Ukrainian culture is the culture associated with the country of Ukraine and, in particular, with ethnic Ukrainians. It contains elements of other Eastern European cultures, as well as some Western European influences. Ukrainian customs are heavily influenced by the Eastern Orthodox Church and traditions from Slavic mythology.
Ukraine has a shared culture with neighboring nations, dating back to the 9th century and the Land of Rus. Mutual influence is particularly apparent among the cultures of Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and Belarus. In addition, the culture of Ukrainian Cossacks (dress, weapons, etc.) has significant traces of the cultures of Turkic peoples.
Artisan textile arts play an important role in Ukrainian culture, especially in Ukrainian wedding traditions. Ukrainian embroidery, weaving, and lace-making are used in traditional folk dress and in traditional celebrations. Ukrainian embroidery varies depending on the region of origin, and the designs have a long history of motifs, compositions, choice of colors, and types of stitches. Use of color is very important and has roots in Ukrainian folklore. Embroidery motifs found in different parts of Ukraine are preserved in the Rushnyk Museum in Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi.
Weaving with handmade looms is still practiced in the village of Krupove, situated in Rivne Oblast. The village is the birthplace of two famous personalities in the scene of national crafts fabrication. Nina Myhailivna and Uliana Petrivna with international recognition. In order to preserve this traditional knowledge, the village is planning to open a local weaving center, museum, and weaving school.
Ukrainian music (Ukrainian: Українська музика) is a music which its content covers diverse and multiple component elements of the music that is found in Western and Eastern musical civilization. It also has a very strong indigenous Slavic and Christian uniqueness whose elements were used among many neighboring nations.
Ukraine is also the rarely acknowledged musical heartland of the former Russian Empire, home to its first professional music academy, which opened in the mid-18th century and produced numerous early musicians and composers.
Modern Ukraine is situated north of the Black Sea, previously part of the Soviet Union. Several of its ethnic groups living within Ukraine have their own unique musical traditions and some have developed specific musical traditions in association with the land in which they live.
For both men and women, clothing is seen as having decorated embroidering, on shirts, skirts, pants, etc. Embroidered patterns on clothing (also seen on other household items) can be seen in both modern and traditional clothing which represents certain origins of the wearer or piece of clothing.
Food is an important part to the Ukrainian culture. Special foods are used at Easter, as well as Christmas. During Christmas, for example, people prepare kutia, which is a mixture of cooked wheat groats, poppy seeds, honey, and special sweet breads.
An average Ukrainian diet consists of fish, cheese, and a variety of sausages. Head cheese is also quite popular in Ukraine, as well as Kolbasa (Ukrainian: Ковбаса́, Kovbasa), a type of sausage. Typically bread is a core part of every meal, and must be included for the meal to be “complete.” During Christmas, for example, it is the tradition to have a twelve-course meal. Included at Easter are the famous pysanky, which are colored and patterned eggs. Making these eggs is a long process, and they used for display at the center of the table rather than consumed.
Ukrainians often toast to good health, linger over their meal, and engage in lively conversation with family and friends. Often they will drink tea (chai), wine, or coffee afterwards with a simple dessert, such as a fruit pastry.
Popular foods in Ukraine include salo, borscht (national soup), sarmale, chicken kiev, pierogi, pilaf, vareniki, pączki, and crêpe.
Ukrainian (українська мова ukrayins’ka mova, pronounced [ukrɑˈjɪɲsʲkɑ ˈmɔwɑ]) is a member of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine and the principal language of the Ukrainians. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic script (see Ukrainian alphabet).
The Ukrainian language traces its origins to the Old East Slavic of the early medieval state of Kievan Rus’. From 1804 until the Russian Revolution Ukrainian was banned from schools in the Russian Empire of which Eastern Ukraine was a part at the time. It has always maintained a sufficient base in Western Ukraine, where the language was never banned, in its folklore songs, itinerant musicians, and prominent authors.
The standard Ukrainian language is regulated by the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NANU), particularly by its Institute for the Ukrainian Language, Ukrainian language-information fund, and Potebnya Institute of Language Studies. Lexically, the closest to Ukrainian is Belarusian (84% of common vocabulary), followed by Polish (70%), Serbo-Croatian (68%), Slovak (66%) and Russian (62%). But even with Russian, Ukrainian language has some degree of mutual intelligibility.
Ukrainian literature had a difficult development because, due to constant foreign domination over Ukrainian territories, there was often a significant difference between the spoken and written language. At times the use of the Ukrainian language was even partly prohibited to be printed. However,foreign rule by Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Austria–Hungary, and the Ottoman Turkey, left behind new words thereby enriching Ukrainian. Despite tsarist and soviet repression, Ukrainian authors were able to produce a rich literary heritage.
Many Ukrainians also contributed to the closely related literature in Russian language.
Ukrainian architecture has initial roots in the Eastern Slavic state of Kievan Rus’. After the 12th century, the distinct architectural history continued in the principalities of Galicia-Volhynia. During the epoch of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, a new style unique to Ukraine was developed under the western influences of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
After the union with the Tsardom of Russia, architecture in Ukraine began to develop in different directions, with many structures in the larger eastern, Russian-ruled area built in the styles of Russian architecture of that period, whilst the western Galicia was developed under Austro-Hungarian architectural influences. In both cases producing fine examples. Ukrainian national motifs would finally be used during the period of the Soviet Union and in modern independent Ukraine.
Sports such as football and wrestling have been popular in Ukraine since the 19th century. Ukraine has benefited from the Soviet Union’s emphasis on physical education, and Ukraine was left with hundreds of stadiums, swimming pools, gymnasiums, and other athletic facilities after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
There are several secular official holidays in Ukraine, some left over from Soviet times. The International Women’s Day, 8 March, is celebrated now in the same context as Mother’s Day: men present small gifts and flowers to all women family members and work colleagues. Victory Day, 9 May, became a day of remembrance of those who died in World War II. Constitution Day is 28 June. Independence Day, 24 August, is celebrated with military parades and fireworks.