What to bring from Ukraine: 15 gift ideas
Obviously we have nothing against magnets and postcards. Unless you are too bored of them, but still need/want to bring abroad some souvenirs from Ukraine, we have got good news for you: there are actually many interesting options.
Choosing gifts and souvenirs from overseas may seem to be fun, but at the same time, it may feel like going through hell. And don't get us started on doing this at home – in Ukraine, where everything seems familiar and mundane. But no panic – we have collected for you fifteen gift ideas from Ukraine for every taste and budget. Let's go!
1. Vyshyvanka (embroidered shirt)
So, let's start with the simplest one, cause everything ingenious is simple. Vyshyvanka is a great idea of a souvenir from Ukraine, because not only it is beautiful, it is also practical (no need to mention the deep meaning behind – after all, vyshyvanka is an important element of traditional Ukrainian culture). Why practical? Because nowadays blouses that look like our embroidered shirts are becoming more and more popular abroad. (And no, not only members of the diaspora wear them during the public Ukrainian holidays). Just a little advice: if you can, do not limit yourself choosing vyshyvankas at common touristic places as for instance Andriyivski Uzviz; there are so many brands in Ukraine that make high-quality beautiful embroidered clothes that will definitely become a great gift. You, of course, can also bring sharovary (traditional baggy trousers) as a gift but they will be suitable a little less than a good old vyshyvanka.
This is a necklace of coral beads on a string. One more element of the national Ukrainian clothes, which falls into the category of "not only beautiful but also practical." Well, korali is a unique piece of jewelry that will suit women anywhere, not only in Ukraine, but will also be recognizable as a Ukrainian gift.
You have probably thought that we are already done with garments, but we are not, maybe almost. Headscarf is another Ukrainian present that won't be gathering dust. There is a wide range of them: from traditional ones to more contemporary, more original options. Have a look at silver headscarves from the Dvoira brand, designs of which are based on Kyiv facades.
4. Petrykivka painting
Petrykivka is a Ukrainian folk painting, one of the hallmarks of Ukrainian culture abroad. Anything can be painted with Petrykivka: from a wall to a jug, but since you can't take the wall with you, it would be better to take something handy as a plate or a box.
Continuing the theme of Ukrainian applied art – motanka can also be an excellent souvenir. This is a knotted doll made of fabric, which was traditionally considered a talisman. Motankas can be easily found in almost all tourist spots, and there are enough craftsmen and craftswomen in Ukraine making them.
A purely Ukrainian souvenir for those who love beautiful little things with a meaning. Considering the fact that each ornament used in the painting has its own symbolism, such a gift can even serve as a special message. The best thing is that although pysanka is a common Easter symbol, it can be a nice present for all occasions. Mind it!
7. Traditional whistle
Zozulka, svystulytsia, svystul'ka … These are traditional whistles, usually made in the shape of a bird – they are easy to find in gift shops, and even easier – to hear when sellers play them to attract the attention of tourists. This is a cute little souvenir that children will especially enjoy. (Adults, as well, because we all have childish spirits inside!)
8. Hutsul carpet
Have got some free room in a suitcase? Take it and do not hesitate! Hutsul rugs are bright, authentic and can be quite compact. Moreover they look amazing not only in the interiors of Carpathian houses, but also in modern apartments anywhere in the world!
9. Woolen blanket from Yavoriv
You can put it in a suitcase next to the Hutsul carpet – this is a wonderful combo for a cozy and warm home. A handmade blanket with an authentic pattern is a rather rare thing, and besides, it is useful in any house (perhaps, except for very hot regions). As an alternative to the traditional blanket, you can consider interesting bed throws, which are increasingly appearing on the market. For example, like this plaid with a map of Kyiv on it from the Woolkrafts brand.
10. Home decor from "Vsi Svoi"
For those who prefer contemporary stuff, you may like to have a look at some home decor of Ukrainian brands. It's always interesting, fresh and well, why to hide the truth – motanky and pysankas are not the only ones! There are ceramics, textiles and wickerworks – there is definitely what to choose from and for every interior.
Nowadays you can easily find books in English about Ukraine, its cities and culture. Here you can find, Awesome Ukraine, Interesting Chernobyl, Kyiv by Locals. Don't also forget about luxury artbooks – both in Ukrainian and English (after all, the key point there is the visual). For example, the editions of "Chest. The Power of Things" or Soviet Modernism.
From here and till the end of the list – the best presents of all time! Yes, we are talking about food. No, it's not borshch, lard or horilka! Ukrainian sweets and chocolate will favorably represent both you and your country. Provided only if your friends abroad have a sweet tooth. And if they do, then either Roshen or Lviv Handmade Chocolate will come to hand.
13. Carpathian tea
Natural herbal tea from herbs collected in the Carpathians is a good gift as a memory from Ukraine. Probably, the target audience is gonna be those who are not into sweets and chocolate (but it's not 100%). Anyway, the range of tea is huge, as well as sweets, so no one will be disappointed!
It even could be some unusual honey. By the way, Ukrainian brand Med-Shmed produces honey and makes it unusual by adding other flavors such as cinnamon and vanilla, strawberries or chili peppers!
15. Dry jam
Have you heard of this? Kyiv dry jam is a jam without syrup, in fact – candied fruits. What a yum! Even the package itself would be a gift, and if there is something delicious inside, it is perfect!