How It Used To Be: Summer in the Countryside

Today we would like to tell you about very interesting works by the photographer Alexander Sennikov. Alexander Sennikov, in his works

Today we would like to tell you about very interesting works by the photographer Alexander Sennikov. Alexander Sennikovre creates in his works (still-lives)the spirit of the Soviet era, the era of the USSR.

For some people, the USSR is forever associated with the totalitarian state in which there was no freedom.

But for other people – regular ordinary folks who lived in the Soviet Union – that time was safe and secure. It was the time when people truly felt that their country took care of them. It was the time when you had a sense of confidence in your future and believed that everything would be fine: when it was easy to dream and to live without any danger. All you had to do was choose what you wanted and whom you wanted to be – and everything would be great.

No doubt that it is rare in history to encounter a whole “generation of dreamers” in one country. And during the Sovietera there was one particularly amazing period –the summer months. Favorite summer days were spent among forest brooks and blooming flowers. Many citizens had their own country houses in the villages, where their grandparents were livingwho did not want to move to big cities. And other people who did not have their own houses in the country built their summer houses on small plots of land. Those summer houses with tiny pieces of land were the so-called “holiday villages” (dachniy poselok).

Typically, children and parents went out of town during summer break.

Summer started with lilac bouquets on the last school day. Lilacs were gathered in huge arrangements that were put in buckets. People believed that if you break lilac twigs this year – next year lilac trees would be even bigger and better. But people tried not to keep bunches of lilacs in their bedrooms so as not to have a headache in the morning.

May evening

May evening

During May eveningspeople also made a special drink from bread – kvass – which is very tasty and perfectly quenches thirst.

Homemade drink - Kvas

Homemade Drink – Kvass

Grandmothers liked collecting medicinal natural herbs. At that time it was possible to bring those herbs to pharmacies, where some natural medicine and drugs were made using them. At present the herbs are also used in official medicine as well.

Collecting Herbs

Collecting Herbs

Then it was time to gather berries. You could find a lot of wild strawberries in forests in summer time. Children ate wild berries with great pleasure. But how could you bring berries as a gift to your friends or family members if you had no basket with you? – Very simple! People simply strung berries on dry grass.

Strawberries on Blades of Grass

Strawberries on dry grass

To sum up: kids in the USSR had very fun and enjoyable summers in the countryside.

Photos by Alexander Sennikov

To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev

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