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September 22 , 2009

Ukraine - Culture Smart!

The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture


This revised and updated edition of Culture Smart! Ukraine reveals a country in the throes of change. The euphoria of the famous Orange Revolution has vanished. The momentum for reform has been checked and the forces of authoritarianism have returned. Even so, modernization continues apace and people are eager to be seen as European.
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“Nature is no sentimentalist—does not cosset or pamper us. We must see that the world is rough and surly, and will not mind drowning a man or woman, but swallows your ships like a grain of dust. The cold, inconsiderate of persons, tingles your blood, benumbs your feet, and freezes a man like an apple. The diseases, the elements, fortune, gravity,…

The recent political instability highlights the contradictions of Ukrainian society. Ukrainians are proud of their roots, and reticent about the traumas of their past; the country participates in international space programs and produces the world’s largest aircraft, but still lives in a world of superstitions. The Ukrainian way of life is intertwined with ancient customs, the old Soviet legacy, and the search for a new European identity.

What strikes visitors to this fascinating and important country is the heady mix of ancient history and youthful energy, the resilience of the people, and their generosity of spirit. For the twentieth anniversary of its independence, Ukraine received quite a present—hosting the key matches of Euro 2012. Now it has a game of its own: to show the world that it is a serious player.

This new edition of Culture Smart! Ukraine will enable you to visit the country with open eyes. It describes the history that has shaped the Ukrainian psyche, explains present-day values and attitudes, and offers practical advice on what to expect and how to behave. It aims to make you feel at ease, whether you are shopping in a market, dining out, or attending a business meeting.
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