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Tracing the Origins of Ukrainian National Symbols

Throughout history, armies around the world have raised flags in the name of military conquest, economic trade, and religious identity but in countries like Ukraine, the flag is tantamount to independence. First adopted as part of Ukraine's first declaration of independence in 1918, Ukraine's blue and yellow flag later became the state symbol of the Ukrainian National Republic in 1949. The Soviet Union banished the flag entirely in deference to the regime's Ukrainian SSR designation.

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Telling the Stories of Ukraine With Music

Long ago, blind minstrels traveled from village to village performing lyrical ballads and poems on an instrument called the kobza. Playing for food and a few coins, these musicians told spellbinding tales of Cossack courage and their heroic quest for freedom. In time, wandering minstrels were replaced by professional musicians called kobzari who developed epic songs called the duma sung with banduras, a 65 string lute-like instrument played in minor key. Today, traditional folk music and the bandura are still popular with musicians singing songs of love and despair on the streets of Kyiv and in the subway stations.

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Fun Facts about Ukraine: Wooden Churches

While in some parts of Europe, men may have raised their first churches from stony rubbles knowing many would never see the climax of stone and mortar, early Ukrainian church builders chose timber and the simplest of tools - axes, saws, and planes - to craft their religious reverence.

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Features

Fun Facts About Ukraine: The Great Gate of Kiev

Exalted by a suite of fifteen classical pieces by Russian composer, Petrovich Mussorgsky, the Great Gate of Kiev, is not actually a gate but a design submitted by artist Victor Hartmann to commemorate the attempted assassination of Tsar Alexander II in the city of Kiev in 1866.

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The Art of Ukraine

Ukrainian identity, born of a relationship to land, is equally defined by a tumultuous and dark history of political subjugation and resistance. Not surprisingly, the work of creative artists, musicians, writers, poets, potters, dancers, singers, composers, sculpturers, wood carvers, weavers, actors, designers, authors, and folk artists have laid claim to the shifting tides of this history.

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Ukraine - Land Labored, Land Loved, Land Lost

Ukraine, once a land of many masters - the Ottoman Empire, the Cossacks, the Austro-Hungarian monarchs, the Polish after the fall of the Tsar, the Germans and the Soviets during World War II - has always held fast to its heritage and the land people call Ukraina - borderland. Situated in Central Europe between Russia, Poland, and Romania - amongst others - Ukraine's dynamic history, warm and friendly people, and diverse and rich culture is a country worth visiting.

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Features

The Many Faces of Ukraine

Situated in Central Europe between Russia Poland and Romania - amongst others - Ukraine is a wonderful and dynamic country worth visiting. The people are warm and friendly and the culture is diverse and rich. The landscape is also worth seeing since it is incredibly beautiful. Architecture is rather an odd mixture of styles often found in the surrounding countries and this can leave you feeling as if you've stepped into another world from time to time. Certainly, Ukraine has a lot to see and do.

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