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Ukraine - Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture Paperback – September 5, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Culture Smart!
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Kuperard; Reprinted edition edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857333276
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857333275
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.5 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,503,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel - ...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel - ...full of fascinating, as well as common sense, tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas, Observer - ...as useful as they are entertaining, Easy Jet Magazine - ...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world, New York Times.

About the Author

ANNA SHEVCHENKO is a Ukrainian-born business development consultant specializing in cross-cultural issues, negotiation practices, and conflict management. She speaks seven languages, and has an M.Phil. degree from Cambridge University. Anna has worked with key government and decision makers in Britain and across the CIS. She has also interpreted for high-level government visits to the UK and for senior ministerial meetings at the EU in Brussels. Having worked in business development for a number of years for two major British corporations, she is now managing director of the British-based consultancy 3C Negotiations, and is the author of numerous articles and two books on cross-cultural communication

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Seth Poguelovelove on February 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book tries to intimidate readers regarding customs and superstitions but things are far more relaxed than the book made out to be.
As of my two Ukraine visits in 2011 and 2012, this book is outdated. The book says that clearing customs is very difficult and the customs agents are stone cold stern and foreigner-hating. This isn't true, customs was a snap, agents very nice and my bags were never even inspected either time on arrival to Kiev from U.S. and certainly not when flying within Ukraine. Traditions/superstitions info was also outdated - e.g. it is NOT required to keep up with the host's alcoholism/toasting; anyone, not just the toastmaster, can toast; the young people I spent time with rolled their eyes and laughed out loud at the book's advice on flower giving (number and colors), not opening windows in a train because of "drafts", and many other superstitions: the urban 20-somethings don't believe in this stuff anymore. Contrary to what the book said, money-changing in the cities is a snap, there's a place to do it on almost every block and they don't try to rip you off. I followed the book's advice on gentlemanly manners, holding doors open, standing when a lady stands etc - and it was over the top, the well-bred ladies I was with were noticeably embarrassed by such treatment; none of them were used to it. (Can't say it hurt anything though.) Contrary again to what the book says, nobody batted an eye when I went hatless in winter.
The above info might be useful in small western towns and around old folks, but useless in cities.
The rest of the book is adequate, but you don't need this book to learn it; any guidebook will do, e.g lonely planet beats it hands down re: useful info: where to stay, eat, what to see.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Darla S. Shannon on January 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I went to Kiev, Ukraine and villages surrounding Chernobyl from January 2-10. This book was a big help. I read it before I went and then took it to read on the plane. I learned not to whistle! They think it is calling the devil. The customs and etiquette guides were very helpful.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By izabel day on November 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
A great travel resource, I read this after a trip to Ukraine to better understand interactions we'd had. Boy, do I wish I had read it *before* traveling. I will make a point of seeking out country-specific books from this series to get a jump on transitioning to a new culture.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ABC on August 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This very small book (smaller format than a typical paperback, 168 pages, large font, double-spaced, big margins) is in fact only about half about "customs & culture". Instead, there are long chapters on very general travel and historical info -- the sort of thing easily available on Wiki or in the travel guide you also undoubtedly will have (I use Lonely Planet; I am in Ukraine now).

I read this little book in a couple hours, and while useful as a breezy history, there were only about 40 useful pages -- the best were the 18 pages of "Business Briefing" (the author is a business development consultant).

Additionally, don't belive that this is a 2012 book -- it was first published in 2005 and most of the travel info seems from then. The author refers to river ferries from Kiev (long cancelled) and lists websites last update in 2008.

Overall, don't let the low price fool you -- it's still not worth it. And, shame shame on the author, supposedly an M.Phil. from Cambridge and speaker of 7 languages, for putting her name on such a deceptive little book -- I would have loved 168 pages of "customs & culture" from her, but that's not in here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By king on November 4, 2010
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thorough and detailed, do not go to ukraine before you read it, it has very funny jokes, i guess there are ukanian cultural ones.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. Pendleton on January 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book, based on other reviews, before travelling to the Ukraine. It was very helpful. I recommend reading it in advance of your trip. And, do remember to bring it along.

This book met or exceeded my expectations in all areas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Thayer on June 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rather than using wards like dearth, know that a plasma is not a cake, nor kutcha a soup. As a Ukrainian-American, I know that those items are dead wrong. This makes me suspicious of the research and reliability of the rest of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By countga on August 17, 2014
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Some good info that I have confirmed with Ukrainians I know. However, it needs to be updated as soon as possible. A lot of things have changed in the Ukraine since this book was last published.
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