Ukrainian stereotypes are numerous and have different origins. The vast majority of stereotypes are coming from foreigners, who have been in Ukraine. However, there are stereotypes, Ukrainians create themselves.
KRAINIAN STEREOTYPES AND THEIR ORIGIN
It often happens that Ukrainians bring some presents and gifts when they are traveling abroad. The most popular are Matryoshka dolls and pepper vodka. Such gifts often demonstrate who we are. When we present a Matryoshka for a foreigner, we demonstrate our dependence from another country, because this symbol is not Ukrainian one. The myth about Ukraine as the country of Chernobyl, corruption, criminals, whores, and cheap hardworking people is still challenging. The same is about pepper vodka. It is one thing if someone asks you to bring this specific present, and totally different thing if from all the possible variants like vyshyvanka (Ukrainian national shirt), handmade crockery, dishes, and pots, you decide to bring pepper vodka. This is a hint for a foreigner! Why not to bring a CD with Ukrainian music. What a surprise for a foreigner will be to note Ukrainian “Shchedryk” among musical compositions (the Christmas music used in the Home alone movie).
In fact, a great number of stereotypes about Ukraine and Ukrainians come from the former Soviet Union. For instance, the stereotype about the cold country. The Northern part of Russia is cold, but Ukraine has a soft climate with the hot summer and snowy winter, wet autumn, and warm spring. Another stereotype with the roots from the former Soviet Union is radiation. Foreigners know about Chernobyl and there is a great number of those, who believe that all the country is still polluted with radiation.
And probably the worst and the most annoying thing a foreigner may think of a Ukrainian is that he or she is Russian. This may appear to be the most popular one among all the existing myths about Ukrainians.
STEREOTYPES ABOUT UKRAINIAN WOMEN
Ukrainian women are beautiful. This statement is difficult to prove or to disprove. Ukrainian girls are different, that’s true. The thing is that Ukrainian ladies take care of their appearance, even if it can damage their health with years. They love beautiful clothes, they enjoy wearing dresses, they wear makeup everywhere, they often wear high heels (although heels are not so popular in Ukraine, as they used to be several years ago).
Another Ukrainian women stereotype is that they are totally dependent on their men. Ukrainian women are far from gender equality. However, nowadays there is a great balance, as the rules are neither too strict nor too easy to follow. What I mean is that Ukrainian women still appreciate when men help them to carry heavy bags, offer a sit in transport or hold doors for them. At the same time, they have the same chances to get the job in IT or engineering, as men do. Thus, there is a growing percentage of Ukrainian girls choosing IT and Engineering, although that does not mean they are becoming less womanly.
Speaking about the level of education, Ukrainian single women are best in balancing between family and career. It is exciting, how educated and talented Ukrainian women are cooking and spending time with their families. So, another Ukrainian girls stereotype is that they do nothing but take care of their husbands and kids. All in all, it is better to consider Ukrainian women as both work- and family-oriented. This makes Ukrainian girls for dating even more popular among foreign men.
DISSOLVING MYTHS ABOUT UKRAINIAN WOMEN
The most dissolving myths about Ukrainian women are those which affect their dignity. Some foreigners believe that Ukrainian women consider marriage as an opportunity to never work but spend money a working husband earns. This is nonsense. First of all, this behavior cannot be included into Ukrainian women national identity, as it is not a character feature or a national feature. This is more about individual behavior. But name a nation that lacks criminals or scammers. Just get to know a real Ukrainian woman and you will understand how beautiful she is both inside and outside.
One more dissolving myth is that every foreigner who visits a night club will 100% find a girl willing to spend a night with him just because he is a foreigner and he buys a drink for her. Not even close! The hookup culture is dead. The myth comes from the 1990s when a foreigner in Ukraine was a rare visitor, and girls were literally falling in love with them, hoping that someone will take them to a better life abroad.
A great number of Ukrainian women want to marry a foreigner and to move abroad because of better living conditions and opportunities. I cannot say that it is false, case it’s not. But who does not want a better life for themselves and their families? Ukrainian women believe it is a must for them to make sure that their children won’t be hungry or that they will be able to provide them with education. It is more care than greediness.