Max Matviyenko

Foreign-exchanged student Max Matviyenko shares his story with members of the Seaside City Council. In the background, host Chris Dugan and assistant city manager Jon Rahl.

Ukrainian foreign exchange student Maksym “Max” Matviyenko came to Seaside City Hall Monday night, Dec. 9, to introduce himself to the community and share the heritage of his homeland.

Wearing a traditional Ukraine hand-sewn shirt, the Seaside High School senior described Ukraine as a land filled with color, with a blue and gold flag symbolizing the blue sky and the yellow-gold color of wheat.

Ukraine is situated in central Europe, bordered by seven countries.

Dating back to the 11th century, Ukraine boasts a long history and remnants of old villages, churches and farms “even now,” he said.

The nation’s president, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, offers a “better and better future rather than the dark years of the Soviet Union,” he said.

Matviyenko also shared descriptions of his favorite Ukraine dinners, including beet and potato soup with sour cream. “People like sour cream a lot,” he added. “Meat inside of cabbage leaves is pretty good too.”

Matviyenko will spend the semester at the Seaside home of Chris and Kellie Dugan.

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