Today Ukraine is celebrating its twenty-second birthday. For almost a quarter of a century of independence, our country has managed to significantly transform, define the vectors of development, establish strong friendships with many countries and succeed in co-operating with them.

We have many things and people to be proud of. Our scientists and athletes are known abroad. Our nation has already experienced the victories and recognition at the world level. However, no less goals and objectives remain for the future.

On Independence Day, ForUm has decided to do without going deep into the history and political and economic forecasts for the coming years. These questions have been already repeatedly raised. We do not refer to the polls to find out why Ukrainians love their country and what they would like to change, as the position has long been known. Therefore, we decide to approach the subject from a philosophical standpoint and talk with people, who moved to this country from abroad. Who knows, maybe their stories will make us think about those things which we do not notice or do not consider so important while living in Ukraine since our birth?

People tend to compare "ours" and "foreign". After all, one thing is when we compare Ukraine with other countries. An outside point of view is quite another. It should be noted that people come to live in Ukraine not only from the neighboring countries but from the United States and France as well. So, what attracts foreigners in our country and why do they decide to move?

Next door

Liudmyla is native of Belarus. It is noteworthy that she moved to Ukraine exactly 22 years ago, just in time of the Soviet Union collapse. She came to Ukraine with her husband, who had relatives here. "I was fascinated by Ukraine. In addition, the climate here is very favorable," the interlocutor says.

Liudmyla notes that during this time, Ukraine has already become a second home for her. "Despite all the problems existing in the state, I believe that Ukraine is a very sunny and hospitable country. I especially love the people here. That is what has helped me to adapt quickly here. Ukrainians are frank and responsive as Belarusians," she says.

Over the years, the woman has integrated in the culture of our country. Today she fluently speaks and writes in the Ukrainian language. Although she does not forget her roots and sometimes misses the Motherland.

Coming down from the Eiffel Tower

Childhood and adolescence of Sebastian passed in France. As we see, young man had already got to know about our traditions and is no stranger to Ukrainian national costumes. He says that has been interested in Ukraine for a long time. Before moving here, he lived in Latvia, Poland and Hungary.

"Since I'm a freelance journalist, I had the chance to go to Kyiv, familiarize with the country, its people and language. Honestly, it was not easy at first. Surviving the first winter was quite a challenge. However, I found what I was looking for, and even much more. That's why I stayed and plan to live in Ukraine for some time," he said.

The things he likes in Ukraine are quite interesting. Sebastian admits that he really loves salo (traditional Ukrainian food consisting of cured slabs of fatback, with or without skin). By the way, many foreigners do not appreciate this Ukrainian delicacy. The Frenchman knows also what an ice-hole on the Dnipro River is. "I really enjoy the Dnipro ice basin in January," he said.

The young man has also managed to evaluate versatility of our country. "I like the fact that there are such differences between Lviv and Donetsk, Kyiv and Odesa, Chernivtsi and Yalta. So many different worlds co-exist in this country," Sebastian says and adds he really enjoys travelling by night trains.

Warm continent

Another interesting interlocutor, who gladly shared the story of his move to Ukraine, is Amadou. He lives in Ukraine for nearly 30 years. He is a native of the north-western part of Africa. He arrived in Kyiv to study in the Taras Shevchenko National University, started a family and has been living here since then. He considers Ukraine to be his second homeland.

"I speak Ukrainian and understand it, even though it is easier to communicate in Russian. I believe that Ukraine is a good, beautiful and promising country. I have long been working as a teacher of French in the French Cultural Center," Amadou says.

Despite origin and arrival from the warmest world continent, Amadou likes Ukrainian climate. Talking about spiritual things, he notes that he likes aura of Kyiv and the fact that people value family ties. "There is no such individualism as in Western Europe. In that Ukraine is similar to my country," our source says.

He also admits there are negative sides. "I do not like the extremist tendencies of some people. But it can be seen everywhere!" he said.

So, it would not be bad if Ukrainians start thinking about this problem.

American Love

ForUm has also succeeded in finding those who came to Ukraine from the United States. Kevin is one of them. He came to Kyiv from New York and has lived here for more than four years. He has his own business in Ukraine and intends to continue. Although, he does not exclude that he will return to his homeland in a few years. However, he says will still come to Ukraine from time to time on business trips. He likes people most of all in our country.


As you can see, these people had different reasons for moving to Ukraine. Their high estimates of the cultural characteristics and traditions of our country cannot but amuse us. Especially on such holiday. We should draw appropriate conclusions, preserving and honoring all that we have. After all, the most important consists of little things.

In addition, we should remember that the independence is not only the border, coat of arms, flag and anthem, but the state legal principles and the ability to honor and preserve our cultural values and history as well.

Tetiana Matsur, Anastasia Pika


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