Lance & Megan's Blog

Precious Bread


Just thought I would amuse you with the full understanding of how precious bread is here in Ukraine.

I once accidentally dropped a piece of bread on the floor. [Gasp!]

I reverently moved the sacred slice to the side with my foot (my hands were full, I couldn’t help it.)

I was met with a few gapping mouths. How dare I touch the sacred slice with my dirty, filthy, blemished, sinful foot!!! That audacious American!

Yesterday, I got a full understanding of this small escapade. It was explained to me that children were taught in school that bread is holy and it should be treated as such. One staff member told me the story of how she was taught, that if a piece of bread fell to the floor she was to pick it up, wipe it off, kiss it, and use it! I might (probably not) pick up a piece of the floor and wipe it off, but I certainly would not kiss it! In fact, I probably would not even eat it, I would hope that someone else would eat the fallen piece…

Dima also agreed and shared that he was told a story in school about how a child once played with bread, kicking it around. He doesn’t remember what happened to the kid (probably because it was so awful he blocked it out of his memory.) Dima only remembers being shocked and horrified that a child could possibly play with bread. He told me his aunt would never throw away bread, if it by some unfortunate cause, became moldy and was truly unusable, she burned it. It was never put into the garbage.

Most children were taught this as a result of the famines that have taken place in Ukraine. Bread should be conserved and seen as precious. I also discovered that there is a museum of Bread in Kiev, the capitol of Ukraine. Traditionally, a visitor is offered a loaf of bread and salt as a sign of hospitality.

So do not, ever, under no circumstance, even think about kicking a sacred slice of bread while in Ukraine!

posted under cultural, funny, Ukraine
One Comment to

“Precious Bread”

  1. On June 22nd, 2011 at 7:29 pm Rick Says:

    Great post, Megan. That’s amazing! I remember them having the same attitude about bread in Central Asia. Maybe not as extreme, but they definitely hold it in high regard.