Я український

apparently, big hats are di lestrade’s division

I’ve been catching up with CNN’s take on the crap that’s going on in Ukraine.

(Note: I grew up hearing it called / calling it The Ukraine. I read - somewhere - that Ukies don’t like it being called The Ukraine. I’ll try to remember that from here on out.)

The comments on some of the articles are enlightening… and disturbing.

Somewhere, there was a not-so-friendly discussion about monarchies and democracies and other government types. Then, it devolved into an argument over grammar and semantics. By the time they finally circled back to the original topic (Crimea joining Russia), it had gotten all the way to Quebec leaving Canada because they wanted to be ‘More French”. (Not my caps, btw.)

I can’t follow the logic. I want to understand, because some of the commenters were well versed in their history and politics and grammar, but the idiots spouting their opinions made it hard. (For what it’s worth, you could almost tell the ‘muricans simply based on their spelling. And I’m not talking about favour / favor.)

But anyhoo…

I grew up knowing that I was Ukrainian. My grandparents’ home was filled with things you’d recognise as Ukrainian: the yellow and blue flag, the trident, wooden pysanky... they cooked Ukrainian food, they spoke Ukrainian and so forth.

There was never ever any doubt that I was, I AM, Ukrainian.

I’ve mentioned it before - I wasn’t brought up Ukrainian. My only exposure to it was through my grandparents. My mother ignored who she was in our house. There were a few Ukie things visible, but by and large, we were Americans.

After my father died, I went on this quest to figure out who I was. I decided then that I wanted to learn Russian because I knew a lot of Ukies spoke Russian and it was easier to find someone to teach me.

I was still speaking to my aunt at that point, and I got a very rough version of the family history. Including a chewing out for even THINKING about learning Russian.

I got just enough useful information to search for my grandparents’ social security number applications. I found my mother’s birth certificate.

And then I promptly forgot all about needing to know who I was.

I reconnected with an old friend several years ago who is everything I wanted to be: active in her ethnic community, fluent in the language, et cetera. While the friendship has long since ended (again), she awoke a desire in me to reconnect with my Ukrainian side. I joined the UNWLA’s Boston chapter for a short while. Reached out to the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Bought software and apps to teach myself Ukie.

And then life got in the way and I had other things I needed to focus on.

A year ago, our talks about moving to the UK suddenly took on a life of their own.

Since I can prove European descent, it fell on me to try to get EU citizenship. (Tier two visas aren’t easy to come by.) If I could establish EU citizenship, I could cross borders without a visa and bring him over on a spousal visa.

First came German citizenship, since I have my mother’s German birth certificate.

Not German.

I dug a little deeper and found immigration documents stating that my grandparents and mother were Polish. (Including the social security documentation.)

Not Polish.


As if there were any doubt, but shifting borders and whatnot made it…. interesting.

And here I am.

Tomorrow, I put down the deposit on my Ukrainian lessons.

Tomorrow, I begin the journey to discover what my mother fought so hard to ignore.

Things are about to get interesting.


Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/08 at 09:04 PM
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