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Lviv

Lviv is a unique city, in which the history, culture, mentality of two worlds – the East and the West – are tolerantly merged

The story of one family

News2015-10-16

 

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Each summer the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, offers a course in Ukrainian language and culture, in either a three-week or six-week module. Applicants are divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced classes.

My family and I recently attended, my wife and daughter joining the advanced group, my grandchildren the intermediate, and myself the beginners.

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I found myself in a class of four, all adults, all highly motivated, and mutually supportive. We had 4 hours of class each morning, then lunch - supplied, and one-on-one tutoring with a native speaker in the afternoon. Our teachers and tutors were incredibly patient, and encouraging. Most evenings there were cultural events - visit to a music cafe, Potoczky Palace, museum, icon painting workshop, craft and toy making workshop, Ukrainian history, Plast, visit to the US army troops in Lviv, and a weekend trip to Yaramche in the Carpathian region.

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Each week saw us make a presentation- in Ukrainian - to the entire school. I thought if I couldn`t get the endings of all words correct at least I would give them a laugh, telling them that “Dobre Den” was “G`day mate” in Australian, whilst Kristine raised tears with singing “Ukrainu”. Our grandchildren did well and became friends with everyone.

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To keep us our toes, we also had an exam at the end of each week.

We stayed in an apartment in central Lviv, and soon learned which bus to catch for the 15 minute trip to the University - the cost was 4 hryvny - (about 25 cents), and also sampled the variety of restaurants, including the Lviv Chocolate Shop/

A graduation dinner was held in the Lviv Town Hall, and we each received certificates.

Our family was the largest family group there, and also had the oldest and youngest students. I cannot say just how much my grandson Alexander (the youngest) learned, but I am aware that his attitude to things Ukrainian has changed (as mine).

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A few students, not Australians, partied hard and missed some classes - moral of the story - if you are thinking of sending teenagers to Lviv to “learn some Ukrainian” - don`t! Go with them and join in - we can all improve! Following the course we made the most of week, touring the fortress towns of Kamianets-Podilsky, cruising on the Dnister river, Khotyn, Kolomia, Shashere and Yaremche - all thoroughly enjoyable, and adding to our sense of history, before leaving to spend a week in Paris and make a pilgrimage to Senlis.

 

By Dr. Martin Bailey, "Вільна Думка"