"I hated everything Russian since childhood": Klopotenko told how he switched to Ukrainian in one minute
The famous Ukrainian chef and restaurateur Yevhen Klopotenko used to speak Russian, but after the Revolution of Dignity his views on the language changed. Soviet culture also irritated the young chef, which made him feel poor.
He spoke about his dislike of everything Russian in the YouTube project Naodynci (Alone) by TSN. Klopotenko was getting used to the Ukrainian language, gradually introducing it into his life, but the decision to switch came in just a minute.
"I started speaking Ukrainian in 2017-2018. But back in 2015, when the Revolution [of Dignity - ed.] and the shooting on the Maidan happened, everything changed for me. It was just a matter of time to switch to Ukrainian. I switched in just one minute. First, I switched to Ukrainian on television, then in communication with new people, and then with old friends. It all happened in 2-3 months," Klopotenko said.
The chef is very fond of surzhyk and does not use literary Ukrainian himself: "I still speak some Russianisms. Yesterday my friend said to me: "I speak in the Poltava surzhyk". So speak it, because I like it so much, it's so cool! I also speak surzhyk."
In particular, Klopotenko does not pay much attention to Russian. He says that he has already gotten used to the language, just like to the existence of an olivier: that neither can be easily destroyed.
"When I hear the Russian language, I'm just like with Olivier - I've already accepted it. Some people have to die out if they don't want to change. This is their choice, this is their experience, because there are people who have never heard the Ukrainian language. And this is also understandable. There are many people who grew up in a Russian-speaking environment, and this is normal. Of course, I just heard Ukrainian and spoke it at home sometimes, so it was easy for me to switch. And there are people who have never heard it and it's hard for them, and there are those who try and it's very cool," Yevhen shared.
Many Ukrainians begin to adapt to another language by changing the phone's interface. But, according to Klopotenko, this method does not work.
"Reconfiguring your phone to Ukrainian does not mean learning the language, searching [entering a search query - ed. It's just a matter of taking the following steps: delete Russian, start and try to communicate in Ukrainian. And it's not difficult. Because when you come to live abroad, you immediately learn English, because you need to go buy food. I don't know German, but when I lived there, I started speaking German in a month, albeit crookedly," the cook said.
The restaurateur did not accept the whole Soviet culture since his childhood. He says he couldn't realize how important everything Ukrainian was then. He was very surprised by people who were happy about little things like sparklers.
"Since childhood, I have hated everything Soviet and Russian. I lived as if in poverty, but it wasn't poverty, everything was fine, but I felt poor, in a swamp. On the level of aesthetics, I wanted to escape. I didn't want to live in this, when people were happy to be poor. I had a ninja turtle and I was happy about it. And there were people who were happy about sparklers. All these cheap confetti that were used for clothes. It was all "ew". It was already in my DNA, but I just couldn't realize how much the Ukrainian language and many other things were connected to all this. I wanted to change all of this without changing myself, and then I realized."
Earlier, OBOZ.UA told you about Yevhen Klopotenko's friendly relations with Olena Zelenska. They even hug each other, but when they created a school menu together, security officers and the sanitary and epidemiological station were present.