Lesson 5: Ukraine

This week we voyage to Ukraine, which is the second-largest nation in Eastern Europe in terms of land mass (next to Russia), has the second largest military in Europe (next to that of Russia) and whose people have historically survived hardships that one could only compare to, well, those endured by the people of Russia. Yes, there’s a love/hate Ukrainian/Russian relationship, and not a small amount of competition, but we’re impartial here. We can easily choose to love both.

OVERVIEW: Ukraine is a powerful nation that has lived for centuries in constant struggle, surviving wars, famine, and the Soviet Union.

MUSIC: We meet the Kobzars, Ukraine’s traditional musical masters.

LANGUAGE: Ukraine is eager to continue a revival of the Ukrainian language after many decades of Soviet rule and forced “Russification.”

WHEN YOU GO THERE: Kiev is pretty great, but when you travel to Ukraine make sure to get out of the city

HUTSULKA: A playful “wild dance” that originated with Ukraine’s mountain-dwelling Hutsul people.

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