Archive for July 10, 2008

“Russian Grandmother” Alexandr’s Narrative

My grandmother was born in 1926 in Russia in a small Siberian town, which is called Usuriysk. Thereabouts from their settlement flowed the river Usura that was famous for its full-flowing and abundance of different fish. Along the river spread large wood – impenetrable Siberian taiga where grew beautiful flowers, wild garlic, and ash berry and also there lived tigers that nowadays noted down in the book of becoming extinct animals. Grandma often tells how these tigers lived and behaved at liberty in the conditions of the unexplored wilderness.

There was a wood factory and as my grandmother tells, big logs were rafting by means of the river. One day when my grandmother was a young girl of 7-8 years old she was jumping on these logs while they were flowing in order to get to the opposite bank of this wide river. Suddenly she stumbled and fell down in the water. In a moment she turned out under the water. The logs were situated close to each other and so my grandmother was not able to get to the surface. She spent some time under the water; air in the lungs was nearing the end. Suddenly she saw a small hole between the logs and at that moment my grandma, with what was left of her strength, tried to come to the surface and to get to this small empty space. Fortunately, the postman that was passing by the river helped her to reach the bank edge successfully.

         The family in which my grandmother lived was numerous and counted about 10 persons. They had a rich housekeeping that involved domestic animals such us cows, sheep, pigs, and horses that provided the family for the all necessary foodstuffs and of some raw material for producing clothes. The housekeeping also involved different living quarters and buildings, sheds for maintenance of the domestic animals.

         According to my grandmother, the main person in their family was her grandfather. My grand grandfather was a tall, strong built person who had a bushy of average size beard. At dinner all members of the family gathered at a big table. My grand grandpa sat down to table taking honorary place and nobody had permission to begin eating until the moment he began to eat.

         It seemed that everything was going fine when all off a sudden it was issued the order about the division of the property of the prosperous families. At that time raised a new problem how to save own belongings. My grand grandpa decided to divide the property between all the adult members of the family. As a result of this dividing all got only essential things for the live and nobody had anything unnecessary according to the rules stated by the authority of the Soviet Union. Unfortunately the rules were not observed. When a commission arrived from the capital of the country they took almost everything away. 

         In the thirtieth years of the twentieth century intense famine began. Grandma’s family was obliged to move to Uzbekistan to their relatives. During the passage the bag with documents was stolen. When they achieved the destination appeared problems with finding of work. Several years they lived in that country and were doing a hard work. There my grandma became acquainted with my grandpa. After some time of acquaintance they got married. When the World War II started they were assigned to Kazakhstan for working at the factory producing the shells. After the War, my grandma got rank of the hero of labor of the Soviet Union.

         In conclusion at the present time she lives in Almaty. She likes this city very much, although she sometimes misses her relatives, who live in Russia.  People living in Almaty and in other Kazakhstan cities are descendants of those people who had difficult and certainly not predictable destiny. As result of different historic events, we live here under the peaceful sky of Kazakhstan.  






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