Friday, May 25, 2012

Money: 100 grivna

It's always good to have one of these in your pocket:
The 100 grivna note (top = old, bottom = new). About $12 USD as of May 2012.
I've been wanting to write about Ukrainian currency for a while. Money is something that we handle and view daily but rarely do we actually stop to see what's on the bills. That's a pity because money can be used as a cultural shortcut. Think about it: what's printed on the bills is probably going to represent the most important places and people in the country. If you learn nothing else but these faces and places, it's a good start.

Also, I've got some great photos of really old money (dating from the USSR days all the way back to the 1700s). I'm really excited to share those with you in a later post!

Let's get back to the 100 grivna note.

The man shown on the front of both bills is Taras Shevchenko, the mega-famous Ukrainian poet. Born 1814, died 1861. Do you enjoy his poetry?
New bill
Old bill
When I am dead, bury me
In my beloved Ukraine,
My tomb upon a grave mound high
Amid the spreading plain,
So that the fields, the boundless steppes,
The Dnieper's plunging shore
My eyes could see, my ears could hear
The mighty river roar.

One of Kharkov's famous landmarks is this statue of Shevchenko. You can see it for yourself in (of course) Shevchenko Park.

                                      Moving on...

On the back of the older note is St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the 7 Wonders of Ukraine.
This cathedral has been around in one form or another for about 1000 years!! I think D and I visited it back in 2007.

On the back of the newer note is a landscape of Central Ukraine (Cherkasy?) and a кобзар (kind of traveling musician in the past).

I found this кобзар on the streets of Kharkov:
More info on the Ukrainian grivna:
10 grivna, 20 grivna
50 grivna
500 grivna

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