Ukrainian Culture and People

Kyiv at Night

Kyiv at Night

I first traveled to Kyiv, Ukraine in the winter of 2002. I was stunned by the overwhelming hospitality of the people of Ukraine. Never before had I met a people so interested in making friends and being friendly. Upon my second trip to Ukraine in 2011-2012, I remain equally impressed with the substantial differences between the Ukrainian culture and the culture of the USA.

Here, family and friends mean something that they simply do not mean in the USA. They really mean something. Please, this is no slam on the USA, so please don’t take it that way. What I intend to communicate is a vast cultural divide, not a judgment about which side of that divide is superior. It might come off that way, however, because I have my own preferences.

That is to say, I have a certain way that I treat friends and family. I am incredibly loyal to those I call friend or family. I would never, under any circumstances where it is possible to help a friend or family member, refuse to help. I would always put forth every effort to be of aid to my friends and family when they request it.

I would refuse help only when it was not possible, or when the “friend” in question had proved themselves unfriendly through their actions. I would otherwise attempt to give any aid requested, provided I had the ability to do so. Read more »

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On Becoming an Expatriate

Alternatively: I’m an American in Ukraine….

Okay, I just had to borrow a line from Sting. I know, I know, it would sound so much better if I were an Englishman, but I can’t satisfy everyone all of the time, and this time my friends from the UK will no doubt be glad I didn’t try. (Hello, Mike, Nick, Angela, Joel and Chris!)

I haven’t written an article here for a while, so this update may be a bit of a surprise to my readers. I’ve moved overseas!

That’s right, I’m no longer in North America. I made this change for a number of reasons, and expressing them is the purpose of this article.

You’ll notice a new category appearing here on my main blog: Expat. This is the first article in a new series I’ll be authoring about what it is like to be an American expatriate living in Eastern Europe. This first article, however, will focus on one thing….

My Reasons for Leaving the USA

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