Posts Tagged ‘Kharkiv’

The Kharkov/Kharkiv circus! It is still popular today with kids and families. Tickets range between 20 and 100 hryvnias. For more information, check out this site.


Evstafiev-russian-circus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


New Kharkov Circus. Вид через реку Харьков



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It was one of the few cities in the Soviet Union that saw the performances of many top performers in one certain area of entertainment… Can you guess what type of performance it is? (Hint: Face makeup and props with jokes were heavily involved)

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Ready for Round 2? Instead of pairing together countries with similar food traditions, let’s look at two cities with vastly different culinary tastes. In this week’s edition, Kharkiv is in one corner representing Ukraine, and in the other corner is Liuzhou, the representative for China. Let’s get started!

Kharkiv, Ukraine

Ukraine has an abundantly vibrant food culture, to the point where picking out a few dishes to talk about is particularly difficult! So as not to ramble on indefinitely, I chose two main dishes that are essential for any Ukrainian cook.


For example, did you know that Borscht is a Ukrainian dish? A vegetable soup characterized by the main ingredients of: cabbage, beets, potatoes, onions, garlic, sour cream, and dill. There are millions of recipes out there for different types of Borscht, but there is no right way to make it. Nonetheless, it is a national soup of Ukraine! Here is one site, and another, that have more information about Borscht (with recipes).


Borscht with a side of bread is one meal Ukrainians eat. Another is Varenyky. Varenyky is similar to Polish pierogi, Italian ravioli, or Chinese wantons. They are pockets of dough filled with some form of stuffing. Common fillings are potato, potato and cheese, cottage cheese, blueberries, and cherries. Typically, Varenyky are boiled and served with onions and sour cream. Instead of ham or turkey, Varenyky are the traditional Christmas Eve meal in Ukraine. You can find a recipe here.

Liuzhou, China

Chinese food in the US can range from Kung Pao Chicken to Pork Fried Rice to fusion restaurants mixing Chinese dishes with those from another culture. Although it is not too surprising that the regional specialties of Liuzhou tend to be missing from these menus. Liuzhou, in general, is known for two foods: snails and dogs.

Yes, that does say dog. No, there will be no recipe provided for a dog-based dish. If you are visiting Liuzhou, no need to panic, you will not be served dog without your knowledge.

English: snail shell

Instead, let’s focus on the snail dish called Luosifen. Finding a recipe for this dish has proven rather difficult, as when you type the name into Google, it thinks you mean “Lucifer.” Luckily, there are a few sources that at least describe this dish. It is a snail soup with chili, vegetables, and rice noodles. Luosifen is considered a unique street food from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (which happens to be where Liuzhou is located). In a news article featuring a specialty restaurant called Mr. Luosifen, the ingredients are listed as: rice noodles, fermented bamboo shoots, dried turnip, and dried papaya. You can also add eggs stewed in snail soup or pickled beans. Here is more information about Mr. Luosifen and the other specialties they offer.

中文: 小籠包(上海市) 日本語: 小籠包 English: Xiaolongbao Bah...

Liuzhou’s location and diverse population mean that traditional foods differ between each household and each restaurant. Cantonese style cooking has been influential, with Dim Sum and Char Siu available on many menus. Hunan style cooking is also prevalent, with spicy chilies and garlic featuring in many meals. Households from the Dong and Miao minorities have separate specialty dishes that are also rather unknown in the US.

So as not to overwhelm everyone, I’ll leave a more in-depth search of these specialties for a later post.

Have a good day!


Liuzhou Eating

Cantonese Cooking

Hunan Cooking

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A fun-looking playset in Kharkiv, Ukraine!

Source: jacobms’ Flickr

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Hi everyone!

I decided that this week’s Friday Match will look at all of the soccer (or football) teams in Cincinnati’s Sister Cities. While American football is over for the year, football still has about half the season to go!

So, for all those sports fans, meet the teams:

AS Nancy-Lorraine (Nancy, France) – This team was founded in 1967 and currently plays in Ligue 1 (the top level) in France. Although they have never won the title in Ligue 1, they have won the Coupe de la Ligue on two different occasions (1978 and recently in 2006). Their records so far this season is 5 wins, 8 draws, and 9 losses with a goal difference of -7.

Would you like to see AS Nancy in action? Their home games are held at the Stade Marcel Picot, which actually isn’t in the city but rather is in Tomblaine.

 TSV 1860 München (Munich, Germany) – The full name of this team is Turn-und Sportverein München von 1860. This long name matches well with the long history of the team. Started in a pub in 1848, the team was banished due to the 1848 revolutions. So why the date 1860? That was the year TSV 1860 München was restarted. Since then, the team played in all the successive leagues up until the creation of the Bundesliga in 1963. They won the battle for a spot in the first ever Bundesliga season, but if you want to see a game today, you’ll have to settle for a match in the Second Bundesliga (the second tier). TSV 1860 München were relegated there in the 2003-04 season.

In the leagues they have won 10 champion titles, 2 German Cup wins, and 15 youth team championships. This season they have 11 wins, 2 draws, and 7 losses with a +14 goal difference.

The Allianz Arena is a football stadium in the...

FC Bayern Munich (Munich, Germany) – One of the most recognizable football teams to be on this list, Bayern Munich has 22 national titles and 15 cup wins under its belt. I’m almost at a loss what to write as the description, but I’ll take a note out of ESPN’s website’s book and state that FC Bayern Munich is generally considered the biggest and most successful club in Germany. Unlike TSV 1860, Bayern Munich was not involved in the founding of the Bundesliga, and their success truly began in the 1970s.

This team recently switched from playing in Olympic Stadium over to Allianz Arena (pictured above and which they share with TSV 1860). This season, they are tied for second in the Bundesliga with their current record being 13 wins, 2 draws, and 5 losses with a +33 point differential.

SpVgg Unterhaching (Munich, Germany) – Technically, this sports club is on the outskirts of Munich, in Unterhaching, but they deserve a mention. Between 1999 and 2001, SpVgg Unterhaching was a member of the Bundesliga (making three teams from Munich in the same league!), but currently the team is in the 3rd tier of German football. This sports club is better known for its bobsled team.

FC Metalist Kharkiv (Kharkiv, Ukraine) – Starting out in the Soviet Football League, FC Metalist Kharkiv gained entry to the highest level in 1960, but joined the Ukrainian Premier League after the dissolution of the Soviet League. Since the 2006-07 season, this team has won a bronze metal every year for a streak of 5 seasons. They have also done well in the UEFA Europa League where they have reached the play-off stage.

Their current scores? 14 wins, 5 draws and 1 loss.


A flaming soccer ball.

FC Gelios (Kharkiv, Ukraine) –  A squeaky, new football club founded in 2002, FC Helios  has rapidly gone through two of the lower level leagues and now plays in the Persha Liha (the league immediately below the Ukrainian Premier League).

Dynamos FC (Harare, Zimbabwe) – Alongside playing in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League, the Dynamos have won multiple Cups of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Independence Trophy (5 times), the Mbada Diamonds Cup, and have competed in the CAF Champions League. They have 17 wins, 7 draws, and 6 losses this season.

*Note on soccer in Zimbabwe – Since Harare is the capital of the country, it also has the largest number of soccer teams. It would take LOTS of space to list them all here, so I will leave that up to anyone who is interested.

FC Gifu (Gifu, Japan) – A relatively new team (the previous version disappeared in 1997) that was started in 2001, this club was promoted into the Japan League Division 2 after winning a relegation match against Honda Lock S.C. On their webpage, you can catch updates from FC Gifu’s training camp!

I couldn’t find any information about a professional soccer team in Liuzhou, China or in Mysore, India.

Taiwan lacks a professional soccer league. 

Sources: Alexandre Prévot’s Flickr (Stade Marcel Picot Image), AS Nancy-Lorraine WebpageAS Nancy-Lorraine ESPN page, TSV 1860 München ESPN page, Abseits Guide to German Soccer, Bayern Munich ESPN page, Official FC Bayern Munich Webpage, SpVgg Unterhaching Webpage, FC Metalist Kharkiv’s Webpage, FC Gelios’ Facebook Page, Zimbabwe Premier League Stats, FC Gifu Webpage,

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A really neat blue picture of Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Source: L-plate big cheese’s Flickr

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Kharkiv, also spelled Kharkov, was founded in 1654 by the Cossacks to defend Moscow from angry nomads.

It rose in prominence from 1917-1934 when Kharkiv was the Capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

During WWII (the Great Patriotic War in Russia), Kharkiv lost more civilians than any place in the Soviet Union!

Also, there is a memorial commemorating the Jewish civilians killed in Kharkiv during Nazi occupation.

Can you guess what religion is most popular in Kharkiv?

A) Lutheranism

B) Eastern Orthodox Christianity

C) Roman Catholicism

D) The Greek Pantheon


B! (If the picture above did not give that away)

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