Who are the Ukrainians? What are the key historical and cultural events that have shaped them? What are their values, and what challenges do they face today?
Ukraine is a country of paradoxes. The people are proud of their roots, yet reticent about their recent past; the country participates in international space programs and produces the world’s largest aircraft, but still lives in a world rich with superstition. The Ukrainian way of life is a mix of the old Soviet legacy, centuries-old customs, and a search for a new European identity.
The word ukraina means “borderland,” and indeed for centuries the country was a border province of great empires. Different states fought bloody wars for the fertile Ukrainian lands and tore the country to pieces. Its history has been a constant struggle for independence and freedom, and foreign domination has left indelible traces in the Ukrainian mentality: Ukrainians are fatalistic, patient, and resilient, and one of the most popular sayings translates as “Things will improve somehow.”
Culture Smart! Ukraine will help you get to know the Ukrainians. It will inform you about the historical, political, and religious background that continues to shape the Ukrainian psyche today. Using illustrative anecdotes, it describes present-day values and attitudes, and offers practical advice on what to expect and how to behave in different social circumstances.
Vitayemo!—Welcome to Ukraine!
About the Author
Anna Shevchenko is a Ukrainian-born business development consultant and the managing director of 3CN, a British-based company specializing in cross-cultural risk management. She speaks seven languages, and has an M.Phil. degree from the University of Cambridge. Anna has worked with key government and industry decision makers in Britain and Europe and across the CIS. She is the author of numerous articles and two books on cross-cultural communication, as well as two novels set in Ukraine: Bequest, published in 2010, and Tony’s Game, out in September 2012.