Things I've Learned in Ukraine So Far: Pt 1


I have been in Ukraine for about 2 months now and I have learned a few things during my tenure here. Some of them are cultural requirements, some of them are observations I've made myself.

  • Never shake hands over a threshold.

  • Nor should you ever pass anything over a threshold.

  • ​You can not give someone money in the evening

  • ​I tried to give my host mom the money I have to pay here for staying here around 8 o'clock one night and she looked and me and said no! no money at night.

  • On certain holidays house hold chores are forbidden ( like laundry)

  • So far this has been true for Easter and Palm Sunday.

  • If there is no ticket collector on the marshutka (usually the smaller ones) you hand the money to the driver.

  • On the same note if there is a ticket collector you will get a ticket receipt. If you hand your fare to the driver, you will not. If you really want a receipt sometimes they have the roll of them hanging from the wall behind them and you can take one.

  • The fare for a bus or marshutka is posted on a sticker next to the door.

  • They recently changed and I totally didn't notice. Nor did I have the language skills at the time ( like 2 weeks in) to understand what he said to me.

  • Better safe than sorry always bring something that can function as toilet paper with you.

  • Tissues, paper towels ect

  • If you are going to an orthodox church bring a head scarf. You are required to wear one when you enter

  • found out recently if there is a service, you are also supposed to wear a skirt.

  • Oh yea, this is just for women.

  • Some churches have "rental" scarves on the door that you can grab if you forgot yours.

  • all though not all so don't bank on this if you know you are going to a church bring your own.

  • Head scarfs are a must when you are in the building and a sometimes when you are on the grounds of a church. If it is a holiday and you are standing outside the church, but you head scarf on before you pass through the gates of the grounds.

  • Tights are stockings are pretty much required unless you are wearing sandals.

  • I'm totally guilty of going barelegged under a skirt on some warmer days because I didn't bring any pantyhose and I totally get stared at.

  • Don't wear your socks inside out. It is bad luck.

  • First of all wearing high knee socks with boots here gets you scoffed at.

  • Second, you don't wear shoes inside houses and I took my riding boots off and my LCF was so distracted by the fact that I had one on inside out.

  • If you are going to a "site" in Ukraine ( museum, manor home, palace) there is a fee for admission... as well as a fee if you want to take pictures inside.

  • Make sure you inquire about this. We were told by the Peace Corps staff that this is pretty common at all landmarks in Ukraine, but only applies inside the building.

  • Never whistle inside (It is thought to summon the devil)

  • and now a days as religion falls out of main stream thinking, it has been updated to say it will suck the money from the house.

  • Only give flowers in odd amounts

  • Even amounts are for funerals or sad occasions.

There is a lot you can pick up if you just listen and watch, I'm sure there are things I have missed and I'm sure there are things on my list that are only in our region of training or practiced among small people but I polled some other PCTs who gave a lot of the same answers. I look forward to having more of these and I'm sure I will learn more things!

#thingsIvelearned #PeaceCorpsUkraine #Ukraine #review #Trainings