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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope

28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.


Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.


Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.


Ukraine Today

Is That True? Local Myths of Natives and Ex-pats

Foreigners aren't in Ukraine long before they encounter the local health myths. Yet foreigners bring their own hang-ups to Ukraine, to the natives' amusement. What's On looks into the tall-tales, just because it's International Health Week,
Ukrainian Myths:
1. Don't Sit on that Bench, You'll Go Sterile. We heard this one as we sat on a Maidan bench, minding our business. Then an old wom an started berating us to stand. Being well-raised, we moved to an other bench - only to have her try to get us up again. Why? Because sitting on a cold surface will destroy your ability to have children. It's not good to freeze any part of your body, but if this were true, ski- area chairlifts would be illegal. Truth factor (out of ten): 2.9.

2. Don't Sit on That Granite Ledge, You'll Go Sterile. This is re lated to Number 1 above. Apparently if you sit on a gran ite ledge even when it's warm, you'll go sterile. The reason? Granite emits radiation. In another spin, only granite quarried in the Chornobyl region is dangerous, because granite soaks up the nuclear nastiness. We suggest carrying a lead blanket when you'll be in granite-rich environments like Maidan. Truth factor: 2.
3. Alcohol Is Good For Xow. Talk to people who remember the Chornobyl clean-up, and you might hear that only those Chornobyl workers who drank a lot got through the ordeal with their health intact. es, guzzling huge amounts of alcohol will protect you against radiation. Well, Kyiv remains close enough to the Chornobyl site to make us worry: Pass the gin, we want to stay healthy. Truth factor: 0.
4. Moving Air Will Kill You. Ever taken an overnight train in which your compartment mates refuse to crack the window or the door, but seal everything shut, so that all of you breath the same disgusting air for 12 hours? In August? If you have, it's because of the idea that moving air will give you the flu, lung cancer, cholera, dropsy, you name it. At most you might get hit in the eye by a flying dust particle. Truth factor: 1.
5. The Old Hot Vodka Foot-Massage Cure. A Ukrainian acquaintance of our swears by this and we've heard variations on it from other people. It's like this: if an infant has the flu, heat up some vodka in a saucepan, then rub it vigorously on the baby's feet and then whack socks on as fats as possible before the vodka evaporates. You'll thus cure the flu. There may be something to this, as correctly controlled body heat can help the immune system fight viruses. But still. Truth factor: 3.5.
6. A Surefire Cancer Cure. An acquaintance of ours swears this method cured his testicular cancer. He mixed equal parts vodka and sunflower oil, then drank 60 ml of the nasty concoction three times a day before meals, for 10 days. At the end of the regime his cancer was gone. If we had testicular cancer we'd try it too. Truth factor: -16.

 Ex-pat Myths:
1. Don't Drink the Water. Foreigners don't drink the tap-water in Ukraine, ever. Some won't even brush their teeth with it. Yet native Ukrainians drink the tap water all the time. It could be they're used to whatever wee beasties live in it, but still - foreigners might be overdoing it. After all, when you order tea in a restaurant you're getting tap water, and aren't you fine? Truth factor: 5.21.
2. Don't Swim in the Dnipro. This idea originates in the story that Chornobyl poisons have leached into the Dnipro watershed On the other hand, few Ukrainians we talk to have ever heard of this - and wouldn't they know? Anyway, if you see ex-pats on a Kyiv beach this summer, they're the ones not going in the water, but rather sprawled in If we had testicular cancer we'd drink vodka mixed with sunflower oil too the sand pretending not to look at the topless girls. Truth factor; 3
3. Mushrooms Will Kill You. Yes, it's true mushrooms soak up radia tion from the soil. But here in the world capital of mushroom-loving, don't you think people would have figured that out by now? Ukraini ans know what areas of their environment are contaminated like fish know the sea. Anyway, most store-bought 'shrooms are factory-grown. Truth factor: 0
4. She Loves You for Your Looks, Charm, and Personality. Okay, this one isn't strictly health-related (though in a wider sense it is), but we thought we'd throw it in anyway. Truth factor, depending on how old and overweight you are .03-7.

 Mark Sabchuk

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Comments (2)
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Serg | 09.04.2008 10:22

Well, this article seems to be written just to be written.
1. If you didn't know - sitting on a cold surface can easily result prostatitis and finally one will go sterile.

3. Drinking red wine helps overcoming the consequences of radiation pollution and it's scientifically proved fact.

\"But here in the world capital of mushroom-loving...\" I thought the capital was SF?=)

Help from the West | 04.04.2008 09:14

As an investigative journalist for some 30 years in California, before the Internet, it was very disappointing to read the pathetic article by Mark Sabchuk. With so much information at ones fingertips these days this is the best he can do? May I suggest for anyone interested in pollution in Ukraine to check the WHO, or do a \"search pollution in Ukraine.\" I have a 200 page document on UA from the WHO, that barely addresses Chernobyl, a whole different subject. Also the water in the Dnipro is mainly contaminated by toxins, inductrial and human waste.. Basically, any ex pat or citizen in Ukraine should not be misled by poor journalism as it appears in Whats On but rather do their own investigation, or even go to seek readily available information from Ukraine\'s own governement. Reckless journalism is as bad as pollution itself. Regarding the topless girls on the beach, well, one might want to check the lastest stats on HIV/AIDS in Ukraine and keep their panys zipped. This is Ukraine\'s most serious pollution porblem at the moment.

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Read also:
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  • Darkness, Flames and The Screams of My Soul
  • A Drink to Go with the Food
  • EuroMaidan Celebrities Weigh In
  • Pro and Anti

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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt Know We Had

    Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.

    Kyiv Culture

    Pulling Strings
    Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.


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