What Makes Ukrainian Culture Interesting


Ukrainian culture dates back further than one may think. It reaches back to European Antiquity via Greek settlements along the Black Sea and Scythian art, as well as to Byzantine culture via Orthodox Christianity and medieval cathedrals. It was influenced by the Baroque symbolism, ideals of the Enlightenment, and passions of Romanticism.

In UkraineWorld’s book “Ukraine in Histories and Stories”Volodymyr Yermolenko mentions an interesting peculiarity of how Ukraine fits, or doesn’t fit, into European cultural cycles: “The classical modern European cultural cycle looks like the sequence of “rational” and “irrational” eras: “rational” Renaissance, then religious “irrational” Baroque, then “rational” Enlightenment, and then “irrational” Romanticism. But the key points in the development of Ukrainian culture were the “irrational” eras: 17th century Baroque and 19th century Romanticism. During the Renaissance era these lands lost a certain distinctiveness as a result of Polish expansion. The Enlightenment era was also related to the loss of autonomy — on this occasion under pressure from the Russian Empire.

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