Archive for January 11, 2010

Karlygash O’s Great Grandmother Had a BIG Heart for Orphans

As in every country that has its own history, every person has his own biography. The more experienced and older a person is, the wiser he is, the more stories he can tell. Our ancestors can be easily referred to as such kind of category of people. My great grandmother is not an exception. She has lived in such a hard period, that I sometimes wonder how people, as my great grandmother, could behave so bravely and like adults while only being youngsters.

Somewhere in the mountain terrain in a place called Malwai in 1924 in the family of mullah was born a little girl, who then was given a name – Kurmalai. This newborn was my great grandmother. She was a sixth child in the family of rich Kazakhs. Six years went by and in 1931 began a process of collectivization. The Soviet Union government had decided to make all citizens equal. And then my great-grandmother’s family was exposed to the confiscation. This not so pleasant event happened in every prosperous family. As I know from grandma and from other media resources too, sometimes confiscation was even in middle class families. The explanation is easy to guess – if you were not interested in building socialism, creation of equal society and having fraternity, you were punished. All property of my great grandmother’s family was taken away, horses, sheep chased away and the parents of Kurmalai were sent to prison. The only reason was because of their estate.

Her mother left with 7 children and brought with herself a 3-month-old girl. Otherwise little girls and boys were locked up in a school. No food, not even water was given to them, as a result of starving, all of them died. Fortunately, my great-grandmother and her elder brother survived, because their uncle managed to help them.

In 1937 mullah and his wife came back but still their life wasn’t quiet.  They were forced to move to Kyrgyzstan, where they lived for two years. After their return to the motherland, they couldn’t live in their previous home and had to move to another place under the name Zhalanash. My great-grandmother studied only 7 classes when the war began. So, in 1941, being at age of 17 she started working. Her brother went into the Army and didn’t come back. Thanks to the mercy of destiny and people surrounding her, she could avoid the reference to work in the mines. Till the end of the war, Kurmalai was a rearguard worker. In 1944 she graduated from trading technical school and got married to her husband. Since 1945 she’s been working in the trade sphere. In 1955 her father died at the age of 87.

Now, my great-grandmother is 84. She has two sons, a daughter and 9 grandchildren. She has gone through so many obstacles and difficulties, so now we care for her and hope she will do more. It is impossible to write down everything from her life, dated by events. I feel sincerely sorry for people, who lost close relatives due to collectivization and Great Patriotic War. Our family considers it like a tragedy, because from a big family of ancestors only one person could survive. But I feel really thankful that I can live with such a wonderful and wise woman.

During her life my great grandmother had been helping orphans. She did not want other children to have the same experience she had, especially when a war began. Still we have so many guests in our home who are people coming to us to say thanks to our great grandmother, to wish her longevity. I respect her and certainly all other people, who suffered unfairly from the violence of politics of Soviet Union and who made a contribution to the Victory in War to provide peaceful and quiet life, we now enjoy.

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