Ask anyone what Ukraine’s culture is. Someone will mention Ukrainian folk songs and dances. Another will remember Ukrainian language or national cuisine. Their answers will never be the same. Why? There is nothing more intangible in this world than culture. It is impossible either to describe it as a whole or to define its components. The culture of any society includes too many aspects making any attempt to define it extremely complicated.
All of us have our memories. They save information about our past experience, people we ever met, positive and negative emotions we went through, etc. Our memory warns us (never do it again!), educates, helps us to adjust our social behavior to feel safe and comfortable in everyday life. The same does culture for the society being its historical memory.
Ukraine’s culture is at least 1,500 years old. Over the years it accumulated experience of many generations of people who have lived in the area of present Ukraine. They formed a base of modern Ukrainian culture: moral and spiritual values, language and beliefs, literature and music, traditional holidays and superstitions.
Ukrainian culture has common historical roots with Russian and Byelorussian cultures. All three nationalities originated from the same home – Kievan Rus. During its 1,500 – year turbulent history Ukraine culture experienced considerable influences of other cultures. It came a long way from Paganism to Christianity, suffered from invaders, survived collapse of the Soviet Union, which completely transformed the lives of all those who once lived there. In spite of a dramatic history, Ukraine has preserved its cultural heritage from the early times of its existence.
About 80 % of the monuments of Kyevan Rus epoch (IX – XII centuries) are located in the territory of Ukraine. In 1990 two historical objects Kiev-Pecherska Lavra Monastery and St. Sophia Cathedral dating from XI century were enlisted on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
More than 600 museums introduce remarkable facts and outstanding personalities of Ukrainian history and culture.
More than 150 thousand monuments of culture, archaeology, history, reflect memorable or heroic events in the life of the Ukrainian state.
Ukraine culture absorbed the diverse and rich Business in Ukraine heritage of more than 110 ethnic nationalities which live in the country. 77.8% of its population are Ukrainians, 17.3%-Russians, 0.6%-Byelorussians. The majority of Ukraine’s people are bilingual. They don’t need any interpreters to understand each other.
Very many regions of Ukraine have preserved their ethnic originality. You have a great opportunity to get acquainted with national traditions, folk songs, dances, and to taste famous Ukrainian meals: borsch, vareniky, holubtsy, etc.
For such a long period of its existence Ukraine culture has accumulated a lot of treasures to demonstrate to researchers or tourists who visit Ukraine. The numerous monuments, ancient defensive fortresses, museums, and excavations of ancient towns will keep you busy for a long time while visiting Ukraine. But there are other not less curious and exciting parts of Ukrainian culture.
Over the centuries, generation after generation has developed their own rules of social behavior, traditions, customs, taboos, and superstitions. They are reflected in national folklore, songs, dances, unwritten code of etiquette. Through them you will be able to understand the real soul of Ukrainian people. Just be attentive and gaze. It will be opened to you.