Ukrainian Cultural Dolls

In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant
A boy and girl doll both dressed up in traditional Ukrainian attire.
A boy and girl doll both dressed up in traditional Ukrainian attire.

The photo attached is of a boy and a girl doll dressed up in traditional Ukrainian attire. The shirts are called "Vyshyvanka" or in translation simply an embroidered folk shirt which go with matching pants and even shoes. These dolls can be used to symbolize both my mother and father in Ukraine and being at "home" at the time. Life in Ukraine for them was like being in a close knit family and community as the city they lived in, Ivano-Frankivsko, was not a very big city. My dad worked as an electrician, while my mom owned a hair salon. It wasn't until after my sister was born in 1993 that my dad decided that it was time to make a better life for themselves after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. My dad had won a Green-card and immigrated alone to America in 1995. In 1996 my mom came over to America with my baby sister. After years of working I came to be in 1998 being the first generation American in the family. Since then my dad had found a job being an electrician while my mom now works in medical billing. What never changed in my family is our culture that we had brought over including these two dolls that had also survived the journey for over two decades now. Even though most of my immediate family is still in Ukraine, we had made a new home in NYC and became part of a Ukrainian enclave in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Since our immigration to the United States, quality of  life has improved for us but most of our culture has remained intact with some integration with the new cultures that we had found in NYC but for the better.


Place(s): Ukraine
Year: 1996

– I.B.

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant