A year in Dnepropetrovsk

An American volunteer in Ukraine

My very own yolka!


She’s little, but she’s still beautiful. As you can see, she’s a Christmas tree, except for the fact that there is no “Christmas” around here as we think of it in the States. New Year’s is Christmas and New Year’s, all rolled into one, but secular (there’s a religious holiday a week later, but really New Year’s is the big deal). Every family gets a yolka, whether Christian, Jewish, or other. I bought mine on Karl Marx Prospect (the main road of Dnepropetrovsk) off a street vendor for 20 grivnas (about $3). She’s really too small to decorate, but she fits nicely in my apartment, and she’s bringing me New Year’s cheer!


  Beth Aaronson wrote @

Now you are truly Russian!!!! Lena has been trying to explain this custom to me for years.

  Arkady wrote @

Happy New Year,
I love to read your writing, continue good job.

  Brett Chatz wrote @


Love the site.

Keep up the great work


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