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Ukrainian Culture

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My name is Andriy. I am from Ukraine and my language is Ukrainian. Besides that I also   speak Russian and Polish languages. My race is white. I was born and raised up in the city of Ternopol in Ukraine; therefore this is my town city.  I was brought up as a Christian Orthodox which is my religion. I am not a racist. The struggle to preserve our cultural identity has long been a major theme in the history of the Ukrainians. My religion is Christian Orthodox which has remained synonymous since the 15th century (Subtelny, 2000). The Orthodox Church has had many cultural contributions in both the city and the entire country. Subtelny (2000) continues to say that religion in Ukraine was focused on purely religious issues such as whether the Orthodox or the Catholic Church it assured salvation of people’s soul. 

Evans (2008) says that most traditional Ukrainian holidays fit into a meticulous Orthodox calendar. Easter is the most important of these holidays in our Orthodox Church. During Easter we normally abstain from meat and dairy products. Evans (2008) notes that during this period tall yeasty sweet cakes are baked at home and then brought into the priest for blessing along with other foods. Another traditional holiday which we still celebrate is Christmas. This is a colorful and mystical holiday which we celebrate differently from most Christians. Soviet holidays of May 1 labor day and May 9 Victory day are still widely celebrated but not as traditional holidays. According to Subtelny (2000) other traditional holiday which is still celebrated is The October Revolution which is remembered on 7th November (p. 47).

The most striking demographic feature in Ukraine is that the population is declining at a rather high rate. Dyczok (2000) says that between 1989 and 1996 the number of Ukrainians has declined from 52.057 million to 50.9 million which was an approximation of two million people in seven years.  Dyczok (2000) continues to say that out of the 50.9 million people 22.9% were above working age. The birth rate has also declined significantly which is now approximated to be at negative 0.61. Life expectancy in my area  of origin has dropped such that men dropped from 65 in 1991 to 62 in 1997 while women from 75 to 73. In addition Dyczok (2000)  indicated that  “mortality rates have increased by a striking 25% due to falling living standards,  environmental hazards, poor health care facilities and  growing social problems” (p. 84).

Over the time our culture was portrayed as a peasant culture in contrast to the sophisticated Russian culture (Dyczok, 2000).  Our cultural heritage involves folk songs, dances and Shevchenko who was glorified by Soviet authorities for his social criticism of Tsarism. The collapse of communism and Ukrainian independence has had a mixed impact on culture. Cultural revival is thus touted by Ukraine’s leadership as one of the pillars of reform (Dyczok, 2000).

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