I lived for several years in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and one of the goals of my writing is to showcase some of the loveliest aspects of the country. There are so many great things about it, from the incredible, lush countryside, to the warm, entrepreneurial people, to the cultural traditions.
So here are a few facts about Ukraine to start off with, which people might not know.
I hope you enjoy them!
1. It’s huge! It has a landmass of 603,550 km2, and is the largest country with all its territory in Europe, closely followed by France with 551,500 km2.
2. It has incredible, fertile agricultural lands. In the eighteenth century it was widely referred to as the breadbasket of Europe.
3. It is famous for its wonderful, rich, fertile, black soil.
4. The flag is half blue and half yellow, which represents the blue sky over fields of ripe wheat.
5. The traditional Ukrainian welcome is to present guests with a loaf of black bread and salt. This symbolizes the hospitality of the Ukrainian people. It’s a tradition that you find in many of the surrounding countries and is used for important guests, for new visitors and for brides and grooms at weddings.
6. The word kraina means border and Ukraine borders seven countries: Poland, Moldova, Romania, Belarus, Slovakia, Hungary and Russia.
7. Ukrainian language is close to Polish. It is a lyrical, musical language with soft vowels. There is no “g” in the pronunciation, so words with “g” are pronounced with an “h”.