What is Kunis’ connection to Ukraine?
At the age of seven, Mila Kunis fled Soviet Ukraine alongside her family. They reached Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.A. in hopes of securing a promising future.
Kunis used to describe herself as “L.A. through and through,” although she had many friends and family that remained in the small country. She and her husband, Ashton Kutcher, would visit her homeland as often as they can to maintain the connection.
However, when Cross Cultural Kid (CCK) Kunis learned of the invasion occurring in Ukraine, she felt everything had changed. As she described in an interview with Maria Shriver:
I feel like part of my heart just got ripped out.
Her heritage is embodied in ways she could not even describe. As soon as she learned of the news, she had this feeling of “my people are in trouble.”
How is Kunis’ nationality represented in her daily life?
Kunis was brought up under the USSR umbrella and was raised to speak Russian. She learned English while attending school in California. To this day, however, she speaks Russian to her parents and is actively teaching her children her native language.
She feels that speaking her mother tongue is important so her kids can better understand where they came from. Although her children are half U.S., she is persistent in validating the kids’ half-Ukrainian heritage through traditional practices and holidays.
When talking to her children about what is happening in Ukraine currently, she is explaining the importance of help and support. When Kunis is asked by Shriver on her cultural fluidity, she responded:
It’s amazing to have beautiful cultures. It is a beautiful thing to have out there. We shouldn’t all be alike. We shouldn’t all think alike… and so we very quickly reminded our kids that they are half Ukrainian.
What has Kunis done to support her country?
Kunis describes her emotions as being “awestricken,” which has fueled her passion for helping Ukraine. She has utilized her platform to not only make an impact, but to also have communication with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Kunis and her husband launched a fundraiser with a goal of US$30 million. They provided any supporters resources as well as outlined the efforts the money would be funding. She has spoken at many events, including the 2022 Academy Awards, to bring awareness to the severity of the situation. She chooses to embrace her culture and the people who could really use her help.
To date, they have successfully raised nearly $35 million and have maintained active daily involvement in the support they can offer.