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Ukrainians are a quiet storm building in Hollywood

Beleaguered by the tide of films with a Russian revisionist point of view, Ukrainians in Hollywood are busy promoting Ukrainian interests in films and television. With the birth of the Hollywood Trident Foundation in 1999, the voices of the Ukrainian diaspora are coming to the entertainment surface.

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Features

Wild West Movie Icon, “Curly”, a Proud Ukrainian

You may remember the actor playing the role of Curly, the ornery and wizened cowboy in the film, “City Slickers” as Best Supporting Academy Award winning actor, Jack Palance, but this actor, once proudly laid claim to his Ukrainian heritage. Jack Palance, born Volodymir Ivanovich Palahnuik in Pennsylvania coal country was third of five children of Ukrainian immigrants.

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Features

Ukraine Adventure Travel

Do not travel more than 100 kilometers from Kyiv or you will end up on a one-lane rutted dirt road with fallen trees and bandits waiting to ambush your car. Fact or fiction? While the early motorways in Ukraine may have been fraught with geographical and human hazards, and though cars are still scarce commodities for most Ukrainians often preferring to travel by overnight train to their destinations, in the ever confident traveling world, the country of Ukraine is sometimes best explored by car.

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Features

Ancient Ukrainian Christmas Stories

In centuries past, young people told their Christmas stories on tiny two-storied wooden structures made of wood. Vertep, the basis of modern-day Ukrainian puppet theater, had its beginnings centuries ago at the Kyivian Academy when students wrote and performed their plays on a tiny stage. The ‘actors’ were actually puppets made of wood with a wire connected so the puppeteer controlled the character’s movements. Accompanied by vocalists and instrumental ensembles, young people once took their Christmas dramas on the road, traveling from village to village.

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Features

Caroling warms Ukrainian hearts on the darkest nights of winter

Solemnly marching through a fresh snow, an old man, dressed as a goat, leads a small procession. Behind him, a woman carries a canvas bag and a second man hoists a six-pointed star attached to a long stick with a light in its center towards the night sky. Followed by three other shrouded figures clasping musical instruments to their thick coats, the leader knocks on the first door. When the door is cast open, warmth rushing into the frigid night, the leader asks, “May we sing you a song of Christmas?”

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Features

Kiev’s Bridges: A History of Passage and Devastation

Kiev has a history of being split in half physically as well as metaphorically. Located on both the right and left banks of the Dneiper River, the future location of the city was once prophesied by St. Andrew around 60 A.D. when the spectacular location of the hilly shores of the river captured his attention. Seven bridges knit the city of Kiev together these days but the bridges themselves have a history all their own.

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Features

Ukrainian Fairy Tales

Common to every culture, the fairy tale is a lynchpin of the human condition. At their mother’s knee, children have learned history and behavior through metaphor for centuries. Ukraine is a country wrought with persecution by conquerors hence the values of overcoming adversity through cleverness and ingenuity has given strength to the weak The quest for redemption and revenge can be found in the pages of old tales too. Because life was often difficult, children were expected to work from an early age and were confronted with adult problems and challenges too soon. Folk tales softened the blow of life’s harsher experiences.

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Features

The Communication Revolution Finds a Home in Ukraine

Revolutions past may have been born in print but in the 21st century, shifts in government and politics occur with a huge boost from cyberspace. Despite of lack of access to the Ukrainian mass media, supporters driving the Orange Revolution skillfully used the Internet to recruit volunteers, raise funds, organize campaigns, report breaking news, and garner the sympathy of the global democratic community. Internet use in Ukraine skyrocketed has skyrocketed fivefold or more since 1999 and use alone between 2000 and 2001 jumped an astounding 30 to 40 percent.

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