Moving to Ukraine: What to Expect
Ukraine is quite a different place from the United States. Even though it is part of Europe, it has a strong connection to the Soviet Union, which for many years isolated itself from the rest of Europe and the world. In order to better prepare you for your arrival in Ukraine, let’s go over some of the most apparent differences in day-to-day interactions.
One of the first things you will notice is the differences in hospitality. Ukrainian people will seem cold at first, as it is seen as uncustomary to smile or even acknowledge strangers on the street. In addition, it is customary for women to not shake hands or do any kind of touching during introductions. This may seem rude, but really it stems from trust issues, due to the many years of turmoil experienced within the country.
Once you get to know your Ukrainian hosts, you will find them very hospitable. If you are staying with a host, be sure to bring them a gift upon arrival. Even if you are just invited over for dinner, it is not uncustomary to bring something for them to show your interest in starting a friendship. From this type of interaction we can see that Ukrainians maybe are not as interested in the occasional traveler, but more interested in building a relationship with someone that will stand the tests of time.