Arts & EventsA Day in Ukraine – experience the love of freedom

A Day in Ukraine – experience the love of freedom

A Day in Ukraine – experience the love of freedom

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Photos by Andre Gagne / Feautre image: More Ukrainian culture is celebrated at the Capital Ukrainian Festival

Do you want to know more about Ukraine? Otttawa once again Welcomes the World to give you a chance to experience the fusion of ethnic and contemporary culture through a day-long exhibition today from 10am-10pm at the Horticulture Building in Lansdowne Park. The event will be featuring: Ukraine’s cutting-edge technologies, ethnic and contemporary music, dance, and sand art performances; art exhibits and Ukrainian craft workshops for adults and children; traditional cuisine and clothing; and a special evening performance by a band coming directly from Ukraine.

Here's a primer before you head down yourself:

  • Ukraine is located in Southeastern Europe and shares borders with Belarus, Russia, the Black Sea as well as Moldova and Romania. Likewise, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland also share boundaries with Ukraine. Not in vain, its name means borderland.
  • This country was part of the former Soviet Union until 1991 when it achieved its independence. Since 2014, both countries –Ukraine and Russia – have had serious problems since Ukraine maintains that Crimea is still Ukrainian. As part of its population, Russian groups are the minority even though Russian, as a language, is frequently used. Ukrainians are the majority of the population, followed by a variety of other ethnic groups such as Boiky, the Hutsuly or Dolyniany.
  • Ukraine’s flag represents the sky, with a blue line on the top, and fields of grain, through a yellow line on the bottom. Despite the religious persecutions during the Soviet period, Ukraine is a Christian country with different denominations such as Ukrainian Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic or Protestant. However, Judaism or Islam are also practiced.
  • For its part, Ukraine’s health system is provided by the government, and it has been currently improved by the authorities. There are a huge number of universities in Ukraine with high-quality education. It is estimated that the literacy rate is, in fact, 99.8 percent according to 2015 statistics. It is very common that schools and universities emphasize Ukrainian culture, aesthetics, and folklore.
  • When it comes to food, art, and culture, Ukraine’s traditional dishes are, mainly, varenyky (pierogies), which consist of various fillings (often sauerkraut, potato, or cheese) wrapped in a dough pocket. Holubtsi consists of a rice and beef mixture cooked inside cabbage leaves. Borshch is a soup made from beets, and kovbasa is a type of smoked sausage. A traditional Christmas Eve dessert is kutya, which is made from wheat, poppy seed, and honey. Ukrainian food has a strong influence of Eastern European countries where potatoes, cabbage, beef, beets, or chicken are popular on their plates.
  • Concerning poetry, philosophy, and literary tradition, the legacy that the Soviet Union left to Ukraine is still very strong. At the same time, the Byzantine tradition, classicism, and impressionism in Ukraine are well-known in the international scenario. Ukraine’s National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecturein in Kiev is also very famous. It is still present in the little artistic freedom they had during the Soviet rule, a reason why Ukrainians value the talented artists, writers, poets, and musicians that they have. Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Kotliarevsky, Ivan Drach, Petro Hulak–Artemovsky or Lina Kostenko are well-known there.
  • Football, volleyball, basketball, and ping-pong and chess make Ukraine very famous around the world as the Olympic Games, and other scenarios have shown.
  • Ukraine is recognized by its minerals and precious stones such as topaz, quartz, agate, among others. Ukraine’s fertile agricultural lands and its thousands of species of plants in its various vegetation zones make this country a good destination in different fields of knowledge as well as for business and vacations.
  • The economy has been growing since a significant percentage of the Ukrainian economy is based on industry, mainly, manufacture of coal, ferrous and nonferrous metals and products, electric power, chemicals, food processing, and machinery. The tourism industry estimated that 14 million international tourists are expected to visit the country in 2017, despite the Ukrainian-Russian conflict.
  • There are a lot of touristic places in Ukraine to discover. Thanks to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, tourists from different countries enjoy the Ukrainian spas, its famous mountains, and its beautiful landscapes.

Discover more today by heading down to Lansdowne Park when Ottawa Welcomes the World!

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