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Features

Ukrainian Money a Metaphor for Independence

Reach into your wallet to buy a coffee on your way to work. Pay a utility bill over the Internet. Make a purchase at your local grocery store. Ordinary acts of everyday life may be unremarkable to many but in Ukraine, using the coin or paper money in one’s wallet these days is as much a symbol of national independence as it is an execution of daily commerce.

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Features

Break Bread and Celebrate Life in Ukraine

Bread, Peace, and Land, may once have been the rallying cry and slogan of the first Russian revolution, but in Ukraine where both Tsarist and Soviet rulers alike exploited the land and ruled the people with iron fists, wheat and bread have always been symbols of food, wealth, and most particularly independence for Ukrainians. Bread itself is an object of reverence. Indeed, the Ukrainian word for grain – zbizhzhia- is translated as the “totality of divinity”.

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Features

Ukrainian Postcards Record More Than Travels

“Gorgeous weather”, “Having a great time” and “Thinking of you”- the language of postcards rarely changes from culture to culture around the world. Often considered obligatory by the writer, happily read by the recipient, in a world of text messaging and email, the postcard has always been a cherished method of correspondence – especially by Ukrainians.

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Features

Ukraine: If Palace Walls Could Talk

Ghosts may occasionally inhabit the ancient passages of places where history was made long ago but the walls themselves record every occupant's celebration and frustration keeping secrets for centuries. Livadiya Palace, once the summer home of the last Russian Tsar, Nicolas II and the site of the Yalta Summit in 1945, this palace’s walls could write a history book. Designed as an Italian Renaissance-style building in 1911, the pearl white stone flanked by ornate gardens is a popular destination for travelers and Ukrainians alike.

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Features

Ukraine Museum Etiquette is a Lesson in Economics as Well as Viewing

Step inside a state-owned Ukrainian museum and you may find yourself in total darkness. Move too quickly through one of the museum exhibit rooms and you may be retrieved like a recalcitrant student by a guide. Museum etiquette is an international language certainly but in Ukraine decorum has as much to do with the state of the country's economy as it does a way of absorbing the art on view.

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Features

Light of a Monastic Life Still Shines Underground in Ukraine

Light a single candle. Breathe the cold, damp air. Perhaps say a prayer. Begin your descent into monastic history. Founded in 1057, the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra cave labyrinth is merely a small part of a compound of gold-domed churches, iconoclastic art, and one of the oldest monasteries in Eastern Europe.

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Features

Ukraine Unfolds Along the Dnipro River

Alternately spelled Dneiper, Dnipro, and Dneper, the third longest river in Europe lowing bisects the country of Ukraine and is a study in contrasts, geography, and politics. Often described by its monikers, Right Bank and Left Bank like the River Seine in Paris, this river is considered the birthplace of Ukrainian civilization and the Kievan Rus trade routes. Cossacks first began their independent governments on the river's largest islands and through the centuries, the Dnipro River, (in Ukrainian) is considered the "holy river" of Ukraine.

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Features

Festivities Multiply since Ukrainian Independence: Part 3

This is the third and final article in our series of articles about Ukrainian Festivals. The focus of this feature article is the modern-day "Cultural Festivals of Ukraine". Ukrainian cultural festivals abound and are often celebrated in conjunction with national holidays. Other festivals like the Hutsul Annual International Festival strike at the heart of Ukrainian culture and provide visitors with quite an education. Several thousand Ukrainians celebrate the culture of the Hutsul people living in the Carpathian region at this annual festival.

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