Ukrainian R&R

15:56, 17 January 2013
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Every second Ukrainian complains of the lack of diversity of cultural pastime activities in their lives, yet chooses to do nothing to change the situation. A sociology-based KW article tries to give a broader picture and see why Ukrainians grow into a couch-potato nation.

Most Ukrainians spend their free time passively and at home. Only 1/3 of Ukrainians go out. The rest prefer watching TV (86% of the respondents), having guests (45.6%) or doing absolutely nothing (33%), the Cultural Practices and Cultural Policy analytical report by the Sofia Center found. TV is Ukrainians’ second best friend.

On weekdays over 40% of Ukrainians watch TV for more than 3 hours a day. On weekends this number increases to 2/3 of the entire population. Ukraine is one of the leading countries in Eastern Europe in terms of the number of TV-maniacs. Evening news takes first place (for the majority of Ukrainians television is the main source of information). News is followed by Russian and Soviet films, entertainment shows, Ukrainian and Russian TV series and foreign feature films. Only 13–24% of Ukrainians watch educational programs.

Also More than 10 million Ukrainians spend their time in front of PCs and laptops on a regular basis. The overwhelming majority cannot live without social networks giving preference to chatting on-line with friends over going out to some cultural events and meeting people in person.

Reading is another popular pastime among Ukrainians. People mostly read newspapers and magazines – more than 45% of population read them at least once a week. However, Ukrainians do not like reading books: less than 1/5 of the population read them on a regular basis and most of them are urban residents.

Only 22% of Ukrainians manage to go to the movies a few times a year. 14% of the population goes to concerts and shows. If to take a look at the cultural aspect, the picture is even gloomier as More than 60% of Ukrainians have never once been to an opera or ballet in their lives. Only every second Ukrainian has listened to live classic or jazz music. 1/3 of the population has never been to an art exhibition and ¼ have never seen theater performances or even folk music and dance concerts.

So, are the Ukrainians are too shy to go out, or too cash-strapped to pay for a more quality recuperation.

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