Ukraine: culture, etiquette and customs

Ukraine: culture, etiquette and customs

Ukraine etiquette

The People

Ukrainians are of Slavic origin. About 75% of the population is ethnic Ukrainian. The largest minority group is the Russians at about 20%. Belarussians, Bulgarians, Poles, Hungarians and Romanians make up the other major minority groups.

Religion

Approximately 40% of the population in the Ukraine describe themselves as atheist. Of those that do adhere to some form of religion, 37% belong to one of the three major orthodox denominations present in the country. There are also a significant and growing number of Jews, Protestants and Muslims.

Despite the large numbers describing themselves are atheist, Ukrainians are extremely superstitious. If you do something that they believe can cause harm such as sitting on stone steps, someone will undoubtedly tell you that you risk doing great harm to yourself as a result of your actions. Superstitions are derived from folk wisdom in rural communities.

Fatalistic

Ukrainians live in a country where everyday life is often unpredictable and unstable and they have learned to adapt to constantly changing rules and laws. The influences of the Russian Orthodox Church plus a long history of turbulent economic times, unstable governments, and adverse climatic conditions produce a rather fatalistic approach towards life.

Generosity

Ukrainians are extremely generous and hospitable. All social occasions include food. Visitors are always offered something to eat as well as a beverage. It is considered the height of rudeness to eat in front of another person and not offer them something.

Read more> Ukraine: Country Profile

Katia Reed
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