The Simple Life
I knew that coming to Russia I would learn a lot. Many of these things are easy to understand as Kazan is a modern city. We have access most everything we need here, from convenience stores on every corner (run and owned by locals) to our Mega Mall that’s 15 minutes away by public transportation. Just around the corner from where we live there is even an open-market, here you can find just about anything you need. But that is truly only scratching the surface we have many cultural centers for performing arts and the list goes on.
But that is not what this is post about. This post is about the simple life here in Russia. The things that are done, the things that are unsaid. What I have found incredible is the humility of the people of Russia. Oh, yes it may seem that everyone here walks around not smiling, that this conduct is just a part of their lifestyle and you better get used to it (and I have) but there is a hidden side to them to. It’s much richer harder to identify but it’s there. They don’t talk about it, but if you are invited to their home it immediately is clear. Most people I’ve met live simple lives. They aren’t complicated and most don’t have garages full of more stuff than they need. The richness is in its simplicity. So here I’d like to share with you how the other half-lives.
See what happened is that during the Soviet Union the government forced industrialization during the 1930’s which was directed against traditional peasant culture. The Soviet state began to change the peasants into factory workers and other occupations that suited them. Collective farming replaced private farms and land in order to establish large-scale massive agriculture. The dacha phenomenon which had been around a while boomed in Russia after the 1980’s, it symbolized a return to a simpler way of life.
This has changed me more than anything else in Russia, seeing that have things or harboring thoughts of a grander life has impacted my life. What is curious is the number of people who come to Russia and experience the same thing. This leads me up to sharing with you a wonderful video from Paige Claassen. She is a professional rock climber that I shared about in another post some time back. She and several other were able to spend time on a farm in the middle of nowhere. The experience they had there was incredible. The following video documents her time there. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.