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Nadiya Horoshko
Photo: Yuliya Melnyk
Personally, I think that we must appreciate our own culture, be proud of it and also take the best features from America and other Western countries.

 

What We Borrow and What Else
We Can Borrow From America

Nadiya Horoshko from Ukraine

Kirovohrad State Pedagogical University

School of Ukrainian and Russian Languages

During the last 5-7 years the influence of American culture has been becoming more obvious and appreciable in Ukraine. This tendency can be observed in our language more clearly than in any other spheres of our life. Many words appeared that we had not known before. We lived in a closed society and did not know about many phenomena and did not see many things, often even did not hear about their existence.

Our language becomes richer, many things come from other countries, new words appear. The Internet and satellite TV are more advanced in the West, so getting new technologies, we should accept plenty of English words (browser, HTML, web design, etc.). Watching TV, we learn much new about Western types in different TV programs that we have not seen before. Various TV talk-shows, lotteries, soap-operas (Dynasty, Santa Barbara, etc.), and the show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? were not available during Soviet times. However, we have not only advantages, but many disadvantages from these programs, as many people become really obsessed by them. They are so involved in the events of the soap-operas which they see that they pay much less attention to their own life and work.

I would like to say a few words about one value of American society which I dream will become common for Ukrainian society, which we still do not have. I mean privacy. Our teacher told us a lot about it, and I also read about it. In America it can be considered impolite when somebody asks a person whom he doesn’t know well about his money, religion, etc. For this reason, people usually do not ask. In our country it is common to ask how much a person (or his relatives) earns, how much his sweater costs and where he has bought it. Even if you do not want to answer, it is difficult not to answer in order not to hurt the person who asks. When anybody gets money from an ATM, passers-by come and stand near him, observing. Perhaps, this is because we did not have ATMs several years ago. Our society is still mostly a cash-society.

But we have too much privacy for our politicians. When an American president or a candidate for the Presidency is sick or has surgery, the nation knows about it. When a senator does not attend the sessions in the senate, people who have elected him get this information. But that is not the case in our country. I would like our society to borrow this feature from Americans.

In conclusion, I would like to say that we have many advantages and disadvantages of Western influence on Ukraine and more of them are still ahead, waiting for us in the future. Personally, I think that we must appreciate our own culture, be proud of it and also take the best features from America and other Western countries. If we do this, we will live much better and our nations will become closer.


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