Kiev Journals

Christianity in Ukraine

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A November 1994 trip to Kiev by Chrystyna

My gracious hosts. Photo, Kiev, Ukraine More Photos
Quote: This is a story about one of my experiences during a month-long business trip in Kiev, Ukraine. I haven't been there in six years, so to seek updated information about conditions here would lead you nowhere. This is just for entertainment.

Christianity in Ukraine

Overview

Quote:
I love Kiev. It is the city of my grandparents, artists - both of them -- and it holds a magic spell over its visitors.

Quick Tips:

Don't go alone. Man or woman. And learn some Russian as English is not as common as in other parts of Europe. But, Ukrainian hospitality is phenomenal. Food and drink are rich. Mafia and drugs, rampant.

Best Way To Get Around:

With a guide, escort, etc. Crazy drivers. Trams and other public transportation seemed reliable. Taxis are usually privately-owned vehicles -- kind of like hitchhiking in a common area with other folks.

The Rushnyk of Chernihiv

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Story/Tip

Quote:
'Could you live here in Ukraine?' Mrs. Stosia asked. It was a question all of my previous hosts posed. Perhaps they believed that with the fall of Communism they could court new blood back into the 'Old Country.' Perhaps the ties were still strong enough for those who left 40 years earlier, like my paternal grandmother who did not learn English because she believed she would return to her homeland shortly after World War II. She died in Minnesota, after she raised the sons she brought with her and saw her grandchildren go off to college. I replied to Mrs. Stosia's question with the same naïve sincerity I'd used in the last two weeks, 'If I had to, I could. I could live anywhere. Howeve...Read More

The Rushnyk of Chernihiv, II

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Story/Tip

My gracious hosts. Photo, Kiev, Ukraine
Quote:
On the way to Federenkos' home in Chernihiv, I reminded myself that it would probably be a slow process to re-establish any sort of regular church practice after having Atheism forced down Ukrainian throats for over 75 years. I finally let it go when we pulled alongside the hedges bordering the property and focused my attention on the environment. A vast field of gold remained frosted under a November sun - it reminded me of the blue and gold national flag of Ukraine. A creek wound its way among tall, bare oak trees and the beaded branches of willow trees. The yard to the house was covered in scrubby grass but mostly it was bare from regular trampling. Three sheds flanked the main cottage, each housin...Read More

Rushnyk of Chernihiv, End

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Samahon, great food and better company. Photo, Kiev, Ukraine
Quote:
'Three,' I cried. 'I can't possibly take three.' She continued smiling, pressing me. 'Take one for your grandmother, one for your mother and one for yourself to give to your daughter.' (She seemed so sure I would have one some day.) 'And pack up some of those holubtsi to take home with her too,' Mykhailo intervened, sending a wave of chuckles around the room. Sasha cocked an eyebrow at me, 'Ha! They won't let her out of the country.' 'That's why she should take them,' Anatoly winked. 'Then we'll see whether she can really live here.' I obeyed and picked three of the fragile eggs which Titka Olena promptly wrapped in small embroidered handkerchiefs. This is...Read More

The Rushnyk of Chernihiv, III

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
We did a little circle tour from one end of the room to the next as she pointed out the various icons and rushnyky. Most were stitched in red and black threads -- traditional to the region -- on white linen or white cotton. Others were more Russianized in bright, bold colors or pastels and modern patterns. 'And this one,' she said, while pulling me behind the partition and pointing to another icon in the southwest corner, 'is my rushnyk. I hope that Titka Olena will give me this one.' It was clear that Kira's aunt was an artist; the craftsmanship on the towel was distinct, graceful. I took in the enormous rose heads and flowering bouquets threaded with black to enhance the vibrant scar...Read More