One other very noticable thing about the Ukraine, was the feeling of being surrounded by needlework. They still keep and use needleworked things in their daily lives and traditions.
From the traditional rushnyky, which is made or chosen by the bride and will protect the home and insure the prosperity and fertility of the inhabitants of the household,
and wall hangings in the wedding hall,
to gifts from the bride's mothers and grandmothers, there is an air of being surrounded by tradtion and hand made and quality. I received a beautiful handmade tablecloth from the bride's mother. Really quite stunning.
And from the bride's grandmother, oh my, real linen for a bed. Not cotton with a per square inch count, not cotton and polyester, but real honest to goodness linen. Quality linen. Linen that you just know is going to wear for years and years. Its the kind of thing that we can't even find here for on tables without spending huge amounts of money, and I am not so sure we'd be able to find it at all for bedding here.
Linen. Real. Beautiful. Linen. sigh. I'm really quite overwhelmed by the gifts. Seriously overwhelmed.
They may be a country in financial hard times, but honestly, they still have quality in a way we can only remember in the fog of time. Sometimes progress and access to everything isn't all that it is cracked up to be.