Ukraine: Architecture, Fine Arts And Pop Culture
Ukraine’s culture is made up of a vast amount of material and spiritual values that have forged the country over the years. To understand Ukrainian culture you must first understand a little bit about the country as well as some of the history. Ukraine was not officially independent as a country again until 1991 when they split from the Soviet Union which has caused problems. Ukraine was its own separate country prior to joining the Soviet Union shortly after the first world war having its own holistic roots. It is one of the most ehtnic plural countries in Europe made of a vast number of different of ethnices coming from Asia, Europe, Russia. With the highest number identifying themselves as ethnic Russians which is not surprising considering the strong ties to the country. Ukraine has a population of roughly fifty million with the capital city being Kiev with a vast number of religions in the country such as Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Muslim, Judaism all widley accepted. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Which eventually broke out into war with Russia, shooting down a Ukrainian passenger jet. Leading to the United Nations and the United States getting involved to help protect their democracy. Russia was always pushing an anti-Ukraine agenda when it had its hold on the country they carried out russification programs to discourage the original Ukraine culture. This is why Ukraine is in so much turmoil a lot of the country still wants ties to Russia they believe Russia will help the country out of debt and be better for the economy. With the larger majority wanting to stay independent and not to fall back under Russian rule with no say back to the way it was before the claimed independence. This has lead to a lot of Ukrainian people leaving since present times have not been kind to them. Ukraine is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in Europe and the ongoing war with Russia is making it more and more difficult to live there. Despite all these hardships Ukraine’s culture has endured and thrived giving the people who live there a lot of cultural pride as well as influencing future generations.
Cultural customs in Ukraine heavily influence what is it like living there things like weddings, holidays, education and religion all play a major factor when looking at culture. Weddings are very traditional and have a lot of rituals that involve food, music and dancing this can go on for up to a week. The traditional holidays that they celebrate differ from the majority of the world just slightly. One of them being Malanka which is the holiday for the new year which is celebrated on the 13th instead of the first as well as Christmas being celebrated on the 7th of January. This is because of the influence on the country from the Julian calendar which they still follow because the majority of the country is Orthodox Christians and never adopted the Gregorian calendar. Since there are so many different ethnicities throughout Ukraine there are a lot of different languages that are spoken there but as of late, the main one being taught in schools is the Ukrainian language which was made from old East Slavic language. With all the turmoil in the country, the education system has taken a severe hit not getting the attention that it should. This has led to a change in the culture leading to a lot of corruption in higher education areas. In 2015 the Guardian newspaper called Ukraine “the most corrupt nation in Europe.” This corruption has changed the culture because now a lot Ukrainian citizens feel they can just get away with bribery and not have to work for the education that they want. Differing from the traditional work hard and always have respect roots that date back to the start of the country.
Architecturally and artistically Ukrainian culture runs deep throughout Europe with a lot of the country’s artists being very influential. Ukraine architecture shows originality, functionality and attentiveness to form the engineering and artistic principles of antiquity that Ukraine used. This type of building style can be seen throughout Europe spreading Ukraine’s culture deep into places like Russia, Turkey, Romania. It is difficult to describe the elegant and one of a kind looking cities and towns in Ukraine, from high rise castles topped with vibrant colors to dark and ominous structures ressabliming something you should fear. The more popular cities are filled with grand statues and sculptures calling back to the country’s old roots as well as new artists coming in revitalizing the country with a whole new wave of culture. Artistically Ukraine has had a lot of influence on Europe as well the great Ivan Franko a late 18th and early 19th Century poet and philosopher. Whos incredible work on things such as introspective autobiographies to pieces about legends and profits are still being read and talked about today. Franko would push for Ukraine to stay independent and heavily believed in the culture there he became a political activist influencing all the people around him and leaving a legacy that is still influencing modern Ukraine today.
In conclusion, Ukraine culture is unique and has had its influences throughout the world through various means of architecture, fine arts and pop culture. The cultural customs that are practised really help shape the identity of Ukraine from a young age they are taught important values like kindness and respect. The country’s religious identity has helped shape the culture as well in various ways through how people should act to how special occasions are celebrated religion has had it impact. The influence from architecture throughout the country can be seen all throughout Europe influencing countries like Russia and Romania as well as taking some inspiration for themselves. Hopefully, Ukrainian culture continues to inspire and influence people as well as keep the country’s own identity.