Ukraine Travel

What I bought from Ukraine

I want to share what I bought from Ukraine. In the post I will describe the items, as some of them have a very special meaning. I also received some gifts that I will mention at the end of the post.

vyshyvanka for women

Vyshyvanka is the Ukrainian traditional shirt. The Vyshyvanka is seen as a talisman, protecting the person wearing it by the person who crafted it. As this kind of shirts are thousands of years old, it is natural for the shirts to have some meaning. The design also differs according to where it was made.

The black & red one is mine and the one in the picture below is my husband’s. Today is Vyshyvanka Day, every year on the third Thursday of May, hence why I’m publishing this post now. I will also use this shirt on a special day, on Sunday. We both like the traditional shirts very much. They are a bit similar to the Romanian ones, but different nonetheless. The red string is to be used as a belt.
Vyshyvanka Day started in 2006 by Lesia Voroniuk, a student at Chernivtsi University. She suggested to choose one day to wear vyshyvankas as a group. From a few dozen students and faculty members participating in the first year, it grew into a holiday in all parts of Ukraine and also got traction in the Ukrainian diaspora around. A weekday was chosen because it was meant to be a celebration of everyday life and not a remembrance of an old tradition. Non-Ukrainians are encouraged to wear one to show support for Ukraine, but if you want to buy one, make sure you are buying from an Ukrainian maker/shop.

vyshyvanka for men

T-shirts for women

T-shirts that I bought and already worn. I like all three very much. The black decoration on black is not as noticeable, so I can wear it at university without being too obvious. The embroidery motifs on the third one are so cute. I loved this kind of decorations, I saw candles and mugs with it. But I wanted something I can wear and I’m very happy with this one.

T-shirts for men

T-shirts that my husband got. Like me, he wanted something that is not as obvious, which makes it perfect for everyday use.


Dodo socks, something that I wanted to buy for a while now. I knew that I will go to Ukraine at some point, so I’ve decided to wait and get them from the shop and not order them online. I got 2 NAFO pairs and an F-16 pair. My husband went for the burning Kremlin design.

scarf and mug

I also got a Dodo scarf and a beautifully decorated espresso mug.


I bought some jewellery as well. Firstly, I got a pair of vintage wheat. I am studying the famine and wheat is a symbol, so I want to wear these silver earrings when I graduate.

The other three pair of studs were bought for different reasons. The cotton ones because it is a symbol of the russo-Ukrainian war. The bavovna symbol. The russians use ‘clap’ instead of ‘explosion’ to make it sound less important and in Ukrainian clap and cotton are phonetically similar, thus cotton is a symbol of resistance in Ukraine, as they are mocking the russians. When I bought my bavovna earrings I told the lady that I wanted bavovna and she smiled happily, understanding my support. I also got a pair of studs in the Ukrainian flag colours because I do wear them sometimes, especially if I go to events on Ukraine where I am dressed plainly.
In addition, I bought a pair of studs because they just looked lovely, the white and pink flower ones.

In the background, blurred, is a pin with a wheat and the word ‘free’ in Ukrainian. I got 2 more similar pins as gifts.


We got some chocolate, one for us, and the rest were given as gifts. We have some people in UK who support Ukraine and we knew they will appreciate a small gift brought from there.


These are the gifts I received from friends in Ukraine. I love the cat in Ukrainian colours, isn’t it sweet? Also, the earrings are just beautiful. I love this kind of earrings and I have quite a few from Ukraine now. The coffee was a very special gift too.

7 Comment

  1. I loved learning about the importance and relevance of the items you bought. Your research is super impressive. I especially liked learning about the Vyshyvanka shirt – wondering where to buy one from particularly if one wanted to support Ukranian artisans/makers?
    The socks are really clever!
    Realising I have a LOT of posts to catch up on from you so may have to come back and read them a few at a time as I want to read them properly to do them justice.
    Hope you are well!

    1. There are a few Ukrainian brands in UK, but as far as I know they go to events. As I knew that I will go to Ukraine, I wanted to buy one from there. Online a good place to get stuff from Ukraine is etsy, with the filter for country. I bought from etsy artwork that I printed (made Christmas cards too), jewellery. There are a lot of other things, including Vyshyvankas.

  2. I love the things you bought, especially the black and red shirt and the embroidered one, both of which are lovely. I always hit the grocery stores, too!

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