Monday, October 15, 2012

русская семья

I'm beginning to realize that Russians have a very strong sense of family.

When I went to the Tolstoy House Museum, I was struck by the prominent role Leo Tolstoy's family played in his literary career.
Family portraits at the Leo Tolstoy House Museum
Within my own Russian family, my host-sister, who is a working woman of twenty-eight, still lives at home.  This is normal in Russian society.  In fact, sometimes children live with their parents their entire lives.

Photo credits to Ali Rath
I really felt a sense of Russian family today, when I came home from the Academy nearly in tears.  My Russian language test went horribly.  I had forgotten nearly all the words that my host mom had painstakingly quizzed me on each morning for the past few weeks.  The test I had turned it was practically blank and I was distraught.  ужас!

My host mom heated me up some soup, demanded that I bring her the work I had been struggling with, and, in the most loving way possible, shoved Russian grammar down my throat (along with my dinner).  When my host dad came home, he joined in on the lesson as well.  They cared that their Американская дочь had a rough day and wanted to do all they could to help.

I wonder if the strong sense of family is a continuation of the mentality that developed during the Soviet era.  With no personal property, people clung to each other rather than belongings.  Wherever Russians derive this familial devotion, I am thankful that my host parents have extended their family to include me.  With their help, hopefully my test on Thursday will be better.       

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