Ukrainian Culture : Understanding the Country and Its People

Discover rich Ukrainian culture. Learn about how historical events and former imperial powers influenced its evolution.

What you will learn

The roots of the Ukrainian language and its relation to other Slavic languages

The primary values of Ukrainians and their impact on society

The influence of the Byzantine tradition and the Catholic world on Ukraine’s religious practices

The role of Ukrainian women in the country’s past and present

The impact of different civilizations, nations, and ethnic groups on Ukrainian cultural space

The roots of the myths about Ukrainians as a “nation of villagers” and interconnection between the urban and rural lifestyle in Ukrainian culture

Ukrainian food culture and its exposure to traumatic historical events

The cultural renaissance of the 1920s-1930s and the most prominent avant-garde artists

The influence of Russian war on Ukrainian culture

Some of the most famous figures of Ukrainian culture on the world stage


What comes to your mind when you think about Ukrainian culture? Traditional clothes? Maybe, a few artists or writers? But these are only a shadow of what Ukrainian culture truly represents.

In this short course, ten scholars from different fields present ten topics, covering the essential aspects of Ukrainian culture. Each devoted to a particular angle, these videos reveal how past events, including external political and cultural domination by imperial powers, have shaped Ukrainian society.

Understanding contemporary events requires awareness of the cultural and social foundations of modern Ukrainian society. The Ukrainian nation has been developing for centuries. External powers often challenged it, and its growth was defined by geography, cultural exchanges, and global events.

In addition to the video lectures, the course offers important primary and secondary sources. They are texts, videos, and online resources that touch upon a range of issues in Ukrainian culture. Each of them will help you form a balanced and nuanced view of Ukrainian culture, identities, and society.

Scholars from Ukraine will help you do that.

Dr Olha Dubchak (Lecture:: Ukrainian Language and Literature: Origins and Development), Ph.D. in Philology, Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief at Vikhola publishing house, writer

Prof Dr Vakhtang Kebuladze (Lecture: Freedom, Dignity, and Solidarity in Ukraine’s Culture ), Professor of Theoretical and Practical Philosophy at Taras Shevchenko National University (Kyiv, Ukraine) writer, and philosopher

Prof Dr Volodymyr Masliychuk (Lectures: Between Byzantine and Rome: Religion in Ukraine and Ukraine as Cultural Frontier), Doctor of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor of Early Modern History of Eastern and Central Europe, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Kyiv, Ukraine)

Dr Oksana Kis (Lecture: Ukrainian Women in History), historian and anthropologist, Ph.D. in History, Senior Research Associate, Head of the Department of Social Anthropology, Institute of Ethnology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and President of the Ukrainian Association for Research in Women’s History

Dr Ihor Lylo (Lecture: City and Village), historian, Doctor of Historical Sciences,, director of the NGO Institute of Galician Cuisine, a visiting professor at the Jagiellonian University (Krakow) and the University of California San Diego (CA, U.S.).

Dr Olena Braichenko (Lecture: Food in Ukrainian Culture), Ph.D in History, researcher in gastronomic culture, founder of an independent research and educational project Їzhakultura

Tetiana Filevska (Lecture: Avant-garde in Ukraine and the Legacy of the Executed Renaissance), creative director at the Ukrainian Institute, specialist in the field of modern art, cultural activist, researcher of Ukrainian art of the 20th century, curator of art projects

Dr Svitlana Biedarieva (Lecture: Ukrainian Art and War), Ph.D. in Art History (Courtauld Institute of Art), curator, and artist. Visiting Non-Resident Fellow at George Washington University and CEC ArtsLink, New York

Olena Huseinova (Lecture: Ukrainian Culture and the World ), writer, radio presenter and producer, head of the literary programs department at Radio Kultura (Suspilne, the public broadcasting company of Ukraine)

The concept of the course was developed by Tetiana Filevska, Creative Director, Ukrainian Institute and Dr Oleksandra Gaidai, Head of Academic Programs, Ukrainian Institute


  • Marc Raymond Wilkins, professional interpreter, director

Promo voice:

  • Oleksii Safin, professional interpreter

All visuals, photographs, and video materials are taken from open public sources and used exclusively for educational purposes.

The online course “Ukrainian Culture : Understanding the Country and Its People”  has been developed by the Ukrainian Institute and online education studio EdEra with the financial support of the International Renaissance Foundation.



Promo video

Promo video

Ukrainian Culture: Introduction to the Course


Ukrainian Language and Literature: Origins and Development

Additional Materials: Ukrainian Writers
Ukrainian Language and Literature

Freedom, Dignity, and Solidarity in Ukraine’s Culture

Useful Links
Freedom, Dignity, and Solidarity in Ukraine’s Culture

Between Byzantine and Rome: Religion in Ukraine

Additional Materials
Between Byzantine and Rome: Religion Practices in Ukraine

Ukrainian Women in History

Additional Materials: Books about Ukrainian Women
Ukrainian Women in History

Ukraine as a Cultural Frontier

Additional Materials: Literature
Ukraine as Cultural Encounter

City and Village

Additional Materials: Ukrainian Cities That Enjoyed Magdeburg Rights
City and Village

Food in Ukrainian Culture

Additional Materials: Dishes of Ukrainian Cuisine
Food in Ukrainian Culture

Avant-garde in Ukraine and Legacy of the Executed Renaissance

Additional Materials: Useful Links
Avant-garde in Ukraine and Legacy of the Executed Renaissance

Ukrainian Art and War

Additional Materials
Ukrainian Art and War

Ukrainian Culture and the World

Ukrainian Culture in the World

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