Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ukrainian girls

For many people who come to Ukraine the girls are actually one of the main attractions. I admit the subject has also caught my attention a few times. I know a girl who gets in contact with many of the (few) Americans and Italians who visit Kharkov for pleasure and they tell her that they come for 'cheap prices and beautiful girls'. I am not to judge what is beautiful but many girls in the streets are definitely dressing in a very feminine way. Even though Kharkov's sidewalks can be quite 'uneven' - not to say full of holes - and even though surprisingly many girls work with computers (keyboards), the standard outfit of these girls include high heels and long nails, and often also a very short skirt and a lot of make up. To an American like Tom this is especially unusual, he says that some clothes which are normal here no-one in America would be wearing but prostitutes. So for some foreigners it may seem that Ukrainian girls are very promiscuous but for what I can judge it is not the case, like many things in Ukraine the way girls are treated and act is in fact a bit old fashioned. Like in Denmark some years ago men and women have each their specific roles. I guess women have to be good cooks because practically none of the Ukrainian guys I have met have any idea about cooking (which especially shows when I am discussing with my colleagues the quality of cooking in the various cafes we are visiting). However, all money issues are for the guys to handle. I remember one time we were in a taxi with a girl in front and (old) Jeppe handed the girl some money to pay the driver, the Ukrainians found this quite peculiar.

One thing I found hard to get used to is that even though Ukrainian guys are very fond of shaking hands you will usually never shake hands with a girl. And some times I have seen Ukrainian guys almost blush if someone mistakenly (or some dumb foreigner) is swearing when a woman is overhearing. One other thing I find somewhat old fashioned is the way that many guys and even girls are often talking/dreaming about cars. I think a nice car and some flowers from one of Kharkov's very numerous flower shops can considerably increase one's popularity with some Ukrainian girls.

As for the way Ukrainian girls dress I guess it is also somewhat similar to the way girls used to be dressing in Denmark 30-40 years ago. However I don't think it has ever been so sexually explicit as here. I think only ever will it be normal in Ukraine to have half naked girls dancing on the stages in regular clubs. And I think it could only be here that I would work in an IT company where several of the female employees practise strip tease as a hobby. I wonder why that is, if it has anything to do with the main Western cultural influence on Ukraine being soft porn R&B music videos.

There is one girl with an interesting outfit.

I would have liked to show more pictures of Ukrainian girls, but it is rude to make pictures of strangers. So instead this is a picture from the giant Barabashova 'clothes-and-everything-else market', it shows the different lengths of skirts the girls can choose from, not much of a selection really.

Shoes seem to be a good place to apply some bling bling.


Alex said...

so where r u from, such an "expert" in ukrainian girls?ay?

Søren said...

I'm from Denmark. Where are you from?

Gaelic Girl said...

Hej Soren, Hvordan har du det?
I hope i got it right.
Interesting observation. I am amaze how well you describe the women in Ukraine. It's not geared into something that many questionable men writes. I think that women in Ukraine represents a certain cultural facet that should be studied further. Many women most especially in the develop countries are trying to be equal with men. They spend so much effort to prove what men do, women can do as well. Based on your blog the women-UA are just being themselves indulging into the most powerful weapon that they have 'beauty'.
Is it true that the women over there is so appealing that they are becoming one of the most important resource in the country? .. (No sarcasm intended). They are dub as the most beautiful women in the world. What is the basis for this?
Anyway, Thanks.. enjoying your blog a lot. Fremragende.

Søren said...

Hej, det går fint tak:)
I think most Danish women would not think that men and women are equal if women have to use their appearence to get (men to give them) what they want.. as i wrote, the culture in America - and also Denmark - even is so that if a woman is dressing up like what is normal in Ukraine people would think she is dumb or somehow 'for sale'..
but what is interesting is that there are many women in the Ukrainian software business (many more than in Denmark) and they don't seem to feel they have to look like men to do men's work, I have met some which i think could also have been working as models..
I don't know why that is, but I hope they can manage to have more equality and still keep such contrasts. The contrasts - between women and men, new and old, rich and poor - is what makes Ukraine very vibrant but, I guess, also the root of some problems..

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dmytro said...

Yes we do have different roles for men and women. E.g. in a family, "husband" is a man's role, and "wife" is a woman's role.

It's weird to me that Europe and the USA are gradually losing that separation.

Rajesh said...

Hi Soren,

Interesting to read this blog entry :)

I myself have been always amazed with the potrait of Ukranian girls that are shown to us in media. However, the ones I have met in Denmark are just as normal as the Danish girls I must say.

The one thing that I find interesting when comparing the manner in which different parts of the world have developed, it seems much like a Venn Diagram to me with many interacting circles. I'll explain why.

India for example still has the "traditional stuff" that you and other commenters here mention i.e. a man's role is defined and a woman's role is defined. India is not a modern country in the literal sense as the West. Girls in India would seldom wear short skirts on the streets, leave alone having high heels and other attractives. I don't condider this old fashioned, one cannot judge it that way; it can only be considered to be a culture. A proud culture where women like to respect certain boundaries.
In the West this would be acceptable.
In Ukraine (or East European countries), what surprises me most is the amazing blend of cultures. Women could still walk on the streets like this and they have not lost the family values yet. They are still family oriented and women have certain roles in the family or in public, as you also mention.

Well, this is just one part of the Venn Diagram, but it is true that every culture adapts something from other cultures, and that's what makes a culture rich.

India has always been a multicultural society, with lots of foreign powers inspiring or reshaping the way people think there. Anyway, that's a different thing.

Søren said...

it would be nice to go 'study' India sometime..:)
sure, it's more of a culture thing - from my point of view Ukraine just seems old fashioned because I believe some things are like they used to be in Denmark - and probably Ukraine are moving towards what Denmark is like now - but who nows, maybe in the future Denmark will be more like Ukraine - then you can say Ukraine is actually very futuristic..!:)

Daniel Alter said...

I don't think the way girls in Ukraine dress is related to being old fashion or modern, I think its more related to being feminine. The old east block has not been altered by the extremes of feminism so these girls still look like girls unlike western women who dress like men. (My opinion only).