Category Archives: About
It is a dish especially made for special holidays or as a part of a festive table. To cook varenyky, all you should have is good cooking skills and of course a good mood. Here in Ukraine they say you should always be in a good mood when you are cooking dishes.
Varenyky are made from flour, water, salt and filling (cheese, cherries, apples, stewed cabbage, etc.) First of all, you should make a dough from flour, water and salt, then you should put filling inside. Then boil the varenyky in water. Varenyky are served usually with chopped fried lard and sliced onions or with sour cream (with sugar inside).
Besides this traditional way to cook varenyky, there is one more way to cook them. It’s called “lazy varenyky”, because it’s easier to cook them. You don’t need to put filling inside, you just mix flour with filling and then boil varenyky.
Usually varenyky are served on different celebrations, such as weddings, religious holidays, etc. Varenyky is the traditional dish for Shovetide (Maslenitsa). They say that each Ukrainian host should know how to cook the main Ukrainian dishes: varenyky and borsch. The traditions change through the time, but the cuisine and recipes of traditional dishes are eternal and they will never be gone.
Written by Oksana Koval
The Independence Day of any country is one of the most important days in the year. Ukraine celebrates its Independence on the 24th of August since 1991.
This date is connected with the adoption of the Independence Act in 1991 by the Ukrainian government. The act of proclamation of independence of Ukraine was drafted on August 24, 1991 and approved on the 1st of December, 1991 through a national vote. The first Independence Day was celebrated on the 16th of July, 1991, because on this day one year ago, the government of Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic adopted the Act of Sovereignty which was the first step for making an independence state. In 1992, on the 20th of February, the Ukrainian government decided to celebrate the Independence Day on the 24th of August.
Ukraine (Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic) was part of the USSR till 1991. Nowadays, Ukraine is a presidential parliament republic; the head of the state is the President who is elected for the period of 5 years. The Ukrainian president guards the people’s freedom and state security, he is the Commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army.
What about the national symbols of Ukraine? The state emblem of Ukraine is a trident; the national flag of Ukraine consists of two stripes (blue on the top and yellow on the bottom) symbolizing peaceful blue sky and yellow wheat field. Our national anthem is called “Ukraine is still living” (words by P. Chubynsky, music by M. Verbytsky).
There are also spiritual national symbols of Ukraine such as the willow tree and guilder rose. They say “There is no Ukraine without willow tree and guilder rose”.The guilder rose is a symbol of uniting the Ukrainian nation. The willow tree is one of the most popular and medical trees here. According to the legend, the willow tree will grow only near the source of water, and in ancient times people were looking for sources of water by putting the branch of the willow into the ground. Then in a few days they checked the branch, if the branch is alive then it is a good place for making a well.
How do we celebrate Independence Day? Every year there is a festive parade and concert dedicated to the Independence Day. But this year (2012) instead of military parade there will be parade of people in national clothing.
There is no doubt Independence Day is an integral part of Ukrainian culture, because attaining independence was one of the way to introduce Ukraine and Ukrainians to the world.
Written by: Oksana Koval
- March, 8th – Women’s Day
- April – Easter (date changes every year, it can be in May or March, but mostly we celebrate it in April)
- May, 1-3 – Labour Day
- May, 9th – Victory Day
- May – Mother’s day (it is celebrated on the second Sunday of May)
- June, 1st – Children’s Day
- June – Trinity Day (religious holiday after 50 days of Easter)
- June, 28th – Constitutional Day
- July, 7th – Ivana Kupala’s Day (Midsummer Day)
- July, 12th – Petro’s and Pavlo’s Day
- August, 14th – Eastern Orthodox liturgics
- August, 19th – Saviour’s Transfiguration, popularly known as the “Apple’s Feast”
- August, 24th – Independence Day
- September, 1st – Knowledge Day (all students start their education in this day)
- October, 14th – Pokrova’s Day (holiday of Ukrainian kozaks)
- October – Teacher’s day (usually its held on the first Sunday of October)
Written by Oksana
Each country has its own brilliant poets; Germany has J. W. Goethe, Great Britain has Robert Burns and Russia has Alexander Pushkin. Ukraine is famous for Taras Shevchenko – an outstanding Ukrainian artist.
T. Shevchenko was born on the 9th of March, 1814 into a family of serfs, in the village of Moryntsi, Cherkasy region. His childhood was very hard: he lost his mother at the age of 9 and his father died when he was 11 years. The boy was an orphan, he grew in poverty and misery. At the age of 14, he become a servant in the house of landlord Engelhardt and at the age of 15 he met a great Russian painter Karl Briullov who brought him freedom (he painted a portrait of the famous Russian poet V. Zhukovsky and sold the picture for 2500 rubles).This sum of money was given to landlord and the Shevchenko got freedom. In 1838, he entered the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg since he was fond of poetry and painting.
In 1840, his first collection of poems was published. The book was called “Kobzar”. On the 13th of May, 1843 he started his first trip around Ukraine. During this trip he met a lot of famous writers and painters, he made some his pictures and added them to the album “Picturesque Ukraine”.
There are thousands of words that I can write about Ukraine. This information will be useful for everyone. If you want to know more about Ukraine, to deepen your understanding of its culture and traditions, then it’s your first step to this.
Ukraine is a European country situated in the South – Eastern part of Europe.
It is quite a big country (607.5 sq km – it’s the largest country in Europe if we consider Russia as an Asian country). The population of Ukraine is 46,000,000 people. The official language of Ukraine is Ukrainian. The official religion of Ukraine is Orthodox Christianity. The currency is called Hrivna (UAH). So $1 = 8.97 UAH and 1GBP = 12 UAH (at the time of writing).
The capital of Ukraine is Kiev (Kyiv). It’s one of the largest Ukrainian cities and one of the biggest cultural, industrial, economical and political centre in Ukraine.
Ukraine consists of 24 regions (we call them ‘oblasti’) and Autonomic Republic of Crimea. Ukrainian territory was divided in the past so Western Ukraine was a part of modern Poland, Hungary, and Austria; the Eastern and Southern Ukraine was part of Russia and Turkey. Ukraine gained independence in 1991 and the first president of Ukraine was Leonid Kravchuk.
Most of Ukrainian territory is plains, but there are mountains in the West and in the South of Ukraine. The Carpathian Mountains (the highest peak is Hoverla mountain – 2061m) are situated in the Western part of Ukraine, they’re famous for different winter resorts and they are the centre of skiing resorts in Ukraine.
The Crimean mountains are situated in the Southern part of Ukraine (the highest peak is the Roman – Cosh mountain – 1545m). Crimea is the centre of tourism in Ukraine; the most famous cities for tourism are: Yalta, Sudak, Alupka, Alushta, Yevpathoria, Feodosia, Saku. So if you decide to visit Ukraine one day you should visit the Carpathian region and Crimea. But don’t forget to visit the National Park Sofiyivka and Askaniya Nova. To tell you the truth, each region of Ukraine has its own picturesque places and touristic places.
We cannot forget about the famous Ukrainian cuisine (you can read more about it on this site), which is very delicious and healthy. The most famous and tasty dishes are: borsch (it’s a soup with cabbage, red beets, meat and other vegetables), varenyky (they are a bit bigger than usual Italian ravioli), halusky, holubtsi, kutia, korovai, roasted pork, Kievsky cake and more.
A few words about famous Ukrainians: Ukraine is known as the motherland of many famous writers, scientists, sportsmen, singers, painters and other artists. The famous Ukrainian singers are: Volodymyr Hryshko, Valentyna Stepova, Evgenia Miroshnychenko, Solomiya Krushelnytska (opera singer), Ruslana Lyzhychko (the winner of Eurovision song contest 2004), Ani Lorak, Tina Karol, Sofia Rotaru, Nazariy Yaremchuk, Volodymyr Ivasiuk, band “Ocean of Elzy”, “TNMC” and others. It’s the motherland of such prominent composers as: Mikhail Glinka, Verbytskiy, V. Ivasiuk, Semen Hulak – Artemovskyi, Mykola Leontovych (the author of famous carol “Schedryk”), Mykola Mosgovoy. Scientists and inventors as: Ivan Pulyui (he invented X-Rays), Oleg Antonov (founder of famous Antonov Act), Borys Paton, Evgeny Paton (founder of welding technology for different materials), Igor Sikorsky (he designed and flew the world’s first multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft), Volodymyr Vermadkiy(ecologist and biologist), Danilo Zabolotniy (epidemiologist), Nikolay Bogolyubov (mathematic), M. Myklyho- Maclai (geographers) and others .
In conclusion, I want to add that there are a lot of countries in the world but they all are different and unique and Ukraine is one of them, it’s worth seeing and visiting, so welcome to Ukraine.
Written by: Oksana