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Top five national symbols of Ukraine

Top five national symbols of Ukraine
Translated by: Christine Chraibi

Something Ukrainian: encrypted charms in our national costumes, one of the oldest currencies in the world, mellow sounds of the Ukrainian Carpathians and the brilliant perfection of Scythian treasures.


Number 5: HRYVNIA

Hryvnia – the national currency of Kyivan Rus and independent Ukraine. It was widely used by Prince Volodymyr the Great. The hryvnia was the general currency in Rus until the 14th century. The official hryvnia went into circulation on August 25, 1996.

In 2008 and 2013, the Aesthetics Commission of the International Financial Bank in Switzerland ranked the hryvnia (UAH) as the most beautiful currency in the world.


Number 4: TREMBITA

Trembita – The longest musical instrument in the world that echoes the heart and soul of the Carpathians. Its unique tones resound for kilometers. The entire life of Hutsuls used to be tied to its deep sounds. The Trembita announced the transhumance period (movement of livestock between higher pastures in summer and lower valleys in winter), deaths and births. It invited locals to weddings and played Christmas carols.



The Scythian pectoral – a unique find in the 20th century, equated to the discovery of Tutankhamun’s treasures. It weighs more than one kilo and is made of high quality gold.



Petrykivka – traditional decorative painting that has fascinated 600 experts from 95 countries. It was  included on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on December 5, 2013.  The renowned painting technique was turned into a national artistic brand.



Embroidery has been part of Ukrainian life since ancient times. Herodotus wrote that Scythian clothing was decorated with intricate embroidery; Volodymyr Monomakh’s sister organized the first school of embroidery in the 11th century. Women’s shirts are made from hemp or flax. Each region has its own unique patterns.

The embroidered shirt has become very popular since independence – a visual means of expression and national pride.





Translated by: Christine Chraibi
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