Interacting With Ukrainians

Video Transcript

I mean, Americans do have a reputation for being friendly and Ukrainians recognize that. But they don't necessarily smile; they don't necessarily say 'good morning' or 'good afternoon' on the street. You have to pretty much get to know a Ukrainian to have that type of relationship. You know, in the United States, we will say 'good morning' to people we've never met before. Don't expect that on the street in Kyiv. The family unit, the friend network, they are very giving, very friendly, very open, but they're also very closed to the outside world and there's a historical background to that. You know, you grow up in a society like the Soviet Union—and I know a lot of them didn't grow up in it, but their parents did—and it's kind of ingrained in the culture, you kind of keep things to people you trust and people you know

A retired military service member discusses cultural attitudes towards outsiders.