Музей Історії Міста Києва (Museum of Kyiv History)

This morning we had a guided tour to the Museum of Kyiv History. It is situated right next to Teatralna Metro Station and near the Taras Shevchenko Opera Theatre and the main street, Khreschatyk. I have been to the Museum of Ukrainian History (at Andrivskyy Uzviz, Andrew’s Descent), but this museum specialises in the history of the city. I have always been interested in history and politics, and this time, with our knowledgeable guide, Yulia, I have learnt even more about Kyiv.

We were even featured in an English newspaper of Ukraine, the Kyiv Post! Here’s the link: http://www.kyivpost.com/guide/about-kyiv/kyiv-history-museum-reopens-after-9-years-319016.html

You might want to check the Facebook page of the museum too: https://www.facebook.com/museyhistory

Here are some basic details of the museum, obtained from Kyiv Post’s article:

Kyiv History Museum and Exhibition Center
7 Bohdana Khmelnytskogo St.
(044) 520-28-26
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Monday)
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Tuesday-Thursday)
10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Friday, weekend)
Hr 30 (about USD 3.75), Hr 15 for kids, students
Hr 50-100 (guided tour for a group)
Hr 120 (guided tour for a group of 20), Hr 150 for a group of 30
For reservations call (044) 223-98-92
The first Monday of the month is free of charge

DSC_9440

Kyiv has a long history, but unfortunately, during many parts of it, Ukraine had not been a sovereign state, and had been controlled by external powers.

One key location in the city is the Golden Gates, the Zoloti Vorota. It is the birthplace of the Slavic civilisations of the Ukrainians, the Russians and the Belorussians.

Golden Gates, Zoloti Vorota

Golden Gates, Zoloti Vorota

Being exceptionally interested in languages and scripts, I paid extra attention to texts, such as this one featured below.

A document in the Glagolitic script, which is the oldest Slavic script, and dates back to the 9th century

A document in the Glagolitic script, which is the oldest Slavic script, and dates back to the 9th century

A prototypical model of ancient Kyiv (being a student of urban design, I am amazed at the high level of details the artists have put in to create such a large scale model. It was already difficult and tedious enough for me to make small-scale detailed models for my course...)

A prototypical model of ancient Kyiv (being a student of urban design, I am amazed at the high level of details the artists have put in to create such a large scale model. It was already difficult and tedious enough for me to make small-scale detailed models for my course…)

Pharmacists and surgeons' equipments, probably from the 1930s if I'm not wrong.

Pharmacists and surgeons’ equipments, probably from the 1930s if I’m not wrong.

A Soviet communist poster from the early days of the Soviet Union. It's specially made for the Ukrainian SSR, and I'm guessing (I don't know much Russian) that it's about 5-year plans about agriculture

A Soviet communist poster from the early days of the Soviet Union. It’s specially made for the Ukrainian SSR, and I’m guessing (I don’t know much Russian) that it’s about 5-year plans about agriculture

Soviet-era propaganda posters

Soviet-era propaganda posters

Ukraine is the motherland of aviation. During the Soviet Union era, most aeroplanes such as the Tupolev, Ilyushin and Antonov models were produced in the Ukrainian SSR.

"Ruslan" plane produced in Ukraine during the Soviet era, for Aeroflot airlines

“Ruslan” plane produced in Ukraine during the Soviet era, for Aeroflot airlines

Mykola Amosov (1913-2002) was a famous Ukrainian cardiovascular surgeon who invented many new methods for curing heart defects, and was labelled a Hero of Socialist Labour (Герой Социалистического Труда). He has also written numerous books on his expertise in cardiovascular surgery.

Books on Mykola Amosov

Books by Mykola Amosov, or books about him

One of the most familiar and recent events of Ukraine is undoubtedly the Euro 2012, which Ukraine co-hosted with Poland

One of the most familiar and recent events of Ukraine is undoubtedly the Euro 2012, which Ukraine co-hosted with Poland

All of us with our guide at the museum

All of us with our guide at the museum

 

 

English Speaking Club at Denis’ School on 12 Jan 2013

Two days ago, the Exchange Participants in Kyiv had a fruitful afternoon session with the English learners at Denis’ School (official Facebook page). Adult learners of English had a chance to speak and practice English with each other and with us.

The afternoon started with us Explore Ukraine interns introducing our countries to the students. It was not easy to do an introduction of Singapore in 10 minutes, because even with just 710 sq km of land in Singapore, there is much to say. As usual, I passed my passport, driving license and Singapore dollar notes around the classroom. To me, there is nothing special about these items which I see and use everyday, but the Ukrainian students have never seen them before.

Originally, I was worried that there would be little participation and lots of awkward silences. I had thought of a few English games that could create a friendly atmosphere, but the students were much more enthusiastic than expected. They even suggested games which we played, and the rest of the time was a lively discussion on our different cultures – Ukrainian, Singaporean, Chinese, Colombian, Tajik… that’s how diverse our advanced group was!

Introduction and basic words in Українська мова/ Ukrainian Language

As a foreigner, you can’t explore the real Ukraine without knowing the basics of the language. In Kyiv, there is a higher chance that the staff will speak English, and all over Ukraine, the young people are likely to know some English (because students have to take a foreign language in school, and students often choose English over French or German). However, most of the people you meet will not speak English, and you should grab the opportunity to learn some Ukrainian language while in Ukraine.

The western part of the country prefers Ukrainian language, even though from my experience, many Ukrainian speakers also understand Russian (but might not like to speak Russian). One of my Ukrainian friends told me that in Kyiv, the ratio of Russian to Ukrainian speakers is 60:40. In Kyiv, I’ve seen some shops entirely with only Russian or only Ukrainian signage. As far as I know, the eastern part of the country speaks more Russian that Ukrainian, and in Crimea, Crimean Tatar is also spoken. If I’m not wrong, many singers from Ukraine sing in Russian language, which I think is somewhat a wise choice, because the Russian music market is bigger, with many former Soviet Union nations still speaking Russian (eg. Belarus’ official languages are Russian and Byelorussian, with more than 80% of students learning in Russian). However, it is also good for Ukrainian singers to sing in Ukrainian language, to promote their own language and pride :).

Tak, that’s enough of the background info. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

In my opinion, the most important phrase you should know, is one that calls for others’ attention, similar to English ‘excuse me‘.

excuse me – вибачте | vybachte

It’s always important to be polite, and it doesn’t hurt to be excessively polite, so do say ‘thank you‘, whatever happens!

thank you – дякую | dyakuyu

If you’re visiting Ukraine in the future, like me, I hope you’ll have the chance to meet and speak to locals, and not just visit the touristy areas! To greet them, ‘good day’ is a good phrase for formal social occasions.

good day – добрий день | dobry den

A more friendly way of saying hello would be…

hello – привіт | pryvit

The most important number you should know is one. It’s really necessary to know it in order to make purchases. Here is the list of numbers, extracted from http://www.ielanguages.com/ukrainian.html . This page by Ivan Karmin is excellent background info on Ukrainian, and contains some basic words, but also contains some grammatical terms which interest me but maybe not you :).

1 – Один | odyn

2 – Два | dva

3 – Три | try

4 – Чотири | chotyry

5 – П’ять  | p| jat’

6 – Шість | shist’

7  – Сім | sim

8 – Вісім | visim

9 – Дев’ять | dev|jat’

10 – Десять | desjat’

11 – Одинадцять | odynadtsjat’

12 – Дванадцять | dvanadtsjat’

13 – Тринадцять | trynadtsjat’

14 – Чотирнадцять | chotyrnadtsjat’

20 – Двадцять | dvadtsjat’

30 – Тридцять | trydtsjat’

40 – Сорок | sorok

50 – П’ятдесят | pjatdesjat

60 – Шістдесят | shistdesjat

70 – Сімдесят | simdesjat

100 – Сто | sto

And here’s the Ukrainian alphabet and pronunciation, from http://www.ukraine.com/forums/language/11949-ukrainian-alphabet.html :

ukraine alphabet

A few letters are written like letters in the English alphabet but are not the same.

For example, the Ukrainian “B b” is English /v/

Ukrainian “H” is English /n/

Ukrainian “C c” is English /s/

Ukrainian “P p” is a rhotic sound, somewhat different from the English /r/

Ukrainian “У у” is English /u/

Ukrainian “X x” is /x/ (International Phonetic Alphabet; this sound is not found in English; it’s often written as “kh” as in Khan)

Also, these few letters might be confusing, so do pay extra attention:

И и
І і
Ї ї
Й й

That’s all for the language class. If y0u’re a Portuguese speaker, you can read my fellow intern (and roommate)’s blog posts on the basics of Ukrainian language, which he has written in both Portuguese and English:

Idioma Ucraniano + Aula básica I/ Ukranian Language + Basic class I

http://guyofthehat.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/idioma-ucraniano-aula-basica-i/

Aula Básica II (Comércio) / Basic Class II (Commerce)

http://guyofthehat.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/aula-basica-ii-comercio-basic-class-ii-commerce/

Now, buvay / do pobachennya / papa! (Goodbye!)