Things Ukrainians Write: Letters from my 10th form pupils, holiday edition

A few memorable lines from the third set of letters written to me by my 10th form pupils. They all wrote to me about winter holidays. (See their first letters here.)

  • Oxy-moronic? But in Ukraine it’s true. “The symbol of the New Year is a Christmas tree. -Christina
  • Holidays like people? “I think that this holiday like all people, because we meet a new year.” -Vika
  • An interesting story and wise words from Roman T.: “I think, that…we must study [English]. I see this in one fact; this happened with my brother Dima. Two years ago, he studied at Chernivtsy and he met one American. He asked my brother: ‘How [can I] go to the railway station?” Dima [gave his] answer and [the] American [smiled], after it [gave him] 10 hrivnias. [At] this time it was not small money. We need English in all situations in life.”
  • Tanya, on New Year’s in Ukraine: “People believe that all their troubles are left in the previous year and the New Year will bring them hopes and happiness.”
  • Olha tells me the 12 Lenten dishes that Ukrainians make for Christmas Eve dinner: “The main dish is kutia. [Everybody] should try [it]. Also, we cook compote fried fish, meatless borshch, braised cabbage with mushrooms, stuffed cabbage with rice, millet porridge, beet salad, salad with pickled cucumbers, cabbage, and onions, bean cakes, hot spices with crushed garlic, black pepper, dill, tomato paste, and oil, and finish [with] boiled potatoes, lubricants crushed garlic with oil.”
  • Solomia seems conflicted about religion: “I would like to celebrate [Christmas] on December 25. Because Christmas Lent ends after [the] New Year holiday and I don’t want [to] have a big noisy party during Lent. However I don’t really keep Lent, but I think [it’s] very bad [to noisily] celebrate New Year during Lent.”
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