Vote Daily

Random Stuff »

[30 Nov 2009]

Kiev’s sanitary and epidemiological station has stated that the “indicators of the epidemic growth are 1.6 times lower than the epidemic threshold.” [More]

Places to See »

[17 Nov 2009]

You might not know it to look at them, but in the hills of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, the seaside city of Balaklava holds a secret. The secret: an underground military facility, which served as a nuclear submarine base during the cold war and has since become a monument to 20th century history. [More]

Russian Women »

[12 Nov 2009]

Ukrainian women are beautiful, worldly, and proud of their homeland. But what is it like to live in Ukraine? Read on: [More]

Russian Women »

[11 Nov 2009]

Stereotypes abound about any group, including Russian women. If you could peer into their souls, this is what you'd see: [More]

News from Russia »

[5 Nov 2009]

News reports have abounded in recent days about the apparent severity of the swine flu epidemic in Ukraine, but is there truly something to fear? [More]

Russian Culture »

[29 Oct 2009]

Planning a wedding with your Ukrainian love match? No matter where you get married, here or there, both you and your lady man have different ideas about how to plan the wedding [More]

Russian Culture »

[29 Oct 2009]

Looking for a unique, strange, off the beaten path, spot for sightseeing during your vacation to the Ukraine? Believe it or not the hottest (no pun intended) tourist attraction in the Ukraine is Chernobyl, site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. [More]

Russian Culture »

[29 Oct 2009]

No matter where you are in the world, The Big Day is the Big Day. Weddings are celebrated around the world in many unique ways. Although some customs – from white gowns to Bridezillas – have been joyfully tossed like post-ceremonial rice across the world, each region retains its particular traditions.If you are planning a wedding with a Ukrainian bride, here are a few tips on what you – and she – can expect to incorporate into the process of a lifetime!   Popping the Question Presenting a ring in a little velvet box at a romantic dinner is the time-honored way to propose in North America, sometimes accompanied by the man kneeling before his beloved and asking, “Will you marry me?” Channeling Cinderella! Asking a father for his daughter’s hand in marriage is a quaint custom that’s fast dying out and is merely symbolic. Parents are usually involved only peripherally these days. They usually don’t know eachother, and perhaps want to keep it that way. Think "Meet the Fockers".If you want to marry a Ukrainian woman, you’d better add Dear Old Dad into the equation. In Ukraine, the groom traditionally asks the prospective bride’s father for her hand. His parents usually come to the bride’s home, bearing an intricately decorated,  circular, braided loaf of bread called korovai. This is presented on an embroidered tea towel, called a rushnyk, hand-made by the man’s mother. Ukrainians traditionally don’t exchange rings until the wedding itself (and they wear these on the right hand), but your Ukrainian bride is well aware of Western customs and may indeed want a diamond engagement ring!It’s customary for the woman to give the man a rushnyk if she agrees to marry. But if her answer is “no,” she gives him – are you sitting down? – a pumpkin! If you get a jack o’ lantern emoticon on an email from your Ukrainian love interest, now you know!   Preparing for the Big Day In America, the typical advent of a wedding is composed of more parties than you can count: engagement parties, multiple showers, and let’s not even bring up the bachelor and bachelorette parties –at least not here, not now!A typical Ukrainian marriage is also a festive affair, but much more community-oriented. Preparations start a month before the wedding. In earlier times, on a Thursday,  the young couple walked to the village church to the music of violins, drums, and singing.   Here Comes the Bride In Ukraine, unlike the US, UK and Canada, the wedding lasts two days. On Saturday, the official marriage takes place in City Hall. A ceremonial church wedding is optional. The groom and his family and friends drive to the bride’s family’s home in a car festooned with balloons, flowers and ribbons. The men honk, announcing their presence, then go inside to get the bride. Then a cherished tradition ensues: The maid of honor pretends to hold the bride hostage, and the best man has to negotiate for her release. The result is the groom being forced to do some Stupid Human Tricks – such as doing a silly dance or singing a song of the bride’s choice – to coax her outside. Under a shower of seeds (for well-being), rose petals (for prosperity and health) and coins (for financial success), the couple heads to City hall. There, bride and groom  stand on a rushnyk and the ceremony is performed. The bride and groom are presented with a korovai. After the civil ceremony, everyone heads to the bride’s house for a champagne toast, more food than the entire village could consume ina week (no exaggeration!) and a party that literally lasts all night.On the second day, the bride leaves the gown at home and dons a white dress or suit. After nursing the previous night’s hangover, everybody heads back to the bride’s parents’ house for Round Two: more eating, drinking, toasting and games that lasts late into the night.Traditionally, one person – a friend or relative – was granted the role of tamada’ – a combination of party organizer, wedding planner and emcee. But more and more brides are opt ot hire a professional to plan the festivities.

Russian Culture »

[29 Oct 2009]

Kissing your Russian bride on this bridge is said to lock your love in each other's hearts forever, hence the hundreds of engraved locks on the bridge. This is just one of the romantic spots to visit in Kiev. [More]