1. Potato planting and digging. This ‘90s tradition formed due to the economic situation. In times of hardship, the potato harvesting tradition helped many families to survive.
2. Saving money in USD. This custom echoes the post-traumatic syndrome of the ‘90s. Back then, people lost all their savings in the national currency and began saving and exchanging money into dollars.
3. Feast. Families gather with parents and friends at holidays, birthdays, and important events at a generously served table. Alcohol, often home- made, is a must-have.
4. Home preserves. During the summertime in the ‘90s, mothers made homemade jams, pickled cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes because these fresh vegetables weren’t available in winter. Now Ukrainians make their delicious preserves and pickles out of love for the craft.
5. Slippers. The custom to take off shoes and wear slippers at home is so inborn that we only include it here because this book is bilingual.
6. Just in case: do not throw it away, because we might need it later. Many of us store boxes of boxes or bags of bags just in case we need them in the future.
7. Lack of delicacy and general criticising. Ukrainians love pointing out all the shortcomings and mistakes of others, especially from the safety of Facebook.
8. Expensive cars. They are seen everywhere in Ukraine: Porsche, Range Rover, newest Mer- cedes models. Neither crisis nor war can stop this obsession because Ukrainians love boasting and showing off.
9. Inability to plan. ‘Let’s keep in touch’ in Ukrainian might mean either you call me, or I call you, or none of us will do so in the foreseeable future. We set up meetings spontaneously and as effortlessly cancel them at the last minute.
10. Care for elderly family members. The state doesn’t support older adults enough; private elderly care is expensive. So children must often look after their ageing parents. However hard it is, caring for the elderly improves the connection between generations.
11. Greetings to the mother and the newborn. You shouldn’t meet the baby empty-handed for the first time. Present them with some money, clothes or toys.
12. Kum and Kuma (Godparents). In Ukraine, we often choose a few godfathers and a few godmothers when baptising our kids. We do it not to offend anyone, so sometimes Ukrainian kids have half of the village as godparents. Parents maintain a close relationship with their kum and kuma (godfather and godmother of their child) and treat them almost like family members.
13. Memorial Days feasts (Graves, Radunitsa). Food is an effective way of communication, and dining at the cemetery on special days shows that the dead person still matters.
14. Dyeing Easter eggs. Easter and Christmas are the primary religious celebrations in Ukraine. We decorate the Christmas tree and serve a festive table for Christmas. At Easter, instead of buying chocolate eggs as people do abroad, we boil chicken eggs with onion skins to give them orange colour and unusual patterns. We also bake sweet Easter cakes with raisins and cover them with icing and sprinkles. It’s now a tradition to show off your Easter cakes (Paska breads) and Easter eggs on social networks.
15. Water Monday or Clean Monday is the first Monday after Easter. Guys sprinkle or pour water on girls. In turn, girls give the boys ornamental Easter eggs. Usually, guys bless the girls they like the most first with water.
16. Ivan Kupala. A traditional Old Slavic celebration of “magical purification” by fire and water. A very romantic and youthful holiday. Couples in love, holding hands, jump over the fire. If their hands remain tied, they’ll spend their lives together. Unmarried girls send their flower wreaths across the water. They might point the direction where to look for love.
17. The Epiphany bathing. We believe that water has a magical power twice a year, on Ivan Kupala in summer and Epiphany day in winter. In January, Ukrainians bathe in open ice holes to gain purity and health.
18. Embroidery Shirt Day. On the third Thursday in May, Ukrainians wear their national clothes eve- rywhere: at leisure or work.
19. Sincerity and hospitality. Many Ukrainians would drop everything to unburden their hearts or feed their guests.
20. Pride and patriotism. Flags and the national yellow and blue colours are everywhere: on taxis and fences, on construction sites and balconies, at workplaces and cafes, and even on jewellery. This tradition dates back to 2014, during and after the Revolution of Dignity. Ukrainians put their inferiority complex aside and protest if foreigners call them ‘Russians’.