Archive for June 10, 2009

Madina’s Ethnically Mixed Family Background

I am mixed. My father is Kazakh and mother is half – Russian and half – German. My father’s father and mother are Kazakhs. They were born and grew up in a village (“aul” – in Kazakh) in Almaty region. They married when they were 17 years old, it was normal for that time. They have eight children (it’s also normal for that time), my father is the fourth child. If you know Kazakhs had a tradition of giving their first baby to parents or any other relative; it can be aunt who can not have a child due to some reasons or sister-in-law, etc. So my eldest aunt was grown up in another family; my grandfather’s sister-in-law could not have a baby.

My father’s father worked (he is on a pension now) on railway station all his life and has several awards for his job. My father’s mother was a housewife and now she is on a pension as well. I am not intimate with them because they were against my parents’ marriage and other reasons. But anyway I spent every summer in a village with grandparents. I appreciate it I had a practice of the Kazakh language. It helped me in school and at the university. I remember that grandmother made me a present on my birthday. It was a T-shirt with some slogan on it. It made such an impression on me because I was waiting for my parents and thought that nobody would congratulate me.

My mother’s father is German and mother is Russian. My mother’s father was a miner (he died of asthma 11 years ago). His father was a well-to-do miller, he was famous among peasants, and even Kirghizs came on camels to buy his flour. In 1930s during Stalin’s repressions he was arrested as an “enemy” and then died in a prison. After World War II his wife with children was deported to Western Siberia at that time my grandfather was 10 years old. It was a very difficult time to them, they had to survive everyday.

My mother’s father was a strict person. Sometimes my mother tells stories about her childhood. There is one of them – one day Victor (her father) found out that money left on a cupboard disappeared. As none of his three daughters confessed to a crime he decided to punish all of them. Punishment was to be on their knees on the floor sprinkled with salt. As you can guess finally in the morning the eldest sister confessed that she spent money on sweeties. I think it was a good lesson to her and of course to her innocent sisters.

My grandfather cooked well. I remember his pancakes and fried potatoes (not chips). As we lived in different cities and now in different countries we did not see each other too often. Usually he visited us maybe once a year and it was a real occasion for me and my brother. He played, went for a walk with us, we enjoyed that time together. My mother’s mother was a miner as well and she is on a pension now. As a consequence of her profession she speaks loudly. When I was a child I was afraid of her. I thought she scolded me. Now I understand that she is a wonderful grandmother. She came to my wedding party two years ago in spite of her age and state of health. My grandmother and my two aunts live near Moscow now.

I hope that my grandchildren will love and remember me.

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