Monuments and War Memories: Interview with Galina Nikolaevna

“Because of the gasoline, everything was a terrible Hell.” – Galina Nikolaevna, resident of Comrat, Gagauzia and born in Sevastopol, talks about remembrance, World War Two, the deaths of her family’s men, and monuments to soldiers who have passed. 

Scroll all the way to the bottom for the original Russian transcript. Чтобый читать оригинальную запись, просматривайте внизу.

Galina had joined my host mother Anna Nikolaevna and me for breakfast the morning after Comrat’s Big Easter night service. I had seen her come to the house before, but we never talked – only greeted each other. I just knew she had an old dog, and she would come to my host mother for scraps for the beast. Galina was living on a pittance of a pension. Continue reading “Monuments and War Memories: Interview with Galina Nikolaevna”

Little Easter, Big Party

IMG_6589I stepped into a hive, minus the keeper’s jacket, and the chirping female hum vibrating low in the high-vaulted space was momentarily overwhelming. I was surrounded by long-skirted blossoms, the falling petals of their scarfed crowns speaking respect to God. The scent of honey would come later, when the women lit their spindly candles; and the calming smoke, cloying smoke, when the pope pendulated his thurible.

It was Little Easter, or the Day of Remembrance. I first learned about the holiday after I attended a church service with my first host mother in my first Moldovan village (you can read about the service in my post Churches and Fainting Americans). I followed her to tour the cemetery afterwards, where she mentioned some holiday where families would gather at small tables next to headstones and share candy.

Continue reading “Little Easter, Big Party”