Friday, September 21, 2012
Hey, did you know that the Ukrainians are haviıng themselves an election? Yeah, it's for parliament. You know, for a country as poorly governed as this one, people are really going through the motions, serious-like. Why, on my very first day I ran into this bit of excitement in Shevchenko Square:
This was a rally for the Batkivshchina Party. That means "fatherland," but it's probably best to think of it instead as "homeland," what with western Ukraine's rather unfortunate connections to neo-Nazis. Anyhow, based on my knowledge of Ukrainian, I'll say that I detected that they were opposed to the present government of Yanukovich and his Party of Regions. And then I walked elsewhere. Here are some other posters that I saw:
This is Batkivshchina's slogan: "We'll stop them!" Well, have fun with that, guys.
This is for Klichko's Udar Party. Pictured is the man himself. He's a really super-famous ex-boxer who doesn't stand a chance.
This guy promises to protect the people's language. Vedrikivski - remember the name. He's going places! Or maybe not! I mean, I'm not the Amazing Kreskin here.
Here's another one about language. It says: "One Ukraine - one official language." You know that several eastern oblasts, with Yanukovich's urging, have made Russian an official language in addition to Ukrainian. You know what I say to that? Fine! It makes it easier for me. I don't speak Ukrainian very well (I'm OK in the shops and ordering coffee/beer) and don't plan to be speaking it well in the future. You know what my relatives say? They usually just howl, "No, no, no!!!!" Irony: They're howling in Russian to me. So in a way, Yanukovich has already won. Look, I always expected some light to turn on in my head and I would suddenly fall in love with Ukrainian. But no. And there's no "high Ukrainian." Instead of there being some standard form, it differs drastically from region to region. In Lviv, people sound dopey when they talk. In Ternopil province where my relatives live, they drawl like there's no tomorrow, plus they use completely different words for everrything and in Kiev, it just sounds like they're speaking Russian. So it's settled - I don't care, but they do. And here is a picture of a cat:
His name is Tom. He belongs to Halya and Volodya.
Posted by Igor Keller