Posts tagged German

Ainiziya’s Great Grandfather Survived in Siberia for being an intellectual

I am going to write about my grandfather from my father’s side. The reason why I have chosen him is that his life seemed to me to be rich, full of interesting facts but sometimes problems.  My grandfather’s name was Abibolla Karkinbayev and he was born in May 12, 1930. His father, Karkynbay, was a doctor, astrologer and theologist. He was educated and could write and speak in old Latin, German, Arab languages. Also he could freely speak in Russian; it was quite unusual for those times.

My great-grandfather has studied in Kazan, the capital city of Tatarstan. In 1925-1926 he built a mosque and medrese. During those times children could not study anywhere, so he taught them at medrese. It was prohibited to teach people in those times, nevertheless he continued to teach. Soon he was arrested for his activities and for being educated. In 1938 were many fights with mullahs and my great-grandfather was sent to Malaya Zemlya, Sibir (North). Last few years he was a scribe, because only a few could read and write. However, this did not stop him to become sick. He was in Sibir (Siberia) from 1938 up to 1946. In 1946 he came back to Kazakhstan an ill person and after a few years he was gone…

Coming back to my grandfather, he studied at Narkhoz (KazEU now) university. After finishing his studies, he came back to his village. There he met my grandmother and they got married. In few years my grandfather got the highest positions in Public sector, specifically speaking in Sovkhoz sector. It comes to my mind, when my grandfather was alive; our house was full of people and our dastarkhan (table) was full of food and milk products. Those were the times of deficit, deficit of everything. We rarely faced those deficit problems with the help of my grandfather. Probably because my grandfather worked and got highest positions while my grandmother never worked. She even does not have a higher education. Nevertheless, I can surely say that she is very wise person.

I do not remember all the moments which were spent with my grandfather, because I was too young to remember, but I do remember some moments. And they never leave my memory of him. Even if I was too young, I could feel how he loved me, how he loved his family and his country. From my point of view he did his best to his village and his country as well. And as for me and my family he would always be the ideal and the best grandfather ever.

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Elbar’s Grandmother had roots in western China

My grandmother was born in 1937 in China (Yrymchi). She was a Jeweler’s daughter and the youngest of nine children. She was a spoilt child, because she lived in luxury. There were a lot of servants in their home. She finished secondary school.

When she was sixteen years old she met her first and one love and her future husband. He was a cowboy’s son. He was born in 1935 in Kazakhstan. There were thirteen children in his family. He is the only who is still alive. When she met my grandmother, he fell in love with her.  Later they sought ways to be in marriage, then they celebrated their wedding. After that, he took her to Kazakhstan from China to his house. After one year their first son was born. Their family was young so he met a lot of difficulties on his life’s way.

During their life my grandfather changed a lot of professions. His last profession was a teacher and later he became a director of the school. He knows five languages. They are: Arabic, German, Russian, Uigur and Kazakh language. Also he can write in Persian because he finished school in Mosque and later became a Mullah in the mosque. He taught children there.

What about my grandmother? She worked in a collective farm. She gathered tobacco in the fields. Work was hard and she was always tired but she also had to look after her children. But my grandparents loved each other and that is why they are still together. They lived together for fifty years.  During their lives nine children were born in their family. So their children have become grown-up and now they look after my grandparents.  So they enjoy their time now. Every year they travel to different countries.

My grandmother often visits her relatives in China. I think they had and still have an interesting live. They are an example for me of strong family. I love and am  proud of my grandparents.

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Wisdom of Nations – Proverbs (Part IV)

“Some are wise and some are otherwise.” Ben Franklin turned this saying around with “Some men are weather-wise, but most men are other-wise.”

“Swim like a stone (brick).”

“The game is not worth the candle.” French (referring to gambling and the undertaking is not worth the risk or effort.)

“The wind cannot be caught in a net.”

“There is no royal road to learning.” (Euclid said this to King Ptolmey’s request about geometry)

“To be between the beetle and the block.” (Chinese – between you and me)

“To be wise behind the hand.”

“To go for wool and come home shorn.” (Many seek to better themselves and end up losing what they already have.)

“To pick the plums out of the pudding.”

“To plough the sand.” Arabic (insults should be written in sand, compliments should be carved in stone.)

“To stick like a limpet to a rock.”

“To throw a stone in one’s own garden.”

“Tread on a worm and it will turn.” Shakespeare (No matter how lowly a creature is, it will respond to ill treatment OR defenseless creature will attempt to defend itself.)

“True coral needs no painter’s brush.”

“Wear the old coat and buy the new book.” (Austin Phelps an American educator and clergyman – 1820-1890)

“When Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war.” (Competition will be particularly fierce when two people of similar caliber encounter one another.)

“When the moon turns green cheese.” Sarcastic to a person who is gullible

“Where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.” Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

“With time and patience the leaf of the mulberry becomes a silk gown.” Chinese

“You cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs.” Russian equivalent – When the wood is cut, the chips fly. This means in order to achieve something, it is inevitable and necessary that something should be destroyed.

“You must spoil before you spin.” (Making mistakes before becoming proficient)

“Zeal without knowledge is a runaway horse.” (Action without deep thought will fail)

All proverbs from the last four blog entries have been taken from “Dictionary of English Proverbs, Sayings and Idioms in Russian, Kazakh and German” by Sakina Akmetova, published by Mektel in Almaty, Kazakhstan 2009

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“Wisdom of Nations” Proverbs- (Part III)

Sir Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister, recommended: “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations” I think Churchill’s quote applies to reading through puzzling proverbs and sayings. Some of these proverbs I don’t know the meaning to, maybe because they are of British origin as well as from other nations.

These proverbs and sayings were written up in “Dictionary of English Proverbs, Sayings and Idioms in Russian, Kazakh and German” by Sakina Akmetova, published by Mektel in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2009

“A bad reaper never gets a good sickle”

“And what are proverbs but the public voice?” (Coined first and made by common choice, they must have impact and common truth.)

“As the people, so the proverb.” By Robert Christy

“Better be envied than pitied.” Herodotus, Father of History

“Borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.”

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” Shakespeare

“Children are poor men’s wealth.” Danish

“Covetousness breaks the bag.” (take to much and you tear the container)

“Cunning is the fool’s substitute for wisdom.”

“Don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs.” OR “To teach one’s grandmother to suck eggs.” Spanish, (silly to offer needless assistance or advice to an expert)

“Don’t wait for dead men’s shoes.” OR “He goes long barefoot that waits for dead man’s shoes.”

“On a long journey even a straw is heavy.” Italian

“Envy has no holiday.” Francis Bacon

“Envy shoots at others and wounds herself.”

“He who has a tongue goes to Rome.” OR “The tongue leads you to Kyiv.” (able to ask directions to get to your destination)

“Homer sometimes nods.” Or “Even Homer nods” (Even someone who is the best at what they can do, can turn in a subpar performance.)

“Proverbs are the wisdom of the street.” Prov. 1:20 or Prov. 8:1

“Put not your hand between the bark and the tree.” (similar to put hand between hammer and anvil)

“Slow at meat, slow at work.”

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“Wisdom of Nations” – Animal Proverbs (Part II)

“The wisdom of nations lies in their proverbs, which are brief and pithy. Collect and learn them; they are notable measures of directions for human life; you have much in little; they save time in speaking; and upon occasion may be the fullest and safest answer.” William Penn

Proverbs about animals are taken from “Dictionary of English Proverbs, Sayings and Idioms in Russian, Kazakh and German” by Sakina Akmetova, published by Mektel in Almaty, 2009

“A good horse should be seldom spurred.” OR “Do not spur a willing horse.”

“A lazy sheep thinks its wool heavy.” Turkey (too much trouble to carry their own wool, lazy)

“Better have a mouse in the pot than no flesh.” Scottish

“Careless shepherds make many a feast for the wolf.” Chinese?

“Even a mangy sheep is good for a little wool.”

“Every man thinks his own geese swans.” OR “Every mother thinks her own gosling a swan.” Danish or German

“Flies always sit themselves on a thin horse.” [Mennonite Low German from Kansas – the vulnerable are always targeted by predatory people]

“Go to bed with the lamb and rise with the lark.”

“If you want a pretense to whip a dog, say that he ate the frying pan.”

“It is a small flock that has not a black sheep.”

“Man is a wolf to a man.” Roman proverb by Plautus “Homo homini lupus”

“Nightingales will not sing in a cage.”

“No room to swing a cat.” (very tight quarters)

“One man may steal a horse while another may not look over a hedge.” German

Some are chartered libertine while others are always eyed with suspicion

“One might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb.” If you are caught and getting the same punishment, you may as well commit the greater offense

“One scabbed sheep will mar a whole flock.” Danish

“The camel going to seek horns lost his ears.” Latin or Turkish – in seeking to better their condition, they lose the advantages that are at hand.

“The dog barks, but the caravan goes on.” (Persian – indicate the superiority of the great to popular clamour)

“To eat the calf in the cow’s belly.” (Reckon one’s chickens before they are hatched – spending our pregnant hopes before they are delivered)

“To find a mare’s nest.” – (complex and difficult situation or hoax and fraud)

“To give a lark to catch a kite.” (Throw out a minnow to catch a sprat)

“To have rats in the attic.” Danish

“Too much pudding will choke a dog.” (Too much of a good thing)

“To see which way the cat jumps.” (You postpone making a decision until you have seen how things develop)

“To send owls to Athens.” (Greek, similar to “sending coals to Newcastle” – engage in something that is useless)

“Where the horse lies down, there some hair will be found.”

“While the grass grows, the horse starves.” (Dreams or expectations may be realized too late)

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English Rhyming Proverbs – Part I

These English Rhyming Proverbs are taken from “Dictionary of English Proverbs, Sayings and Idioms in Russian, Kazakh and German” by Sakina Akmetova, published by Mektel in Almaty, Kazakhstan 2009.

“A hedge between keeps friendship green.”

“After dinner rest a while, after supper walk a mile.”

“All the wisdom you gain, you will pay for in pain.”

“As the fool thinks, so the bell clinks” [Latin – Quod valde volumnus facile credimus]

“A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds.” (Shakespeare)

“Good words without deeds are rushes and reeds.” Similar to “Deeds are fruits, words are leaves.”

“If ifs and ans were pots and pans, there’d be no trade for the tinker’s hand.”

“Men may meet, but mountains never greet.”

“Money spent on the brain is never spent in vain.”

“Some are wise And some are otherwise.” Or Ben Franklin wrote:

“Some are Weatherwise, some are otherwise.”

“The morning to the mountain, the evening to the fountain.”

“The feet are slow when the head wears snow.”

Fun proverbs to say (not rhyming)

“As sure as eggs is eggs” (done deal, or as sure as God created little green apples)

“He that hatches matches hatches catches.”

“Don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles you.”

“Every little makes a mickle.” OR “Many a little makes a mickle.” Irish

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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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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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Taking Exception to Kazakhstan being a “Dumping Ground”

Writing about Kazakhstan’s history is a highly complex one, no wonder I was having trouble writing my paper for an upcoming TESOL conference in Denver, Colorado.  After I had a long talk with a fellow American expat who has lived in Almaty for 16 years, I was able to create a handout with three graphic tables showing Kazakhstan’s different eras. Once done, I made swift progress with my paper titled “Kazakhstan’s Orality vs. Infoliteracy: What’s a Teacher to Do?”

 

Yesterday afternoon I had talked to a Kazakh man who teaches Kazakhstan’s history at our university and I showed him my one page handout.  He said that only because I’m an American could I get away with stating what they all know to be true.  I think I fulfill a purpose at our university in finding out from the oral histories of people in Kazakhstan, not just for Kazakhs but for Koreans, Ukrainians, Jews, Germans, Uyghurs, etc.  For the most part, the Kazakhs are known as a very peaceable people but with very clear memories still of what happened in their own families and country.  I, as the American, can be neutral when finding out as a curious outsider, what actually happened during the 70 year era of the Soviet Union. Any information about the inner workings of this totalitarian state formerly known as the U.S.S.R. had been purposely blocked.  Still is, not much is written in our American history textbooks and they are mostly all positive and glowing about the former socialist state.

 

Last night I stayed longer at the office than I had intended but it was meant to be since I got negative feedback from a Russian colleague friend of mine about my one page handout.  I simply showed her the three figures and she immediately took exception with Kazakhstan being known as the Soviet Union‘s “dumping ground.”  She loudly disagreed with me on that term.  I said that I have to give my American audience in Denver some kind of quick, historical background before I can really talk about “infoliteracy.”  She said that I was very biased.  She also stated that it means that if her mother came down from Russia that I’m saying that her mother was “garbage!!!” 

 

NO, what I meant was that there were many nationalities (Korean, German, Ukrainian, etc.) who were dumped off of railroad cars in the middle of nowhere in Kazakhstan. Often the oral testimonies I’ve heard is that the Kazakh people helped these exiled people find food and shelter.  My friend kept shaking her head and arguing with me.  She said that we as Americans used to be called a “melting pot” but now better known as a “salad bowl.”  Yes, those are much nicer terms than “dumping ground.”  I’m wondering what term she would use instead to help explain the throwing together of about 120 different nationalities in Kazakhstan???  Apparently, Stalin wrote a book in Russian titled “The Nationalities Question” or something like that.  Supposedly Stalin had his own agenda about mixing things up.

However, I am trying to put myself in my Russian friend’s shoes with how she feels. And she DOES FEEL strongly about this issue. Alexander Solzhenitsyn was in the Karaganda penal system as a political prisoner and perhaps he was the first to coin the phrase that Kazakhstan was the USSR’s “dumping ground” in his famous book “One Day in the Life of…” Solzhenitsyn was a Russian nationalist, through and through.  But for my friend, Kazakhstan is where she was born as a kind of Russian “immigrant” and her Russian parents had jobs here in Almaty with the communist party. 

 

If one does a quick google search, there are other authors who write using the word “dumping ground” and Kazakhstan together. True, there were many other different “dumping grounds” that Stalin used such as Siberia, it was not just Kazakhstan.  Yet the network of gulags encompassed about one third the land mass of Kazakhstan, so that’s a LOT of prisoners from other former republics of the USSR to keep behind barbed wire.

In the very well built up memorial at ALZHIR about 20 kilometers outside of Kazakhstan’s capital in Astana, you can watch a video at the end of your tour of the three tiered building.  In this video, President Nazarbayev states his purpose in putting money into this memorial in order to remember these sad facts of Kazakhstan’s Soviet history.  In so many words he says, “It is not Kazakhstan’s fault that it was used as a ‘dumping ground’ for the USSR.”  He further stated that too often Kazakhstan is blamed for housing all the political prisoners, however, the Kazakhs had no say in what was happening on their own soil.  The directives came from Moscow and the politically elite.

From a historical point of view, many Russians and Ukrainians came voluntarily to Kazakhstan to open virgin farming land (there is some good land) during the Czarist period.  Particularly at end of 19th and early 20th century during the Stolypin land reforms, which might be vaguely analogous to the US Homestead Act.  It gave peasants and small farmers the right to own land. Unfortunately, I don’t think my friend’s parents came down for the farming that failed on Kazakhstan’s soil.  No, apparently my friend’s mother taught history as a school teacher during the Soviet era.  My guess is that she promoted whatever was in the Soviet approved textbooks that were published in Moscow.  That would certainly have the Russian bias to it and thus NOT the Kazakhs take on history.  No wonder my friend takes extreme exception to my using the term “dumping ground” when referring to Kazakhstan.

 

Earlier yesterday I had been talking to an Australian friend of mine who has had similar encounters with Russians who were born in Kazakhstan and who have this strange “derangement disorder” of not confessing to the sordid side of their communist past.  The Kazakh man who currently teaches his own Kazakh history is right, he could never say what I had put in my handout.  I’m beginning to wonder how Kazakhstan’s history will ever get sorted out with the pressures from the Soviet past still looming large.  I’m sorry that my friend thinks I’m biased but sadly she does not see herself having her own biases.  Anyway, we have to agree that we disagree on issues relating to USSR history and Kazakhstan

 

What I found with a quick google search:

 Stalin’s Dumping Ground, By Jeri Laber

As representatives of Helsinki Watch, a colleague and I traveled southeast in the Soviet Union, almost to the Chinese border, to visit the vast and little-known Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, where serious abuses of human rights have occurred, not just in recent years but also in the past.[1] Kazakhstan‘s steppelands were among Stalin’s favored sites for labor camps and exile communities, and we had been told, accurately as it turned out, that the region would reveal the scars of the Stalin years more vividly perhaps than any other Soviet republic.

 

 

 

 

 

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Alina’s Pride in her Roots–Her Grandparents

 

     I think that everyone have his own roots.  I’m very proud of my grandparents because they were great people.  They went through The Second World War and restored the economy of country.  I think that it is the most significant fact.  Our family is interesting because my Mother’s parents were deeply rooted in China and Arabian side.  At the same time, my father’s parents have roots from West. His mother was heir of a gold extracting industry in tsarist Russia.

 

         At the same time there were added German roots of grand grandparents. As always that time was keep the conflict between parents and their children which cover the time of my grand parents, grandpa was poor farmer who fell in love with my grandma who belonged to a rich family.  They got married and in their little family appeared five children, the fourth one was my father. It was time of civil war 1917. As a result economic and social view in country has changed. So my grandparents were deported to Kazakhstan. When they lived there friends in Kazakhstan advised them to change their surname to name of the grandfather. Consequently, my ancestors have lived as Antonovy since 1950. Grandpa was joiner and grandma was director of the restaurant at the railway station. They lived in an industrial district, in spite of all the misery, they were a big happy family.

 

         As to my mother’s parents, they refer to another social level. Grandmother was born in a family of rich farmer and jeweler, who escaped from China during the Great Chinese Revolution. All members in grandma’s family have economy and medical education. They combine several nations: Chinese, Uigur, Russian and Dungan.  Grandma knew seven foreign languages, and could drive a car, tractor, helicopter and combine. She was a director of agricultural complex, at the same time she was deputy in the parliament of country. During The Second World War grandmother lead collective farm and they sent provisions and clothes to battle-front. After the war she got a lot of honorary medals. Grandpa’s ancestries were Arabian prince. But he became an orphan very early. Despite that fact, he graduated from the University in St Petersburg, teacher’s training college, military college in Moscow. He went through the Great Patriotic war and he has a lot of honorary medals.

 

     For me, it’s very important to remember about my grand parents in order to organize my future and make them proud of me.

     “Take care about present, foresee future and remember past” (Seneka).

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