Logo

The Chernivtsi Lifestyle

15 March 2018

After seven months of living in Ukraine, I can barely remember my life in Canada. Maybe that sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Part of the reason may be because I’m living my best life now, as if whatever happened before – besides notable events with family and friends – doesn’t matter now. It’s also because I’m starting to forget the Canadian lifestyle, which seems so much quicker and more intense than the pace in Ukraine.
This became especially evident while living in Chernivtsi for seven weeks. I heard Bukovynian people were among the most hospitable and kindest in Ukraine, and I experienced it myself within my first week in this western part. Someone from the dance ensemble I trained with invited my Canadian friends and I to her family home for the Feast of Epiphany. The next week we went to another new friend’s birthday party, celebrating with his closest family and friends.
The kind nature of people in Chernivtsi could be because of its population and size. Inhabitants number approximately 266,000 – nearly three times smaller than Lviv, and it’s a compact city. It’s also less of a tourist spot than other Ukrainian metropolises I’ve lived in, so the true character of the city shines through.
Various nations have occupied and ruled Chernivtsi, and people of different backgrounds, including Polish, German, Armenian, and Moldavian, to name a few, live there today. Locals told me that it’s because of Chernivtsi’s history they think it a tolerant city, and that people are accepting of different nationalities. But as one person said, it’s important to be kind to all since you never know when or how relations with others can change.
Multiculturalism is evident on the streets of Chernivtsi – along Kobylianska, the pedestrian street, the city’s name is written in several different languages. Plus, other countries have influence over Chernivtsi’s culture since they are close to the city – in just 60 km, you can get to Romania or Moldova.
People in Chernivtsi seem easygoing, remembering to take time for themselves, like sitting at a café to meet with friends, rather than taking a coffee to go as they head to their next meeting. I also noticed this easygoing attitude at a couple of malls. It would be midday, and some people were just opening up their shops while others were closing down for the day. But it’s not that they aren’t hard workers – people I talked to said they worked up to six jobs to support themselves and their families.
My time in Chernivtsi reminded me to allow for changes in my schedule. It’s like what a friend told me when I first moved to Ukraine – time floats here. You’re never early and you’re never late. You are always on time. While living in Ukraine, I’ve adapted lifestyle habits I hope to keep up when I return home, and I challenge you to take note from Bukovynian people: be flexible with your schedule, take time for yourself, and be kind.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someone


Read More

The voice of Kyiv’s metropolitan subway is about to undergo a remix. In June, the metro declared its intention to re-record the announcements in the train wagons. First, this is because Petrivka station was renamed Pochaina. Secondly, in the future new stations will be opened for which audio content is required. Unfortunately, the former announcer […]

Part 1 – Networking In this month’s guide to becoming a successful expat, we look at – networking So, you’ve fallen in love with Ukraine and want to stay. Welcome to the club! It can be daunting to make a move to a country with a different language, a different culture, and a different standard […]

As Ukraine moves further away from its post-Soviet past, we look at how best to experience it before its gone. This month – the electrichka For those who don’t know, the electrichka is a very slow, very uncomfortable, local train teeming with interesting stories and fascinating characters. It’s like you have a front row seat […]

In an economy that relies heavily on cash for most transactions, things, for now, just got a little heavier. With nine coins still in circulation as legal currency, What’s On weighs up the situation with Ukraine’s small change and why your wallet might be weighing you down. Changes in Change The new 1 and 2 […]

X