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10 Things the World Knows About Ukraine

19. August 2011 by Michelle 0 Comments

Every country is steeped in stereotypes; some true, some false. Italy is considered the land of pasta, opera, mama's boys, and the mafia. Spain is known for sangria, siestas, sombreros, and donkeys. Germans are beer drinking, sauerkraut eating, Lederhosen wearing bearded blondes, while Americans are loud and unhealthy and love hot dogs and baseball. The list can go on and on.


Ukraine has its fair share of stereotypes too and there are certain aspects of the country that stand out to the rest of the world. The Kyiv Post believes foreigners have a superficial understanding of the ex-Soviet state and lists the top 10 things its people and culture are commonly associated with.


10. Communism

Will Ukraine ever shake its Soviet past? Many think the communist culture lives on. "I’m associating Ukraine with the Soviet Union. I saw it a lot, too, in the customer service. The waitresses and people working at stores might not smile and be so nice. I have seen the same kind of behavior in other ex-communist countries,” said Finnish citizen Fabio Ferrari.


9. Yulia Tymoshenko

Her beauty and unique braided hairstyle make the former prime minister memorable, in addition to her questionable political tactics and fiery speeches.


8. Russia

David Payne, a Kyiv marketing director, says people in the United Kingdom often mistake his city for being located in Russia. Even Ukrainian traditions like borscht and Cossacks are considered Russian.


7. Agriculture

While Ukraine is nicknamed the breadbasket of Europe, the country is more than just farmland. Michael Sturgeon, an education professor in the United States, thinks, "Ukraine produces wheat, potatoes, wine (grapes) ... especially in Yalta." Not many people know about the large steel production or its impressive aviation, weapons and space industries.


6. The Orange Revolution

Ukraine became famous in 2004 when its citizens stood up for freedom, honest elections, and democracy during the Orange Revolution. However, the world hasn't taken as much notice of the recent political strife.


5. Athletes

The most famous Ukrainians in the world are not politicians or artists, but athletes. According to a poll, the top Ukrainian celebrities are football player Andrey Shevchenko, the Klitschko boxing brothers Vitali and Wladimir, and Olympic champion Sergey Bubka.


4. Chernobyl

The nuclear plant explosion in 1986 was a devasting tragedy and it's still remembered around the world. "I associate Ukraine with Eastern Europe, nuclear power and the Chernobyl thing of course," said Anna Antoniou, a Ph.D. student from Cyprus.


3. Vodka

"Ukrainians have a reputation as hard vodka drinkers," said Fabio Ferrari from Finland. While the spirit is a popular supplement to Ukrainian culture, not everyone drinks vodka as heavily as people presume.


2. Gorgeous Girls

Ukraine is home to some of the most naturally beautiful women in the world, but sadly, negative stereotypes surround them. Many still believe mail order brides are scammers or prostitutes. HotRussianBrides.com works diligently to dispose of the myths and help promote the truth about these ladies.


1. Nothing!

In the end, after all the assumptions, most people know nearly nothing about Ukraine. "People know only that Ukraine is close to Russia," said Kim Oksanen, a Finnish civil engineer. One poll reported that 64 percent of people questioned were not familiar with Ukraine or could recite only a few facts from the news.


As a member of HotRussianBrides.com, you have an invaluable opportunity to talk directly to Ukrainian women and educate yourself about the country and the culture. There is so much more to learn about this fascinating region so don't settle for hardly scratching the surface!


Take our "How Well Do You Know Ukraine" Quiz to test your knowledge!