Starting off on the wrong foot could land your
leather-shod paw in your mouth.
When in Ukraine, do as
well-behaved foreign guests do. If you are a Western man who
is visiting Ukraine for the first time to meet his Ukrainian woman
friend, you may find the entire experience confusing. A little
knowledge of Ukrainian customs and etiquette could go a long
way towards impressing that special Ukrainian woman.
Below are a few rules of etiquette that could save you a lot
of embarrassment and trouble:
Visiting the home of a Ukrainian woman
When you get invited to the home of a Ukrainian woman
friend’s family, be sure to bring a gift. Sure, you can never
go wrong with a bottle of wine or a cake, but a gift that
represents your home country would be greatly appreciated by
your Ukrainian woman
friend’s family. Give your presents a little more thought than
usual; don’t just grab the first thing you see at the
duty-free shop. It is customary to bring a bouquet of flowers,
and when you do, make sure the flowers are not yellow and the
number of stems is odd (uneven).
Greeting a Ukrainian
Do not shake hands across the threshold of a door. It is
considered bad luck. Ukrainian women and
men are a friendly lot, so don’t be impatient if they use a
lot of time introducing themselves. Ukrainian women
consider it unfeminine to shake hands when they meet. In
formal situations, shake hands when being introduced or
introducing yourself. When shaking hands, remove your gloves.
Take off your shoes upon entering your Ukrainian woman
friend’s home. To keep their homes clean and free of dirt, Ukraine
women and men change into a pair of slippers once inside
the house. Most hosts provide their guests slippers, but even
if you are not given any, do not insist on walking inside the
place of residence with your shoes on.
Dressing up for dinner with a Ukrainian woman
Dress appropriately. Casual dress is recommended when
eating dinner at the home of your special Ukraine woman. Note
that “casual” does not mean dressing for a heavy metal concert
or a day at the beach. You need not show up in elaborate or
showy finery, either, unless the occasion specifically calls
for your Sunday best. Classic business casuals like dress
slacks and button-down oxfords may get the stamp of approval
of your Ukraine woman’s
Table manners at the home of a Ukrainian woman
Graciously accept all food and drink offered by your
Ukrainian hosts. Ukrainian women and
men are known for treating their guests like royalty. Turning
down food may offend Ukraine women and
men’s generous hospitality.
Offer to share your snacks and cigarettes with those around
you. Remember how your mother used to tell you that it’s
always good to share? Ukraine women and
men believe mothers know best, too.
Honoring Ukraine women with
As a dinner guest, be prepared to give toasts. Ukraine
women and men are earnest toastmasters, and it is
acknowledged that the toasting follows a traditional pattern.
The hosts gets to make the first toast, usually in honor of
the guest. The guest reciprocates the honor by making the
second toast. The third toast is given in celebration of Ukrainian women,
such as the women in the household, and female friends and
Be prepared to be kissed by your host one
to three times as you greet and depart. Kissing is a ritual
gesture of greeting and well-wishing among Ukraine women and
men. Be careful when puckering up, though. Never kiss a Ukraine
woman on her forehead. The act of kissing someone on her
forehead is reserved for funerals.