Saturday, September 05, 2009

Village Zhatva

We just got back from another Zhatva celebration, this time in the village of Burchak. The churches try to spread their celebrations out over the whole month of September, so that everyone can visit around. I thoroughly enjoyed the time there! I'll give you some photos and a few funnies:

Jaan really liked this monument across from the church and asked me to take his picture with it.

Last week at the local Zhatva, during the meal, Raia asked me, "If I eat all my food, may I have some. . ." no, not cake, not sweets. "May I have some flowers?" This week she got them!

(Note the open gate behind us.)

Asya just fell in love with this dedushka. Will said maybe it was because he was so bent over when he walked that he was down on her level. He was walking by the church, and she grabbed his hand and led him in. Then afterwards, she just went over and sat with him.

As we started out this morning, I overheard this conversation. Raia said, "Are we going to a different country today?" Jaan answered, "No, just a different city. When you go to another country you have to get on a plane or a train." That's right, Little International Traveller!

Partway through the long service, Asya and I went for a little walk to help with her squirminess. When she saw a flock of geese, she said, "Noose! Yes, I'll take one!"

And probably the only aspect of Russian culture that we laugh at and and just have not adapted to is the extreme fear of сквозняки (drafts). Well, the service this morning was outdoors, on a beautiful end-of-summer day. True, not terribly hot, but not even cool enough to say autumn yet. Outdoors, remember. People were having fits because we were sitting by the open gate, which let in a draft. Outdoors, surrounded by fresh air, but surely we were going to catch a fatal cold, because air was moving through the gate?!


Jennifer said...

When I lived in Russia 15 years ago, my dear neighbour would panic when I'd answer the door with bare or stocking feet. Apparently it could lead to internal problems, possibliy infertility? Once we figured out the depth of her concern, we made it policy that when there was a knock on the door of the flat, my Dear Man would slowly move to answer the door, while I would race to the bedroom to grab my slippers!

I love the story of inviting in the dedushka to the celebration! What wonderful examples our children are to us, don't you find?

Jennifer said...

I don't mean to hog the comments today, but I can't help it!

I'm remembering our harvest celebration experience in Krasnodar, Russia. The church was absolutely bursting with produce, flowers, greenery... Every possible surface was overflowing with the plenty of the season.
I've never seen anything as beautiful as this in all my Thanksgiving celebrations in North America!

And, to top it off, the choir of local church where we participated in the celebration, sang the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah, by Handel. Stunningly beautiful!

Thanks for giving me cause to reflect on some beautiful times, Phyllis.

Blessings to you and your family.


Anonymous said...

Hilarious about the drafts. When we rented a flat above an old Ukrainian Baba a few years ago, she was always chastising my husband about not wearing a sweater or a coat or whatever, because he was going to catch his death. :)

Anna said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA- that's the best yet!!! I saw an amusing one the other day: several construction workers building an apartment house next to mine were taking their lunch break. Rather than sitting on the "cold" concrete wall(it was 85 degrees outside), they grabbed a piece of metal, put it on the bench and then sat down. Isn't the metal ALSO cold??

Phyllis said...

Jennifer (and everyone), thanks for commenting! Maybe should start a collection of сквозняк stories. :-) I have a whole lot more. . . .