Handyman Igor has a passion for fashion
2017-12-01 16:25:00 -

The Integration Question with Princess Pamela Toyin

A builder by trade in his native Ukraine, Igor Markiv since took his years of experience to Ireland, where his work has helped him in achieving another, very different goal.


From plumbing to electrical work, carpentry and decorating, 43-year-old Igor is a gifted builder and multitalented handyman, great with everything on a building site. 


But his skills don’t end there, as Igor also has ambitions in the fashion world - perhaps under the influence of his dressmaker wife, who managed her own fashion business back home. 


Since 2011, Igor has been managing Kriza, a fashion boutique in the heart of Dublin city. Yet he still puts his handiwork skills to use. Shuttling between the construction and fashion industries, adjusting to life in Ireland has been made easy by the immense support offered by his friends and the welcoming Irish culture, he says.


Igor arrived Ireland in 2003 for what he calls “a better life” and says he’s experienced nothing but that since then. 


“For many reasons I knew I wanted to experience life abroad in a different country so I was determined to make the move,” says Igor of what prompted his relocation from eastern Europe. 


Living in Ireland over the last 14 years has exposed Igor to new opportunities and new people that have become his friends.


“In every nation there are good and bad people. I am privileged to have good Irish friends and there’s a particular one that is very close to me,” he says.


Despite this, the language barrier and culture shock are occasionally taxing for the Ukrainian. “My English is not perfect and sometimes I find the Irish accent difficult, but I’m working hard to learn and the situation is gradually improving.”


Another big adjustment for him is the Irish weather – which he happens to enjoy. 


“Ireland’s weather is nice, it’s not too warm and not too cold, but just a medium climate.”


While Igor says he has never experienced racism in Ireland, he does have concerns over protections for small business owners like him. 


“The law in Ireland does not protect business owners. Thieves steal from shops all the time and even when caught on camera and presented to the Garda, [they say] they can’t do anything about it as the video does not help in any way.”


Away from the working world, however, Ireland may indeed be home forever for Igor, now settled with his wife and children. 


“We plan to stay in Ireland,” he says, “but we never know what can happen tomorrow.”


Comparing his new home to his homeland, Igor says: “There are no similarities between Ukraine and Ireland. Everything is completely different, from the weather to the buildings, the food and lifestyle. 


“Perhaps the only similarity would be that the people in both countries want to live a better life.”


- Princess Pamela Toyin has gained experience since the mid 1980s working in various fields and interacting with people of different tribes and ethnicity. With her passion for diversity, she is propelled to report a diverse range of issues that facilitate intercultural dialogue and integration, which can change social, economic, and cultural stereotypes, and believes there are lessons to be learned from everyone. Talk to her on +353 (0) 87 417 9640 or email echoesmediainternational@gmail.com



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