Archive for September 1, 2008

“Knowledge Saved His Life” Zhanat’s Grandfather

My story is about my grandparents from my father’s side. Now I have two grandmothers who are alive. My father’s dad died when I was 4 years old and my grandpa from mom’s side was gone when I was 7. My father’s mother lives in Almaty and my second grandmother lives in Saksaulsk village close to Aral Sea, so I can see her only on summer or winter vacations. I visit my grandma, who lives in Almaty almost every week. We always gather together at her home on big holidays. She becomes happy when she is having us as guests. But her life wasn’t always so easy. Life is never easy during the war, especially World War II and through Stalin’s ruling period.


My grandmother’s parents were very rich. Her father was an educated person and a teacher at school, then he became principal of the school. They lived in Semipalatinsk oblast. There were 13 people in the family. But during the collectivization period they had to run away from their hometown. They were afraid to lose their lives. They buried all their wealth, silver. Then they decided to go to China, because they were afraid of dispossession of the “kulaks”. The way to China was very difficult especially for children. Most of them died of starvation. Only four stayed alive. They couldn’t reach China, because the Red Guard stopped them and brought them back. Then they stayed in Taldykurkan oblast. But still it wasn’t the most difficult time in their life, because World War II was coming. My grandma’s father, her four uncles and her elder brother were sent to the battle-front. Everyone came back from the battle except her brother. Life after the war became much better. My grandmother and my grandfather met each other. Their life wasn’t so difficult during Soviet Union. My grandfather was a secretary of Party Committee.


But his life wasn’t always so easy. His parents died when he was a child. He was an educated person. During World War II he was working at railway station, he was a dispatcher. He was one of the best and irreplaceable. So he fight, they didn’t send him. My grandma says that his knowledge saved his life. He was a smart person. So he became a secretary of Party Committee in Semipalatinsk oblast. He was a head of Matai village. They had five children and one of them is my father. Then they moved to Almaty. They were given a flat for my grandfather’s job. They gave good upbringing to their children. I lived with my grandparents my first four years. And they also gave me a good upbringing.


We should respect old people, respect their experience, what they went through. I love to visit my grandmother, because she treats me as her own child. She says when I or anyone of her grandchildren visit her, her flat becomes bright and flashes and that we are the only reason she is still alive.

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