The following drawing won the competition for the best image that should represent Ukraine on the Ukrainian Google page:
The whole thing is just offensive. I have the following questions to ask of the creators of this monstrosity:
1) Why is a church positioned right in the midst of the picture? Religion plays a very insignificant role in the lives of the absolute majority of Ukrainians.
2) Why is the church Russian Orthodox and why is its architecture so obviously Russian? Churches in Ukraine don’t look like that, not even in the heavily Russianized Eastern part of the country. Our Ukrainian churches look very different. They are not white. If one truly needed to stick a church in there, why not use an example of the amazing Ukrainian baroque in there?
Besides, among the puny number of people in Ukraine who practice a religion, many are Catholic. This isn’t a uniformly Russian Orthodox country.
3) Why is the man wearing sharovary (the traditional folk costume that obviously has not been worn by anybody in the country for centuries)? Note that the woman has modern attire. What is the message here? That Ukrainian men are outdated and women are modern?
4) Also, why is the woman kneeling in this awkward position while the man is patting her down like a household pet? Have the creators of this crappy drawing actually met any Ukrainian families? Historically, this kind of dynamic never existed in Ukraine. As long as there has been Ukraine and records of its daily life have been kept, no evidence of this pathetic female subjection to the husband, the children and the church has existed.
5) Why is Ukraine presented as exclusively agrarian? The image of Ukraine as a country of peasants was promoted heavily in the USSR. Only the works of literature that were set in the country-side were allowed to be published. If, say, a 19-century author had written 5 novels set in a city and 3 short stories set in a village, only the short stories would be reprinted in the USSR and taught to school-children. This was part of a very successful effort of convincing Ukrainians that we were backwards, uncouth country bumpkins.
In reality, however, Ukraine has been industrialized for a very long time. The price we paid for that industrialization was enormously high. Millions of peasants were starved and the Ukrainian agriculture was all but destroyed. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Soviet government made efforts to retain Ukrainians in the country-side. People were not allowed to have their passports in their possession and couldn’t leave their villages. This didn’t work, however, and people of my mother’s generation fled the country-side in massive numbers.
This drawing fails to reflect anything whatsoever about Ukraine’s reality. The author of this piece should take this sad manifestation of a diseased subconscious to his or her analyst because while it lacks any artistic merit, its analysis might help this poor person get at least somewhat more stable psychologically.
The only positive thing about the picture is the letter “G” that reflects the colors of the gay flag and probably symbolizes the orientation of the country towards gay rights.