Becoming an Official Ukrainian

So I have spent the entirety of my day trying to evacuate Ukraine for the lovely Krakow, Poland.  Don’t worry, there were no disasters, but my visa was about to expire (cutting it so close that the lady almost didn’t stamp my passport, I still have one more day!) and you cannot be in Ukraine and get your visa.  I have been appointed a lovely guide, Marjana, and under her watchful eye I have successfully completed an impressive list of firsts:  ridding a real–as in choo choo–train, walking across a border, entering Poland, and staying at a hostel.

During our time together we’ve practiced my Ukrainian (so that I won’t be murdered by my tutor upon my return) and chatted about love, life, and the student center.  At one point, over a cup of tea, I told Marjana that I had brought a hair dryer with me–knowing the importance of dry hair– and with a hint of laughter in her eyes she proclaimed, “You’re almost an official Ukrainian!!”  So together we have a complied a list of the things you need to be an official Ukrainian.  Understanding why you must have dry hair is only the beginning….

  • Love Ukrainian Language
  • Don’t go out with wet hair….ever
  • Have a very warm winter coat (anything deemed less than warm will elicit angry and confused glaring eyes or being made fun of by your Ukrainian friends)
  • Don’t leave your house without a scarf in cool weather
  • Speaking Ukrainian is generally needed
  • Must love the following food:  Salo, Varenyky, Borshch, Holodets, Bread, Sour Cream, Herechika  (If you don’t know what these are, you’re not a Ukrainian)
  • Must dress to the calendar–naked skin is not allowed after September
  • Must be at least 5 minutes late to anything
  • Will be expected to share everything food related (as a friend recently shared with me “sharing is not communism, being expected to share without being asked is”)
  • Drink lots of tea–30 degrees or -30 degrees must drink tea
  • Eat lots of potatoes
  • See the value in food from the village
  • Must be able to eat sunflower seeds with one hand
  • When ill the best medicine is tea–raspberry or kalina, bed rest, take your vitamins
  • Must bring something (drink, food, flowers, ect) to a person’s house when invited
  • Must dress very nice for church

What do you think about this list?  Anything you’d add?  How is your progress on becoming a Ukrainian?


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