Freedom Unites All Ukrainians

Maria BasovskaSeptember 12, 2022Citizenship

I would like to start with an explanation of the term "united community." Society is not just a collection of people who live, for example, in a certain country. The essence of society and its state is revealed in the social interactions between people. Currently, our community is united as never before. So I would like to describe in more detail what binds us as a single nation.

Freedom is the feature and value which unites all Ukrainians despite our different points of view on many things. Since the beginning of Ukrainian independence, people’s well-being (emotional as well as material), good health, strong family relationships, and general peace have always been highly valued in our nation. In my opinion, the strength of Ukrainian society lies in its diversity. We have always been tolerant of others (our country is home to a lot of religions, races, thoughts, and points of view on different things, including our history. But our strength lies in the fact that we have the opportunity to talk to each other, to listen to each other, and to hear each other, even on such sensitive topics as historical events and their effects.

Over the past years, more and more people in our country have begun to communicate in Ukrainian and consider it as their native language. They have even changed their perception of their mother tongue. However, our language is one of the signs of being Ukrainian. In my opinion, national identity has three components: attitudes toward the past, the present, and the future of your own nation. If you have no idea about its past, your identity is incomplete. It's also imperfect if you don't perceive your nation's current life as your own, but as someone else's and something that puts pressure on you. Our people note that, when abroad, they feel proud to be represented as Ukrainians, a certain nation of an independent state with its own language, customs, traditions, and culture, which are different from those of Russia or other countries.

I think that culture can give us answers to key questions about who we are. Generally, our heritage has always considered people as one family with traditions that strongly bind us. For example, we enjoy gathering together for Christmas, Easter, or any other important holiday. Ukrainian customs, rites, and folklore represent our worldview and the worldviews of others. They explain the relationships between people, the value of the culture of an individual and the people in general. I believe that the culture of each nation helps make a person a personality.

Unfortunately, on February 24, 2022, the beginning of the direct aggression from Russia truly bound Ukrainians as a community of helpful, social, and united people. Thousands of us support our country by volunteering, helping refugees by hosting and feeding them, serving each other with our talents and skills as well as by cooking, raising funds, and buying supplies for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Any problem is always easier to solve when we work together to overcome difficulties. We are extremely happy and proud that the unity of Ukrainians during wartime is excellent proof of that.

In conclusion, I wish to admit that our community has become bound by our difficult historical path, our fight for independence and freedom of hundreds of years; our language, which is definitely different from Russian; our traditions and culture; and, unfortunately, the hard situation that we are currently going through. All in all, it makes us a strong, brave and united community that can inspire others to unite in hard times!

Let me thank everybody for your support and continuous prayers, which help all Ukrainians to survive and fight the evil which came to our land!

Maria Basovska is a 10th grader from Ukraine who enjoys drawing, painting, writing, and computer graphics.