Okay. I dropped off the forum for a bit, but to make a long story short - I'm in Ukraine right now for a month. I won't mention the city, because I don't want to run into any of you. ;) jk! ???? ;)
re: Christmas in Ukraine
First off, don't come to Ukraine unless you really want cultural immersion - like I did. If your here now, you know what I mean. Anyways, I am finding out some strange inside cultural things I really didn't give much thought to last time I was in Odessa during summer. It's regarding their view on our Western Christmas celebration on December 25 and how and why they celebrate it after New Years on January 7.
If you didn't know? I think it wise you do now, especially if you consider marrying a stunning Ukraine wife and adopting your future Ukraine extended family and don't want to come across as some cheap Westerner who married their girl. Especially when everyone in her family finds out, because whether you like it or not, your the wealthy potential family benefactor to the extended family. Nice gifts are rarely turned down on this date. ;)
Here are references to get started on Ukraine Christmas:
To make another long story short, you can disagree if you want, but "Has anyone really seen how Ukrainians really view American Christmas - up close and personal in their country when its occuring?" What was your take on it?
What I saw? Well to most here, it's almost like its an inside joke that we celebrate Christmas on December 25, and they celebrate it on January 7th. And some look at it in disgust actually. So be careful about this one particular date should you be set in your beliefs and encounter what I just did on that date.
Has anyone heard of any superstitions regarding not to celebrate on December 25 in any way? Because I discovered it by chance, because I'm here - just to get that cultural difference through my head and it will definately open up your mind to the specific cultural differences WE DO HAVE.
Imagine spectacular meeting (after Christmas) and find out the girl would not give any note or gift to celebrate that date in any way, she even did so much to laugh about it (causing huge difficulty with me because I gave mine up to learn this - at my expense).
*** IMPORTANT CULTURAL ISSUE WARNING ***
This is not the first time some beautiful Ukraine girl looked at December 25 with a look of disgust and hid it real quick. My previous visit to fake dream girl in Odessa gave me my first question in the back of my mind about it. She did the same super-quick disgusting expression and hid it just as quick.
Anyone else noted that? If anyone has a Ukraine spouse, can they come in and comment about what's going on with the covertly hostile attitude about this December 25 topic? Feel free to share your Ukraine Christmas / Holiday memories on this thread to help others. Good and bad.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.
Hi Apal...hope you are doing well.
I didn't get same feeling as you. I get cards and e-mail cards wishing me a Merry Christmas from girls in Ukraine and Moldova. Just as I do the same for them on Jan 7. They did tell me that New Years celebration is a much bigger event in FSU countries, did you know that?
Never been in any of these countries during holiday season....too freekin cold...I like the weather here in LA.
I was sent a christmas card by a Ukrainian girl I had met this year. I don't understand where you're coming from.
I'd be dissapointed if anyone I hoped to marry looked at 25th dec with disgust just because they have a different tradition.
I'd be even more dissapointed if she "hid it real quick", instead of discussing her apparent hostility.
Hello Apal I am with beemer. I received quite a few christmas E-cards on December 25 and have had several discussions about the difference in the two calenders which are different only because of the correction factors used. For those of you who are not familiar with the two calenders I will give a short overview. The Julian calender started counting from the traditional incarnation year of Jesus, has 365 days except the years divisible by 4 is a leap year and has 366 days. This system is very close to being synchronized with the equinox but does accumulate some error in the synchronization over time. To correct this error the Gregorian calender was adopted which eliminates leap year on all century years not divisible by 400 as well as dropping 10 days to get back into synchronization when it was proposed. The Orthodox Church uses the Julian calender and we use the Gregorian calender which are now 13 days apart.
So this applies to the Orthodox religious holidays. New Years is not a religious holiday so it is celebrated on the Gregorian calender the same as ours and it is a larger holiday in Ukraine for the most part than Christmas even on January 7. New Years is when gift giving takes place.
However I have never seen any animosity to us celebrating on a different day.
Some girls do send the Merry Christmas card American-style. But I tell you, I saw it more than once in the attitude Ukrainians have about ACTUALLy celebrating it with any sincerity on the 25th. ;)
Last year, some girl replied with a Happy Thanks giving letter she probably sent out to every single guy. Last email I ever read from her or sent her - stupid girl wasting my credits on a useless letter. ;0
Anyways, New Years was a pretty big event. Everything shuts down, unless its entertainment or hotel oriented. Imagine fireworks going off overhead on almost everyblock till 2am, then sporadic firefights on random blocks until 4am... Ukrainians love their fireworks. Saw a couple of flares overhead too. Was really a site to see from high up in one of the largest hotels in the city.
Their fireworks blow apart less than 200 ft above the ground. Up close and personal, unlike the ones we see in the states a lot. Big fireworks - not the little firecrackers. ;)
If there's a next year, I'll make sure to load up on the fireworks. It just looked like a complete blast to open fire on any city block after getting quite hammered on Vodka and Red Bull. ;)
I will be in Ukraine in a few days, and spending nearly three weeks, right through Orthodox Christmas.
It is also my sincere hope - never to meet up with apal, or be in the same city or country that he is in. It is unfortuante that he does not disclose the city as I could at least take steps to avoid it.
He only now informs us of his presense in Ukraine - and unfortuantely it is too late to change my plans regarding the country.
"Imagine spectacular meeting (after Christmas) and find out the girl would not give any note or gift to celebrate that date in any way, she even did so much to laugh about it (causing huge difficulty with me because I gave mine up to learn this - at my expense). "
MY gorgeous Ukrainian woman sent me a beautiful gift while I was still in America, in honor of the December 25th American Christmas celebration.
apal: Did you ever consider the possibility that these constant looks of disgust that you get from Ukrainian women, might just reflect their attitude about YOU, as opposed to the December 25th holiday? You should consider it. I receive no looks of disgust from my very religious (Eastern Orthodox) lady at all.
Just spoke to my lady in Ukraine and she described the various gifts she gave to her family and received after midnight in celebration of the New Year.
I was a little surprised, I told her, because except for a drink or a bottle of champaign, we seldom give each other gifts for New Years - I told her that it is more of a partying and drinking holiday in the US. She described it as the principal gift giving time for her and her immediate family - as tradition has had it.
She told me that on Christmas (January 7) small cards are likely to be exchanged as opposed to gifts, except by visitors who will likely bring a gift to their hosts.
apal,what u r saying abt the X-mas on 25th and our disgust with it is nonsense. no one in russia as well as ukraine finds u insane to celebrate x-mas not on january 7th like we do. and no one laughs at yr x-mas day. if im not mistaken only 3 or 4 countries in the world celebrate x-mas on january 7th (at least i heard it on tv not long ago):)and i know some foreigners who on the contrary laugh at out x-mas day:))
so dont stuff yr head with such rediculous ideas:) and made-up inside jokes we may have:)))
Kiev was fun. I went to meet a woman from Omsk there in November 2006. The history, since I like european history anyway, made the trip like disneyland to me. My meeting went ok. We married, but it is not going to work out. I would like to visit Kiev again. The monastery with the saints entombed is something that is almost too fantastic too believe. That it survived the bombing of WWII seems a miracle, except that it's under the mountain.. I hope to return one day...maybe to spend a nice vacation with a nice lady and her family.
The thing I still laugh about is the gruff lady at the airport who said, in a deep voice, as deep as mine....you bring only chocolates? haha. I guess you had to be there.
My Ukrainian girls (my ex-wife and her daughter, my adopted daughter) exchange gifts on December 25, and also on Jan 7. While They gave me token gifts, always less than $10, they always had on their lists gifts that were over $100. This while both of them had incomes of more than $2,000 per mo. I am not really labeling them golddiggers I just think it enforces the idea that the Ukrainian women believe the man to be the provider. I might add that they also have the underlying idea that you will help out the parents.
apal, I have noticed some people their could look down with disgust about christmas because of how in the west childern are told to beleive in Santa. I have had conversations with people who think this is cruel as some kids could have mental problems when they find out this is not true (this was on discovery channel appartently so it must be ture!) and that is not fair on childern those parents can't afford gifts. They beleive its best to tell childern the truth.
hey, no we dont believe in santa, but our kids believe in ded moroz (our version of yr santa). and i dont know whose kids have mental after it:)))all the kids i know and the former kids who r adults now r rather healthy after they have learned the truth:))
Hello from Naples Fl. Just another fountain of misinformation telling us what they assume are truths in Ukraine. Well I'm married to a Ukrainian and they in no way look at Dec 25th with any disgust. Just another guy trying to show how learned and well traveled they are.
Don't worry, Ukrainians are more disgusted with American idiots trying to take their women from their country than what day we celebrate Christmas. With more and more morons traveling to Ukraine from the US, it will get tougher for decent intelligent guys getting anywhere with women from Ukraine.
Martin there was a time we had to pay for a visa to Ukraine. I've only one free pass to Ukraine. Pissed me off, I paid for it and 7 days later Yuschenko opened it up to Americans. I called the Ukrainian embassy in Chicago and they pretty much told me to pound salt for my hundred bucks, no refunds!!
As for traveling to other places, the best is Ukraine but unfortunately for my fellow Americans who now follow are tainted by the idiots who preceded them. Pretty sad the attitude that Ukrainian women are taking of Americans.
'it will get tougher for decent intelligent guys getting anywhere with women from Ukraine.'
Thank you Nasfan, I appreciate the kind words!! :)))
Hope you and Larissa are doing great!!!!( hope I don't mess up name)
As a LA guy, will never understand how people can live in Midwest/East. :))
Martin. been to Russia two times...visa is a hassle( need planning) but what is worse is having to show your papers every block because you don't 'look' anywhere close to russian, also I think much less english spoken in russia than ukraine( at least at airports).
Beems we are doing fine, Neonred, JJetson and their wives and Larissa and I celebrated New Years on Pine Island in the Florida Keys, had to take a trip to Key west to Have a drink at Jimmy Buffets. We three who are married to a Ukrainian,Russian and Moldovan celebrated traditional New Years with a big meal and fireworks and plenty of champagne. It was a great time!!
Hang in there Beems you're one of the intelligent ones!!