Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Russian connection

Thanks to Isabella Mori for this suggestion!
This also qualifies as a good childhood memory...

As far as I know (though at some point surely I must) I have no Russian ancestry. However, I was very fortunate, as a child, that my father made up stories for my brother and I (he refused to have a television in the house). In fact, Dad invented a mytho-comedic cycle that began on the Volga river and featured the famous boatmen of that area.

(I am not sure how he came to choose that setting, but I do recall a book of Russian folk tales that I read several times).

In any case, partly as a result, I was always curious about Russia. During the space race, that interest naturally grew. I remember visiting a booth at Expo 86 and purchasing a children's book by Yuri Gagarin.

Many years later, as a UBC employee, I was able to take a first year Russian language course. Since then I continue to take advantage of every opportunity to increase my vocabulary, although it is a slow process!

1 comment:

  1. I think your dad used the setting (Russia) for these stories because it was the Cold War when we were kids. Russia was the "bad guy" at least that's how it was being portrayed in the media. For as long as i've known your father, almost 24 years now, he's one of those people who doesn't believe everything that's fed to us in the media. He has a mind of his own and wants the facts so that he can form his own opinion. He likely wanted to put Russia in a more positive light than what the mainstream media was doing.

    And then there's his philosophy background, which he so earnestly thrust upon you (ahem). I'm sure he's read most philosophers including Russian ones, none of whom i can name.

    Those stories, which you passed onto our son, are a real gift.


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