Tuesday, June 29, 2010

«Утро вечера мудренее»


Russians have a love affair with food. If you sit down at the table, even if your purpose is just to talk, food is offered and even forced upon you. Russian’s take great pride in being good hosts and they often take it to the extreme.

Both my host mother here, in Ufa, and my host mother from Petersburg, seem to have the same desire to fatten me up. Tatyana, in Petersburg, once told me that women should have a big bust, big hips and a big butt. Irina, my host mother here, has woken me up, after I have fallen asleep, to make me eat.

Today, we went to the house of writer, Aksakov, a contemporary of Gogol. After touring the house we listened to the works of modern poets and writers from Ufa. The tour, I completely understood, the poems were difficult to comprehend. Afterwards we went to walk on a bridge where many newlyweds place pad locks inscribed with their names on to the railings of the bridge, in hopes of a long and happy marriage. They do the same in Petersburg, where, when found, they are quickly cut off.

«Утро вечера мудренее» This is one of my favorite Russian sayings. Morning is wiser than evening. It comes from a Russian fairy-tale where a young girl with the help of her doll must outwit the witch, Baba Yaga. Russian fairytales are much like our own, there is always some lesson to be learned at the end of each tale. Just like in life, there is always a lesson to be learned, at the end of the day. I am off to bed now, because morning is wiser than evening.

Disclaimer: These are not the views of CLS, American Councils, or the State Department

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