Unknown Ukraine

Today I will tell you about a travel destiny many of you might be scared of travelling to. I’m talking about Ukraine. The first thing that will now come on your mind is the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and the rioting of the Euromaidan. But Ukraine has much more to offer than political riots and conflicts. In comparision with cities like Barcelona or Paris Ukraine’s capital Kyiv has a very low crime rate. The querel between Ukraine and Russia is nearly as old as the history of both countries. Even historians dispute about whether the so called Kievan Rus’ is the root of today’s Ukraine or the base of Russian culture. Ukraine has its distinct language and culture from Russia. While in the east and in the south near Odessa most people speak Russian in the west near Lviv people tend to speak more Ukrainian. In the music Ukrainians use their own Musical instruments like a small pipe called sopil’ka, the bandura which is comparable to the zither in the south of Germany. In Ukraine you will find another Instrument which became famous for the country in the past few years the trembita. Maybe you will remember Ukrainian singer Ruslana winning Eurovision back in 2004 with her Wild Dances. Actually this is not a music instrument as it has been used as a medium of communication between mountains and villages in the wide landscapes of Ukraine. Travelling through the Country you will find Ukraine’s national symbol in the landscape. It’s the sunflower. That’s why the Ukrainian flag is blue and yellow. The blue stripe symbolizes the sky and the yellow one the fields of sunflowers. In the past Ukraine often was called the ‘granary of the Soviet Union’ as the country was famous for its agriculture and products like grain, floor and bacon. You will see bacon as a typical English breakfast. But I have to tell you that at my hotel in Kyiv I also had some bacon on my sandwich for breakfast. At Maidan where I went with the old metro each day I even saw key chains with a piece of bacon and toilet paper with the face of Russian president Putin which shows the conflict in a poster-like way between both nations. I know many Ukrainians and Russians among my colleagues and they are not as big enemies as the media always show us. I even know some Russian Ukrainian couples. What both have in common is their Slavic hospitality and warm-hearted character. A friend of mine always says ‘Politics and politicians come and go … but the culture and its people remain!’ Don’t be scared and come to visit this wonderful country! In my next article I will tell you in detail why I actually went to Kyiv and by the way I will tell you about my other hobby apart from travelling and learning languages. So stay tuned!



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