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I live in Ukraine — AMA
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 12:40 pm
I might not answer immediately, since I’m in the woods in the Kharkiv region now and internet is really wonky.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 12:45 pm
What do you think is the number one misunderstanding about the country?
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GLUE




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 12:55 pm
What is the most common langue spoken there?

How many frum communities are there?
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 12:57 pm
FranticFrummie wrote:
What do you think is the number one misunderstanding about the country?


People think that we spend all our time thinking/talking about politics, the war with Russia, the language issues, etc.

But these ideological questions are more on the minds of Western journalists.

Most people here, including those with volunteering/military experience, are much more concerned with everyday life stuff — energy costs, how to get kids into good schools, eating healthy, etc.
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 1:01 pm
GLUE wrote:
What is the most common langue spoken there?

How many frum communities are there?


1. Russian everywhere except the western regions bordering with Poland/Hungary. There, Ukrainian is more common.

2. A lot?....
Kyiv, Odessa, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Kherson, Chernovtsy, Zaporozhye — that’s just the ones I know of.
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 1:01 pm
What is the level of antisemitism? Is it safe to walk around identifiably Jewish in all areas?

Have the people changed since WW2? Do they admit that they are culpable or are they like the Poles who refuse to acknowledge that they eagerly played an active role in the murder of their Jewish neighbors?
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 1:09 pm
Reality wrote:
What is the level of antisemitism? Is it safe to walk around identifiably Jewish in all areas?

Have the people changed since WW2? Do they admit that they are culpable or are they like the Poles who refuse to acknowledge that they eagerly played an active role in the murder of their Jewish neighbors?


I can’t even...

It’s safer to be Jewish here than on most college campuses and many areas of NY, that’s for sure.

No one is stabbing rabbis in their home on Hanukah here.

WW2 is a very ongoing discussion.

In two hours I will go sing the national anthem with some friends. Many of us, including myself, will be wearing the traditional Ukrainian shirt embroidered with Jewish motifs.

At the same time anti-Semitism exists in some circles and we call it out when we see it.

Because left-wing anti-Zionism and wokeness have not made their way here, overall I would say there is much *less* anti-Semitism than in the US.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 1:14 pm
sequoia wrote:
traditional Ukrainian shirt embroidered with Jewish motifs.


Surprised

I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE!!!!

Seriously, I want one.
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GLUE




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 1:19 pm
Do you have nice beaches? Can you visit them in the summer?(Tzinus)

What type of climate do you have?

What do you do for vacation?
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 1:29 pm
sequoia wrote:
I can’t even...

It’s safer to be Jewish here than on most college campuses and many areas of NY, that’s for sure.

No one is stabbing rabbis in their home on Hanukah here.

WW2 is a very ongoing discussion.

In two hours I will go sing the national anthem with some friends. Many of us, including myself, will be wearing the traditional Ukrainian shirt embroidered with Jewish motifs.

At the same time anti-Semitism exists in some circles and we call it out when we see it.

Because left-wing anti-Zionism and wokeness have not made their way here, overall I would say there is much *less* anti-Semitism than in the US.


So please educate us.

It is perfectly safe for a man to walk down the street in full black hat garb? Because elsewhere in Europe it isn't.
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 1:31 pm
GLUE wrote:
Do you have nice beaches? Can you visit them in the summer?(Tzinus)

What type of climate do you have?

What do you do for vacation?


1. Lol. I live across the street from a beach and I hate the neighborhood and am trying to move. So not a beach person!
Not sure what you mean by tznius... just regular beaches.

2. Too hot for my taste in summer 😢
Winter is similar to midwestern winters. So kind of like Chicago.

3. I don’t do anything because I’m disabled.
Because of Covid restrictions in the EU, people these days go to Turkey or Bulgaria. Before Covid people did the usual things for vacation — France, Spain... if they could afford it. Otherwise, Turkey and Egypt are always popular destinations.
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 1:34 pm
Reality wrote:
So please educate us.

It is perfectly safe for a man to walk down the street in full black hat garb? Because elsewhere in Europe it isn't.


I think it is.

But you would have to ask them.

Obviously my friends are MO/European JPF, so they’re wearing regular clothes and baseball caps.

But when I play “spot the frummies” on Sundays in the park, there are quite a lot!
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amother




Honeydew
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 1:36 pm
Most of us arent from Ukraine and we're asking simple questions. Answering "I can’t even" or sarcastic comments make me feel shy to even ask questions....
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 1:40 pm
How is the public education system? Do most people have a high level of education?

How is the economy and unemployment levels?

And pardon my ignorance, is the war with Russia over? Is there a real peace agreement?
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 1:42 pm
amother [ Honeydew ] wrote:
Most of us arent from Ukraine and we're asking simple questions. Answering "I can’t even" or sarcastic comments make me feel shy to even ask questions....


She responded to me like that and it hasn't scared me off.

Please don't get scared off. Sequoia is really nice!
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amother




Green
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 2:05 pm
Here are a few
1. Have you always lived there? If not why did you move there?

2. What's the biggest pro of living there?
.
3. Did you meet any people who went to quarantine in the Ukraine (in order to get into the UK or Israel)

4. Are you vaccinated?

5. The 4th question is a joke please don't answer it
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 2:10 pm
Reality wrote:
How is the public education system? Do most people have a high level of education?

How is the economy and unemployment levels?

And pardon my ignorance, is the war with Russia over? Is there a real peace agreement?


1. So, so, so bad.
I could rant about this all day.

A FULL PROFESSOR in a Kyiv university earns... $1000 a month. So about four to five times less than the average programmer working for a random Western company.

So no one wants to go into academia.

I had a conversation yesterday with a man who is Head of Computer Science Department at Kyiv Polytech. He said, “the only reason I am able to do this is because I have no wife, no kids, and I own my home. If I had a family to support, I couldn’t work in higher education.”

The second problem is that universities are publicly funded, so the amount of government interference is insane. Not just what to teach, or what language to teach in, but even what grades to give students — government bureaucrats interfere in everything. Teachers HELP THEIR STUDENTS CHEAT because they know they won’t be allowed to fail them anyway. It “makes the college look bad.”

The third problem is that higher education is still considered a necessity like in Soviet times, while trade schools like plumbing and electrician are “unprestigious.” So colleges are full of students who don’t want to be there, who don’t belong there, and whose parents made them go.

2. I’m not sure about unemployment in Ukraine overall — I’m in the Kyiv bubble.
Everyone I know has a job.

3. The war in the Donbass is still ongoing. There are periodic ceasefires, then fighting resumes. There can’t be a peace agreement because war was never officially declared — it’s supposedly “insurgents.”
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 2:25 pm
amother [ Green ] wrote:
Here are a few
1. Have you always lived there? If not why did you move there?

2. What's the biggest pro of living there?
.
3. Did you meet any people who went to quarantine in the Ukraine (in order to get into the UK or Israel)

4. Are you vaccinated?

5. The 4th question is a joke please don't answer it


1. I was born there and emigrated with my family when I was four. So I’m American.

Why did I move?... There were subconscious reasons.

2. The dairy products and fresh produce.

3. No.

4. I want to get vaccinated! Unfortunately there’s no commercial vaccines here, only through government hospitals. Head on over to my chessedfund page and help a sister out.

5. Too late Wink
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 2:32 pm
Reality wrote:
She responded to me like that and it hasn't scared me off.

Please don't get scared off. Sequoia is really nice!


Thanks!
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 23 2021, 3:08 pm
amother [ Honeydew ] wrote:
Most of us arent from Ukraine and we're asking simple questions. Answering "I can’t even" or sarcastic comments make me feel shy to even ask questions....


I do get the questions. Because it's hard for some of us to feel that Ukraine can so easily rehabilitate itself. OTOH, someone who has strong familial historical ties to Ukraine beyond the Holocaust could understandably have warm feelings. But Sequoia, do try to understand where some people are coming from.

Not to mention that antisemitism is real. Yes, in the US but very much so in Europe. So why shouldn't it be logical to wonder if it can be a problem in Ukraine?

But bH I'm happy that it's working for you in so many different ways - the aesthetics, the people etc.
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