Russia

New book offers life stories of Russian Centenarians

Like many of you, I am fascinated by stories of centenarians and have even devoted a post or two to the topic. And here I go again! (I’m sure this won’t be the last time.)

Люлка. Дореволюционная Россия. (Cradle. Pre-Revolutionary Russia); author unknown; created before 1917. Wikimedia Commons, uploaded by user Лобачев Владимир (Vladimir Lobachev)

An important (IMO) book was just released by Russian Life, a non-profit based in Montpelier, Vermont, that publishes books, magazines, and other items of interest for Russophiles around the world. I mention it here because it has everything to do with family history, the subject to which this blog is devoted. For anyone who is interested, here are the details:
RESILIENCE: Life Stories of Centenarians Born in the Year of Revolution

Authors: Paul E. Richardson & Nadya Grebennikova
Photographer: Mikhail Mordasov
From the website:

Call it resilience, grit, or just perseverance – it takes a special sort of person to have survived the last 100 years of Russian and Soviet history.

The 22 heroes in this volume were all born in 1917 – Russia’s year of revolution – somewhere within the bounds of the Russian empire as it then existed. They lived through Civil War, Collectivization, World War II, the Cold War, and the collapse of the USSR. Indeed, their lives are a living reflection of the past Russian century, and their stories show us a side of history not available in any other resource.

The authors of this project sought out these centenarians for months, then traveled over 20,000 kilometers across Russia and Eastern Europe, from sprawling metropolises to tiny villages, capturing poignant images, moving life stories, and stunning video. This book is the fruit of those efforts.

“Each of these stories is different, but all of them are tales of survival… of heart and courage… of family and community… of resilience.” –From the authors’ introduction

At $40 plus shipping, the book (soft cover) is not cheap, but as you can imagine, traveling around such a vast country searching out these stories was an expensive (and remarkable) endeavor—the result is truly priceless.

Note: A film is also available; you can pay $9.99 to stream it via your device.

Advertisements
Categories: Longevity centenarians, Russia | Tags: , | Leave a comment

24 July 1994: Young St. Petersburg artist painting en plein air

I suppose my family history blog is as much about me as anyone else in the family tree, so I’m giving myself permission to upload a memory/souvenir from my travels. Below is a photo of a young artist (last name ‘Kozlov’) painting 22 years ago on the grounds of the Peter & Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia. The small painting I purchased from him on 24 July 1994 brings back great memories of a great city that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting at least a dozen times. Perhaps, this young fellow, who must be in his late twenties/early thirties by now, is a successful artist today—and still enjoys his en plein air painting. I’d like to think so.
StPete_artistStPete_painting

Categories: Russia, St. Petersburg | 4 Comments

1920: Centenarian husband and nonagenarian wife reveal their longevity secrets

PopovAA

Demyan’s Fish Soup by Andrei Andreevich Popov, 1865 (published before 1923 and public domain in the US)

I’m always interested in stories of longevity, so when I came upon this one right after preparing a big old pot of borscht, my favorite soup, I could not help but feel validated about my cooking choice.

It was about a South Dakotan who’d made it to 100 (in 1920) and was living with his 96-year-old wife. They were originally from a place once known as Kulm, Bessarabia, South Russia. Today this location is known as Pidhirne, Odessa Region, Ukraine. The couple emigrated to the US in 1880, and of their 11 children, only one was still living in 1920.

Their lifestyle and her cooking seemed to be what kept the two of them going all those years, and apparently she was still doing the cooking at age 96. Perhaps, almost a century later there is something we can learn from them, or at least reinforce what we already know is key to a healthy, long life. Their “secrets”:

  • Low stress – they never spent time worrying about anything (although their life was not without heartache);
  • Physical activity – they performed manual labor on their farm every day;
  • They never worked too hard;
  • They never ate in excess;
  • She never baked him pies, cakes, cookies, etc., and they never ate any of those things;
  • They never ate candy—ever;
  • They never ate fried meat, except bacon on rare occasions;
  • They only ate Russian black / whole wheat / rye bread;
  • They drank milk in unlimited quantities;
  • Meat, eaten rarely, was roasted or boiled;
  • Soup – lots of it, every day; borscht was their favorite 😉 ;
  • Never used tobacco products;
  • Alcohol abstinence for last 20 years; just occasional wine before that.

************************************************************

borshcht1

My latest go at Moscow-style borscht topped with sour cream & fresh dill

Any surprises in the list? Just one for me: that they avoided cakes, pies, cookies, and candy altogether. I think I’d find it challenging to go even a week without at least one cookie. But reading their story does make me want to cut out processed sugar…. and eat more borscht!

Now, I know that there are many different styles of borscht, a dish that got its start in Ukraine. The one I am used to is Moscow-style borscht, and it is so delicious, I could eat it every day. I’ll leave you with the recipe. It’s very simple, and can be adjusted—you can easily make a vegetarian version.

Stay healthy and well, everyone, and have a good day.

borshcht3

A La Russe: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality p. 159 – an easy & delicious Moscow-style borscht recipe (Beef or vegetable bouillon works fine if you have no beef on hand.)

Categories: Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Health Matters, Russia | Tags: | 5 Comments

Powered by WordPress.com.

Smart Veg Recipes

Welcome to home made, vegeterian, healthy & kids friendly recipes

ICI & LA NATURE PICTURES

Walk and Bike in France. www.icietlanature.com

The Lives of my Ancestors

Lives, Biographies and Sketches of my Family History

Genealogy with a Rabbit - Seriously

graveyards, gravestones, genealogy, photography, family and fun

Diggin' Up Graves

Genealogy and family history, dirt and all.

Trkingmomoe's Blog

Low Budget Meals for the New Normal

Generations of Nomads

On the Trail of Family Faces, Places, and Stories Around the World

Giselle Potter

Illustrator

Nothing Gilded, Nothing Gained-Author Adrienne Morris

Books, Art and the Writing Life at Middlemay Farm

Travels with Janet

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Uma Familia Portuguesa

A história da nossa família

The Good, the Bad and the Italian

food/films/families and more

newarkpoems

350 years of Newark in verse 1666-2016

Russian Universe

Understanding Russia with a Russian

Almost Home

Genealogy Research and Consulting

Old Bones Genealogy of New England

Genealogy and Family History Research

Out Here Studying Stones

Cemeteries & Genealogy

WeGoBack

family research ... discover your ancestry

the Victorian era

Did I misplace my pince-nez again? Light reading on the 19th century.

Moore Genealogy

Fun With Genealogy

Meeting my family

RESEARCHING MY FAMILY TREE

Shaking the tree

musings on the journey towards knowing and sharing my family's stories

A Hundred Years Ago

Food and More

Scots Roots

Helping you dig up your Scots roots.

Root To Tip

Not just a list of names and dates

Food Perestroika

Adventures in Eastern Bloc Cuisine

Being Em | From Busan to America

this journey is my own, but i'm happy to share.

TWISTED LIMBS & CROOKED BRANCHES

Genealogy: Looking For "Dead People"!

Cemeteries of Brunswick, Maine

To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die. ~ Thomas Campbell

Zimmerbitch

age is just a (biggish) number) NUMBER

The People of Pancho

At Play In The Archive

TRACK

Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea

Rose of Sharon Healing

Healing for the Nations

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

Discovering Your Ancestors - One Gene at a Time

A SILVER VOICE FROM IRELAND

An Eclectic mix of items from a 'senior' blogger in Ireland looking at the past and keeping an eye on the present.

Opening Doors in Brick Walls

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

jerseyrootsgenealogy

A Garden State Journey in Genealogy

Genealogy With Valerie

Genealogy..a journey to the past present and future.

Jake Fletcher

Professional Genealogist, Educator, & Blogger

The Hanneman Archive

History Preserved. Lives Treasured.

Jane's Blog

Bitter Angry Ajumma

%d bloggers like this: