chapter
4 Pages

Introduction

An ordinary rural life of an ordinary rural woman was a long chain of everydayness, interrupted only by occasional festivities of the rural community such as weddings, births, and religious and secular holidays. A rural woman’s dreams were often unfulfilled and her life was that of a hardship. Hence she aspired to create conditions for her children that would allow them to realize their potential and see their dreams come true. A rural woman attempted to reconcile the hardships of living off the land with those few and limited pleas - ures that she was seeking and that were available to her. More often than not this quest for reconciliation and balance failed, and the hopes vested in one’s children became tied to faraway places such as urban centers and even the capital city, Moscow. Children also saw that their reality fell short of their dreams and ambitions on many occasions, and these children in faraway places could only miss the “small motherland” of their village and their parental home. Ambitions of rural women were not about exotic destinations and luxurious possessions; they included hopes of being able to live a decent and dignified-even if hardworking-life; of having a chance to raise children and grandchildren nearby; and of being close to nature and to their own rural community. These hopes for a decent but honest life of work and family are part of the rural life to the present day.