Made in Ukraine

Read the text below. For questions (1-5) choose the correct answer (A, B, C or D).

Why do we see this inscription on our souvenirs less often?


by Alla Dubovyh, The Day (3 November, 2009)

A Ukrainian gift shop has recently opened in Kyiv. Here you can buy a gift or another beautiful thing, and all merchandise originates from Ukraine. This shop, it turns out, is one of few in the capital and elsewhere in Ukraine because selling and making Ukrainian souvenirs is not a profitable business. The trouble is that genuine Ukrainian souvenirs have been elbowed out of the domestic market by Chinese conveyor-line products whose cost and retail prices are lower, so people tend to buy foreign goods.

Ukrainian souvenirs’ only disadvantage is their price, insist their producers, because most are handmade and thus unique. Also, household goods, like tablecloths and bed linen are embellished with unique needlework and made from natural materials that are safe in terms of health.

Kyiv gift shop owners complain, however, that some domestically made souvenirs are not up to the mark and are not adjusted to the modern market. Thus, porcelain folk-decorated tableware is crude and grey and lacks modern design. In contrast, Chinese-made flower vases with stamped Petrykivka ornaments look much more attractive. Do not be surprised to read “Made in China” on a vyshyvanka (embroidered shirt/blouse) or a “Ukrainian” kumanets (a ceramic vessel). Instead of souvenirs made by Ukrainian craftsmen as national attributes, what we have on sale is foreign-produced merchandise; Ukrainian craftsmen complain that there is still no government support of small and medium-sized business. Businessmen feel sure that the state can help the souvenir business and make it profitable. The industrial output of Ukrainian souvenirs is in an even worse condition. “I have found only about a dozen businesses in Ukraine that keep making certified products in accordance with the national tradition, despite to the crisis and practically without any support from the government,” says the owner of the gift shop that recently opened in Kyiv.

Kyiv’s factory Souvenir is a mirror reflection of the current status of this industry in Ukraine. In the 1990s it supplied decorated plates and ornamented boxes to 40 countries, working nonstop, without any problems with shipment orders. Souvenir employed almost 4,000 staff. Now you read on its website: “We regret to inform that we are currently situated in a private apartment because we lost our premises, including a gift shop and a workshop, after a hostile takeover.”

Meanwhile, foreigners are still eager to buy Ukrainian souvenirs. After visiting the Carpathians tourists bring home pieces of woodcarving, Easter eggs, and vyshyvankas. In winter they buy knitted socks and homespun woolen bedspreads. Increasingly often, however, these goods turn out to have been made outside Ukraine. Domestic craftsmen are unable to cope with the increasing market demand. You cannot make the number of goods using your hands as the Chinese can, using machines.

Before long there will be another upsurge in the market demand for Ukrainian souvenirs. Euro 2012 was an excellent opportunity to earn a quick buck from tourists. Souvenirs must be a tangible part of tourist expenses.

1. It can be inferred from the passage that ________.
A people are looking for genuineUkrainian items
B a lot of gift shops offer Ukrainian souvenirs at reasonablepieces
C selling souvenirs is not lucrative in Ukraine
D gift shops in Kyiv prosper

2. According to the passage, which of the following is TRUE?
A People never know what country manufactures souvenirs they buy.
B Ukrainian goods are more expensive as they’re made of natural stuff and thus safer.
C All goods that are being sold in Ukraine are inspected.
D People tend to buy foreign merchandise as they have better quality.

3. The author of the article claims that ________.
A Ukrainian bed linen is in demand because of its high quality
B folk clothes’ embroidery lacks modern design
C some Ukrainian souvenirs do not meet the requirements of modern market
D Ukrainians porcelain is exquisitely designed

4. What can be inferred from the text about the factory “Souvenir”?________
A the other company took control of the factory “Souvenir” by buying more than half of its shares
B the government gives all the necessary assistance to the souvenir business
C the factory sold its produce within Ukraine
D the factory “Souvenir” lost its buildings and the land it used

5. Tourists may often reveal that ________.
A only they are solvent to buy Ukrainian souvenirs
B Ukrainian craftsmen are less talented than the Chinese ones
C Ukrainian craftsmen need to learn from their Chinese counterparts
D Ukrainian souvenirs turn out to have been manufactured by anyone but Ukrainians

Answers:

1.C; 2.B; 3.C; 4.D; 5.D
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