Posts tagged Far East

Alyona’s Grandfather Moved Seven Times…

      I would like to write about my grandfather because he is very hard-working person and I am proud of him. His name is Vladimir Tyo. He was born in 1927 in Ryazanovka village, Far East (Eastern part of Russia).

      In 1937 he had migrated to Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan, where he finished school.  He had entered zoological college in 1946 and finished it in 1948. After 3 years of working practice (in 1951) he entered Almaty Zoological Institute. He had married my grandmother Zoya Kim in 1952. She finished a medical college. My grandfather graduated in 1956 and was sent by Institute staff to Kostanay region. This land wasn’t fertile because of rigorous climate. So there were not many people and especially good specialists. My grandfather was appointed and worked there as a Chief cattle-breeding specialist of a farm. He was growing cattle, horses and sheep during eight years. His work was important for the country and people. I respect him for working in hard conditions. I think this experience made him extremely hard-working person.

      My grandparents with my father had moved to Karabalta, Kyrgyzstan, in 1964 where they had been living for ten years. Grandfather liked this place very much because of its warm climate. He is very communicative person, so he learned Kyrgyz language during this period of time. He also speaks Korean and Russian. Despite of his honorable age, he continues studying these three languages.

      In 1974 they moved to Dzhambul region, Kazahstan. Grandfather had been working in the military farm and grandmother had been working as a hospital nurse at tuberculosis sanatorium for six years. Then they moved to Chirchik, Uzbekistan, where grandfather was a manager of the pig farm. My parents had met in Chirchik and migrated to Dzhambul (Taraz), Kazahstan, in 1984. They had married and I was born here in 1985.

      In 1988 grandfather became a pensioner and moved to Taraz. There are a lot of our relatives in this town. Although grandfather is a pensioner, he is working hard almost every day in his kitchen garden. I love him very much.

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Yuliya’s Great-grandmother was deported from the Far East to KZ

It was in 1915 in the Far East of Russia, when my great grandma was born. Her name is Park Din Ok and now she lives in Tashkent with her son and his family. She was born just before the October Revolution and in the year 1925, when Lenin’s NEP was passed, her father died. The mother married second time and she was taken to the family of her uncle. As a child she worked about the house and collected herbs. At the age of 16 Din Ok left her uncle’s house to study at boarding school in Nahodka. She studied there till 1937. By this year, the year of Stalin’s repressions, she had already finished 8 grades. Soon together with other Korean people she was deported to Kzyl-Orda, Kazakhstan.

It was very difficult to live in complete solitude without any connections, support, home or money. Fortunately, some time later she found her relatives, living near Tashkent in kolkhoz “Pravda”, and moved to them. There she succeeded to finish school and was planning to enter a teacher’s training college in Ashkhabad. Education was very important for her and she dreamed about teaching herself, about giving knowledge to other people. But the dreams were to fail because the Great Patriotic War burst out. So she went back to Tashkent where she met her future husband.

 A new period of her life began. She has 4 children: a couple of boys and a couple of girls (one of them my grandma is). The time went; children grew up and got their own families. Today we live in different countries and don’t see each other often. So, every time I think about my great grandma I miss her very much. She is the only “ancestor” of mine that I have seen. She still works hard about the house: cooks, washes the dishes, etc. And what is most important, she is active, really intellectual and strong. About ten years ago she injured her leg. The fracture was so serious that she could lose any possibility to walk but she overcame this infirmity. That’s why I adore her inner strength and spiritual power.

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Assel’s Grandfather in Great Patriotic War

In my big family, our authority and source of pride for us was and will always be my grandfather. His name is Amangaliyev Kalesh, and he was a participant of Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. All of us, that is grandchildren, grew up hearing his interesting, sometimes terrible stories about Patriotic War. During his stories I would always observe that he had sad eyes, and at that moment I always understood all the depth of his sorrow. I think, sorrow about his lost friends, who died to get for us desirable freedom!

Amangaliyev Kalesh was born in West Kazakhstan in Atyrau on 1924. According to the family photos I think in his youth he was very smart guy. He was tall and had a beautiful face. I think many girls dreamed to get married to him. At school he was a talented pupil. According to his stories he liked literature and mathematics, the exact sciences. Sometimes I think, if there had been no War, he would have been a professor of mathematics or physics. But in 1941 the Great Patriotic War began and he was seventeen.

My grandfather was sent to the War with his father. But his father didn’t come back from the War, since his father was considered as “lost without trace.” From the beginning of the War my grandpa was determined to be a marine, because he was tall, height 1,85-1,90 and had strong health. Initially the base of Baltic fleet was in Cromshtad near Leningrad. He was a chief commander of a ship named as “Sea Hunter.” As I mentioned that base of Baltic fleet was near Leningrad, and almost all of his stories are connected with this town. It seems to me that one of the exciting (for me), but at that time sad story told by my grandpa was that he witnessed the famous “Siege of Leningrad.” At that time Moscow gave an important meaning to the marine, as a powerful force, so they provided Baltic fleet with food, clothes and etc.

My grandpa and his best friend from Ukraine, Sasha Kovalchuk, were imperceptible from the enemies. They shared their foods and provided goods, clothes and other necessary things with hungry families and the population of Leningrad, the victims of the siege. But sadness of this story was that one day when they went to Leningrad with provision and clothes one of the German officers shot down the Soviet people. In that exchange of fire the best friend of my grandpa, Sasha Kovalchuk, died. Grandpa always tells us that Sasha was a great singer, that during the nights without sleep Sasha sang songs about home, about their girlfriends, about their mums that waited for them at home. I think it was very hard to lose his best friend with whom he shared food, clothes, with whom he reconnoitered.

My grandpa finished the War with the Baltic fleet in The Far East on 1948. After that he came home to Kazakhstan, especially to Atyrau. I consider that special pride of grandpa in his awards, medals. Here some of them: “For defense of Leningrad,” “For emancipation of Keninzberg (Kaliningrad),” “For fighting merits,” “Order of Patriotic War” and many, many other medals.

Every year when we celebrate May 9 Victory Day, my grandpa wears his suit with many medals on his breast and I feel a deep gratitude and great pride that he is my grandpa.

In conclusion, I want to say that without our grandfathers and grandmothers we would not be living in such a civilized country as Kazakhstan. And I hope that my grandfather and other veterans of Wars will live many, many years, because they won the life under the peaceful blue sky!!!

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“Deportation” of Koreans to Central Asia by Natalya

My grandfather and great-grandfather back in XIX century, immigrated to the Far East from North Korea, along with many Koreans who moved to Russia. The emigration of Koreans into the territory of the Far Eastern empire encouraged by the king’s government for the development of its huge unoccupied spaces. 


My grandmother and grandfather were born in Primorye: in 1908 his grandfather and grandmother in 1910, after they married, they moved to Khabarovsk. On that day in 1937, they had two young children. But Resolution of the ANC on 21 August 1937, all the Far Eastern Koreans were declared ineligible and unreliable, resettled in Central Asia. I will not tell a lot about the hardships associated with the fact of eviction. People were simply immersed in a boxcar of goods and were allowed to take only the most necessary. And in closed cars for months were removed from the Far East to Central Asia. People were not given food, water garnered for short stops. Far behind the train people some were shot with rifles from the cars. In the case of the death of Red settlers, who were guarding cars they simply threw dead bodies on the railway from the moving train. For only they know the orders, some people landed amidst bare Kazakh steppes, and the composition of the remaining people to follow on. To survive, people were forced to dig dugouts, threw open steppe and planted corn or wheat, which they carried with them. Nobody now can say how many people died then when moved nor how many died from hunger and disease.


 If the face, the eviction of people, it is called the innocent word “deportation” in fact this was the repression – and even cruel. And with regard to their made to deport, it was true GENOCIDE. People were subjected to repression, until 1957, were on special category, called special continent and settler. They were used in the most menial, physically hard work, of them were working the army of good and terrible, inhumane, as the camp inmates, incomparable even famous for its atrocities in concentration camps.  


In conclusion, I want to say about my grandfather and grandmother; they were uneducated because they lived a hard life, all their lives they cultivated rice in South of Uzbekistan. They had six children, only four survived. In 1962 they moved from Tashkent to Sary-Agash, where they live to this day. Despite my grandparents being uneducated, they gave and raised all their children with a decent education. They were very fair, honest and decent people. Despite the fact that they had seen a lot of cruelty and horror, they were very gentle and kind people. Unfortunately, my grandfather is not already 19 years ago, but when he left us, he had his own house with several children and grandchildren, and he was happy that we lived in peace and harmony.         


My grandmother is alive to this day, and I hope that she would be long with us. For 19 years, there is a lot to learn from her, she survived the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and she is glad that in life there have been many changes. People become free and it is happy. We are her children and grandchildren, a lot of opportunities, for example, my brother last year, traveled for three months in the U.S. on the exchange, and this is as much a likely now.

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Irina’s Korean Grandmother

I’d like to tell a story about a woman I’ve never seen. She was a usual person, one of millions in the world, but she is unusual for me. She is my grandma. All I know about her is from my father’s memoirs.  

She was born in the Far East and was deported to Kazakhstan in 1937 like thousands of her age. I know almost nothing about her childhood, just general and several unrelated facts. I think her young years were not so happy, because of starvation, a new, unfriendly place and the World War II. Her father had been executed before the deportation. Her mother was very overbearing and had three daughters (one of them is my grandma) from two husbands. My great grandma’s second husband was a teacher, a Principal of a local secondary school in Kazakhstan and had magnetic eyes of yellow color that was strange for Asians, so lots of people still remember him. And those are the scarce facts I’ve heard.            

During student life grandma met my grandpa, they studied in Kryzylorda Training College together. That time she was a future Russian Language and Literature teacher and my grandpa was a future teacher of Mathematics and Physics. After graduation they got an order to go to Kalpe village in Almaty District, near to my grandma’s parents.

Here their married life started. All the time after College my grandparents worked for a secondary school in the village teaching Russian language, Literature, Mathematics and Physics accordingly. They had three sons; my father is the middle son. Every summer they took a field and grew onions for additional profit. It was a traditional business for many Korean families (for plenty of families the onion growing was a main business and it brought much more money than teaching or other work). As my grandma was the only woman in the family she had to do or at least to manage all the related routines at home from cooking to farming and combine all these with her professional activity. An interesting fact that takes place in this story is that my grandpa had chronic stomach and intestinal tract aches, so he never took part in home activities. Besides, he went to Caucasus and other Soviet health resorts every summer, while his wife and sons repaired the house.

I wonder how my grandma dealt with so many things, but still there are lots of her students who remember her as a brilliant teacher. And their words affirm books, greeting cards, photos with thankful notes. One surprising fact which my father told me is that grandma while being in a hospital learned by heart a poem “Yevgeniy Onegin” by Pushkin! It is unbelievable! She collected a big home library including rare books and editions and made many-many other things we still use at home.

Unfortunately, she died at the age of 48 because of cancer. It is pity, but my father even doesn’t remember her date of birthday because they never celebrated it or may be because a birthday was changed every solar year (grandparents used to celebrate birthdays according to lunar calendar). Two years later after the death my grandpa got married again. But last summer he said: “I’ve never met and I will never meet a woman similar to her. She was a real wife and woman”. And I think he was right.        

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“Despite Anything” – Yelena’s Narrative

Koreans have been living at the territory of Post Soviet Union for more than 100 years and about 70 years in Central Asia and Kazakhstan.

The 1930s – Deportation

I have grandfathers from my mother’s, father’s and step-father’s sides. All of them told me the same story about deportation of Soviet Koreans from the territory near the border between Korea and Russia in the Far East to Central Asia and Kazakhstan. They said, “Before the 1930s our fathers and grandfathers lived near the border. We were free in changing place of living but preferred to stay in the areas where there were a lot of Koreans. All the families were busy with farming or merchandising. Some of Koreans were richer than other but there were no beggars among us. We were deported without any warning. It was announced that we couldn’t take any property with us except the papers and personal things and we had only few hours to collect them. Koreans were moved by trains from Far East in wagons mean for cattle transportation. Along the way a lot of them died. Sick people and dead men were thrown out of the wagons by the guards without any permission to treat or just to bury them.  After the arrival our people were left in villages, collective farms or in steppes without any houses for living. Koreans had to live in stated districts far from the big cities. Until Stalin died in 1953 Koreans didn’t have any right to get university degree or to serve in Military because they were considered officially as possible enemies of Soviet People.”

The1940s – World War II

During the WWII most of Soviet Koreans lived in Central Asia and Kazakhstan. These parts of USSR were not available for the German Army. My grand grandparents lived there in safety but under pressure of blame and shame. My grandfather said, “Every man was recruited by Military Force except us and some other nationalities. USSR was our motherland and we wanted to protect it, but we were considered as potential spies and unreliable persons. It was the most humiliating part of your grand grandfather’s life.”

The 1950s – Role of Sex Gender

My grandmother told me the story which indicates the importance of male gender in the past. She said, “In 1955 we worked on the fields and grew onions in Uzbekistan. Those fields were very far from any village or town and there were no hospitals, train stations and phones. My six month old daughter (my mother) had the flue and the high temperature. She cried but I couldn’t do anything because we don’t have any drugs. My husband was ill too, he had serious problem with his stomach and I thought that he was dying. He couldn’t eat or even move because of his pain. There were no one next to us and I decided to leave my husband and two sons (2 and 3 years old) home alone in order to call a doctor. I couldn’t leave my daughter because she could bother him by her crying.” My grandmother had to walk about 70 kilometers to the nearest village’s hospital. During all the way she carried the child on her back. She said “I cried while walking because my daughter felt bad and it seemed that she stopped breathing.  I couldn’t make myself check her because I was afraid to see that my baby is dead.”  When she reached the hospital in the midnight doctor told her that she had to make the choice between her daughters’s and husband’s lives. Both of then needed urgent medical treatment but if he spent an hour to save the child he couldn’t help her husband in time, because that doctor was the only one in the village. Grandmother said “I chose my husband because he was the man and head of family. I sacrificed my baby although I knew that my husband could already be died. My hard was bleeding. It was the hardest decision and the most terrible day in my life.”

The 2000s – Family’s Philosophy

Despite any obstacles and difficulties every generation of my family finishes its life among wealthy and respectable children. My grandmother said me, “All our life is a test and any obstacle is the possibility you must use to form your character and improve your skills. It doesn’t matter what kind of political regime is in your country but it’s more important what kind of person you are.  In any society at the end of his life a human being has got what he deserved.”

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