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

“Nations are not formed from languages but from the experience of everyday interactions”

News2016-04-02

Yaroslav Hrytsak writes that Maria Levitska, a sociologist from Warsaw, already during the Orange Revolution conducted a survey of three western and three eastern regions on how they relate to Ukraine and how do they relate to one another.

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The survey showed that in the case of the West, one can really speak of one region. However, there was nothing like that in Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, and Kharkiv regions. Each one loved itself – and nobody except the people from Donetsk loved Donetsk. A particularly strong dislike existed between the people from Dnipropetrovsk and those from Donetsk (results of this survey can be seen on the site uamoderna.com).

He also told about his experience, when a few weeks before the so10 presidential elections he was in Dnipropetrovsk. He was struck by the disrespect expressed towards “the Donetsk people” among the younger businessmen with whom at that point he was communicating. They reminded him that in 2004, most votes for Yushchenko came from the business-elite sections of the city. Not because they liked Yushchenko. They simply could not stand Yanukovych.

However, for Lviv – this is simply a fantasy. “In Lviv they are used to trust more philologists and poets. And those firmly hold on to the belief that there were Ukrainian is not spoken, there cannot exist a real Ukraine,” writes Yaroslav Hrytsak. Lviv residents enthusiastically embrace this belief.

True – not all; wise people exist everywhere. My impression is that their ranks, especially due to the influence of the Maidan, are growing fast.

Yaroslav Hrytsak writes that the example of the philologists and literary figures, reminds him of the anecdote from the times of Hegel which related that when one asked a German what is a camel, then he shuts himself in his office and will contemplate the characteristics of a camel, starting from the characteristics of Absolute Spirit. “Our philological Ukrainian scholars know and think about Eastern Ukraine, almost in the same manner as that German about the camel,” added the professor.

“Nations are not formed by language, but from the experience of everyday interactions,” writes Yaroslav Hrytsak. “Ukraine has to be stitched together by trains and cheap airlines, because stereotypes become parasites at a distance while journeys teach,” summarized the professor.