If you immerse yourself in Ukraine the longer you are here the more you will realise that most guys end up marrying a Ukrainian girl. Give it a few years and bingo! You have a child – apartment – car – small dog and can look forward to the in-laws coming around.
So, if you got married to a Ukrainian and intend to stay in the country for a long time, your spouse will help you to comprehend the ‘mystic Slavonic mentality’. Though the urban middle-class has been taking in western values gradually, the vast majority of residents (especially in the countryside) are only aware of European/American lifestyles by watching movies and TV soap-operas.
The Ukrainians are very family-conscious. And that is a double-edged sword. On the one hand family members tend to look after each other, but historically this has developed into nepotism that extends throughout all society. Top-range politics, business and even ordinary personal problems that need to be sorted out are powered by ‘blood’ and marital links. So, to feel comfortable here you will need to have either a partner plugged into Ukrainian reality or be happy instead to reside in the expats’ community.
If you have a stable job and the will to survive the niggling problems that abound, Ukraine is not a bad place to raise your kids, adapting them to the local peculiarities. On the other hand, if you wish they were brought up in classical European or American tradition, it might turn into a real task in Ukraine. Ukraine is still between West and East, trying to sit down on two chairs at one time.
The language may seem to be the main obstacle both for your spouse and children to socialize here. Only a limited number of local housekeepers speak foreign languages and kids of premium+ class mostly are being taught it from very childhood. That complicates communication with the neighbours, the ‘playground’ community, service providers….etc. To exchange useful practical advice the robust Expat female mini-communities cannot be underestimated.
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