The Veryovka Ukrainian Folk Choir

The Veryovka Ukrainian Folk Choir (Національний заслужений академічний український народний хор України імені Г. Г. Верьовки; the name in full means “The National Distinguished Academic Ukrainian Folk Choir of Ukraine Named for G. Veryovka”). The choir was founded in 1943 by the USSR’s Council of People’s Commissars in Kharkiv to promote and spread Ukrainian folk […]

Cheburek: The Half-moon Pastry from Crimea

On streets throughout the post-Soviet space, you can generally find the чебурек (cheburek) — a juicy, fried, savory pastry — for sale. This tasty treat likely originated in Turkey or Crimea and its popularity slowly traveled north and eventually spread throughout what is today the former USSR. Почему они носят такое название? Чебурек was likely […]

Okroshka: A Cool Soup for Hot Summers

Окрошка is a cold soup that most often consists of finely-chopped raw vegetables with cooked meats and potatoes in a base of квас (kvass; a beer-like, carbonated, bread-based drink) or кефир (kefir; a buttermilk-like fermented milk drink). Okroshka has considerable versatility in its ingredients and is enjoyed in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and other former Soviet […]

Holidays in Ukraine: A Guide

This resource provides a list of those holidays of cultural importance in Ukraine. Dates, days off, and histories of the holidays are all included. Long Weekends and Extra Days Off by Semester for 2020 Spring Summer Fall Winter March 8 April 19 May 1, 9, 31 June 28 August 24 October 14, 28 December 25 […]

Ukrainian for Russian Speakers

The following is a short Russian MiniLesson concentrating on the differences between Russian and Ukrainian. Words and phrases below (but not letters) shown in bold have annotation. Just hover your cursor over the text to see the annotation. Interested in really expanding your knowledge of the Ukrainian language and culture while also practicing your Russian […]

Ukraine Constitution Day: Student Observations

Constitution Day in Ukraine is celebrated on June 28th. Celebrated since 1996, this day commemorates the anniversary of the approval by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) of the Constitution of Ukraine. Before 2014 and the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, the holiday’s importance and observance were minimal and around 10% of Ukrainians believed it should […]

The Talking Ukrainian Phrasebook

The Talking Phrasebook Series presents useful phrases and words in side-by-side translation and with audio files specifically geared to help students work on listening skills and pronunciation. Each entry below, divided by category, features an English word or phrase in the left column and its Ukrainian translation in the right. The Ukainian is presented in […]

Borsch: The Slavic Signature Soup

Борщ (borsch) is one of the most popular soups in Central and Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is sweet and sour, healthy and can be eaten at any time of year. It has a complicated and very long history, with the soup changing over time within various geographic regions. Today, the broadly recognized “standard” […]

Kulich: Mystical Russian Easter Bread

Кулич (Kulich) is a lightly sweet, yeast-risen bread baked with considerable amounts of egg and butter. It may also contain raisins, almonds, candied or dried fruit, lemon zest, and various spices including cardamom and even saffron depending on the recipe and personal preferences. Central to Easter celebrations in Orthodox Christian traditions, кулич is enjoyed in […]

Ukrainian Minilesson: As Different as Russian and Ukrainian…

The following is an article that originally appeared on Russian7.ru (Русская Семерка). The original can be read here. The following translation to English has been provided by SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar Lindsey Greytak.   Sharing common roots, Russian and Ukrainian, at first glance, look very similar. This is not so. In reality they have […]

Kvass! The Other Fermented Russian Drink

Квас (Kvass) is sometimes referred to as “bread drink” or even “bread cider” in English. We recommend just sticking with the word “квас,” though. Brewed from black or rye bread, the drink may come with a range of consistencies similar to those found in beer and a distinctly “bready” taste. The first recorded mention of […]

Olivier Salad: A Russian Holiday Tradition

Салат «Оливье» (Olivier Salad) is a salad for which the recipe can vary widely, but which is typically made from chopped vegetables and meat in a mayonnaise base. Invented in Moscow, the salad is now popular throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union and beyond. In places like Turkey, Iran, and Greece, it is […]

Pickling Russian Style

The process of соление (pickling) is well-known in Russia, and any traveler visiting Russia, Ukraine, or Belarus will undoubtedly come across several traditional pickled dishes that seem strange and exotic. With a relatively short growing season, preserving food has always been of special importance in Russia, where you can easily find pickled cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, […]

Maslenitsa, Blin! The Food and Celebration

Они хранили в жизни мирной Привычки милой старины; У них на масленице жирной Водились русские блины. А.С. Пушкин In peaceful life they protected Sweet olden-time traditions; With them on fatty Maslenitsa Was always the Russian blin. A.S. Pushkin Russians revere both блины and Масленица as being “truly Russian” although, ironically, neither is without multiple counterparts […]

Halva: Ancient and Nutritious

Халва, the rich, crumbly dessert well-loved across many cultures, is so densely filling it almost manages to feel like a meal – and not an entirely unhealthy one at that. There are more than one hundred types of халва, which is generally ground and sweetened nuts and/or seeds. Its role as a staple dessert extends […]

Syrniki: Not Your Average Cheese Cake

Сырники (Syrniki) are cottage cheese griddle cakes, sometimes called “cheese fritters” in English. They are generally fried in vegetable oil to create crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside medallions of warm, creamy goodness. Drizzled with sour cream, condensed milk, and/or jam, and served for breakfast or dessert, сырники are particularly beloved in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania. Сырники […]

International Women’s Day: Student Observations

This holiday was initially instituted to honor women workers in USSR. On March 8, 1917, women marched in St. Petersburg, demanding bread, better working conditions, and an end to WWI. The march became violent, but soldiers refused to shoot at the women. It was one of the moments that eventually precipited the February revolution that […]

Heavenly Hundred Mourners In Kyiv

Hundreds of people came to Kyiv’s Independence Square, or, in Ukrainian, Maidan Nazeleznosti for the third anniversary of the day snipers killed 100 protesters during the EuroMaidan Revolution, on February 18, 2017. The deceased are commonly known as the “Heavenly Hundred.” The date of thier death is now marked every year by mourners returning to […]

Keeping the Faith (Catholicism) in Kyiv

For some, traveling abroad can be as much a spiritual journey as a physical one, and tourists are often encouraged to visit religious relics and places of worship for their history, culture, and architecture. For me, a practicing Catholic who has now spent a couple of months living in Kyiv, this internship/study abroad experience has […]

St. Panteleimon Cathedral & Feofaniya Park in Kyiv

Tucked away in the outskirts of Kyiv, in the Holiivs’ki district, lies St. Pantelemion’s Cathedral and Feofaniya Park. This place makes for a great day away from the hustle and bustle of the city. First, be sure to step inside and admire the beauty of St. Pantelemion’s Cathedral. When looking at the gorgeous iconography, don’t […]

The Question of Genre in Byliny and Beowulf

While stories about Dobrynya Nikitich, Ilya Muromets, and Sadko were being sung in Kievan Rus’ – the Slavic state dominated by the city of Kiev from the ninth until the twelfth centuries – Anglo-Saxon, or Old English poetry had already extended from oral to written production in the form of Beowulf.[1] Beowulf is a Christian reworking of oral […]

Preservations: Ukraine in the Summer of 1999

In Kiev store signs and street markings are in Ukrainian, and although I could still read all of them, half the time, I could not understand what they meant. The drive from Borispol airport to T. Clara’s apartment deep inside Kiev was speedy, thanks to our driver who traveled well over the km/hr speed limit. […]

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