Ukraine: Exploring Different Ethnic Cultures Through Food


Has Ukraine succeeded in promoting a truly multi-ethnic and pluralistic state?  On the local Kyiv food scene at least, the country seems to have succeeded. On a somewhat more unusual note, Kyiv also offers Carpathian cuisine, not to be confused with the Caucasus region (note: for more on Transcarpathia click […]

Ukraine, Art Nouveau and the Debate Over “Westernization”


What will become of Ukraine’s aspirations to join the West and embrace cosmopolitan modernity?  It’s not the first time the country has sought to negotiate western cultural influence, as evidenced by a few art nouveau buildings peeping through Kyiv’s cityscape.  The buildings, which date to the Czarist period, attest to […]

Russian Revolution at 100: Welcome to Ukrainian Expo Center


Like the All Russian Exhibition Center in Moscow, Kyiv’s Expo Center also showcases Soviet-era pavilions.  Indeed, in many ways the physical sensation of being in both places is remarkably similar. Like the All Russian Exhibition Center in Moscow, the Ukrainian Expo Center also showcases the Soviet state’s fascination with agriculture […]

Traditional Russian and Ukrainian Life


Despite the recent military conflict between Kyiv and Kremlin-backed separatists in the Donbas region, there are certain striking similarities between Russia and Ukraine.  Take, for example, traditional rural life.  In the Russian city of Novgorod, visitors may see a recreation of a traditional rural town. To the outside observer, Pyrohovo […]

Glimpses of Russia’s Revolutionary Past


Walking around Moscow, one can occasionally spot the old Soviet past peeping out from behind the landscape.  Take, for example, the Marx memorial which has now become a tourist destination. At the State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia, visitors take in old anti-capitalist posters from the revolutionary period. […]