Ukraine

Ukraine: Buried By History, Lost In Translation

The competing sides, both globally and regionally, will never see Ukraine's reality the same way, so deep are the historical and cultural divides. Analysis from Kiev.

Kiev's Maidan Square on Feb. 24, 2014
Kiev's Maidan Square on Feb. 24, 2014
Piotr Smolar

KIEV — The undeniable truth about the existential crisis unfolding in Ukraine is that the two sides are unlikely ever to share the same reality, the same language. This is just as true for the internal sides between the western and eastern regions of Ukraine as it is for the global sides between the Western world and Russia, which are both fighting for influence in a country that has too long been a mere buffer zone.

Inside Ukraine, there are two opposing narratives, neither of which can be dismissed. First, there are the people of the Maidan protests, united around the memory of the “Celestial Hundred” martyrs, as they call the dissidents who were killed by police in Kiev. They believe they have a moral right, which came at a high cost, to participate in the country’s future.

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Society

Face In The Mirror: Dutch Hairdressers Trained To Recognize Domestic Violence

Early detection and accessible help are essential in the fight against domestic violence. Hairdressers in the Dutch province of North Brabant are now being trained to identify when their customers are facing abuse at home.

Hair Salon Rob Peetoom in Rotterdam

Daphne van Paassen

TILBURG — The three hairdressers in the bare training room of the hairdressing company John Beerens Hair Studio are absolutely sure: they have never seen signs of domestic violence among their customers in this city in the Netherlands. "Or is that naïve?"

When, a moment later, statistics appear on the screen — one in 20 adults deals with domestic violence, as well as one or two children per class — they realize: this happens so often, they must have victims in their chairs.

All three have been in the business for years and have a loyal clientele. Sometimes they have customers crying in the chair because of a divorce. According to Irma Geraerts, 45, who has her own salon in Reusel, a village in the North Brabant region, they're part-time psychologists. "A therapist whose hair I cut explained to me that we have an advantage because we touch people. We are literally close. The fact that we stand behind people and make eye contact via the mirror also helps."

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