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!