of the Soviet Union, has the second largest military in Europe behind Russia.
  • 20200127_152421This is no French Alps, but Ukraine has about four or five ski resorts to shout about, including Bukovel in the Carpathian mountains, with 55km of slopes and 15 lifts.
  • Ukraine has a mighty Soviet Relic . lena_shapka_20200127_1Armed with a 16-metre sword and a great slab of a shield, Mother Motherland clearly isn’t to be messed with. While Communist symbols and street names were outlawed from Ukraine in 2015, Second World War monuments – like this titanium statue in Kiev – were allowed to remain.Mother Motherland, a suitably imposing 62 metres tall, was built in the 1970s – and now forms part of the Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II (catchy title). The monument’s fire pit is supposed to hold an eternal flame, but due to funding issues it now only burns on the biggest national holidays.
  • Kiev is about 1400 years old. Its name in Ukrainian – Kyiv – is a variation of Kyi, the name of the eldest brother in the family who founded the first settlement for the city.
  • Ukrainians rarely smile in public but they are nice are
  • Ukrainians are also very hospitable. This is often displayed through small gestures, like blocking a closing metro door, or telling you your wallet is sticking out your pocket.Once people are comfortable with you and trust you, you can be assured they will have your back. Knowing a bit of Ukrainian or Russian will go a long way, and don’t be surprised that when you ask for directions in broken Ukrainian a delighted villager will take you by the hand and show to the way (possibly with a few drinking stops in between).
  • 3757019.jpg.fcab98c9751a6b92a70106ed64591c17Ukraine’s pride is borsch, a beet soup found in many former Soviet states. But according to Ukrainians, borsch is originally Ukrainian… and the Russian variant sucks 😉 both ways I must be among the few yet to eat borsch as of when this post was written and hope to try it out before I leave. coltuThere are also many types of dumplings, called vareniki, which are delicious and cheap. Cafeteria-style vareniki places are found in each city. Oh yes I can attest to Vareniki, it’s really taste though the first time my friend took me to eat this meal after class I was sceptical about having diarrhoea after eating it and I am glad to say I didn’t plus I enjoyed the outing. (now as I am writing this, I want some vareniki). 
  • The Tunnel of Love is part of an industrial railway near Klevan, Ukraine. shutterstock-589963706This enchanting natural train tunnel is surrounded by green arches formed by trees on both sides of the single track railway line. Its romantic setting attracts many couples to the place. According to local legends, couples who visit the place will have their wishes granted, time to convince “hunky bae” to visit here with me but just incase I would like to ask my Ukrainian blog readers if I visit there alone as a “singu” person will my wish be granted too?
  • Ukrainians wear their wedding band on their right hand

Ukraine has loads of fun facts about her that can’t be exhausted in one blog post nor be written all in one day but I hope to keep updating this post equally with time.

Till my next blog post Hakuna Matata….

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