Snapshots Of Dacha Life in Russia- Stories that Unfold

  • NEHA KAPOOR
  • Oct 31, 2015
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Whosoever thinks that renting or owning an isolated property in the countryside for those tranquil holidays is a concept that has recently struck the new generation, needs to go back to history. Russians have a long established tradition of going to their "dachas” ever since 18th century. So what are Dachas- they are the country houses where the whole family went for a few months every year, while only the poor father of the family had to travel back and forth to the city for work. Dacha Stories have become inextricably interwoven with the memories and culture of Russia as every Russian whom you will meet would have a dacha story to unfold. Let us look at some of the snapshots of this "dacha” life so that we can understand the Russian culture and day to day life better. Also, it would be quite interesting to see this tradition being co-opted by the modern Russians- past juxtaposed with present with the leitmotif of tradition of dacha.

1. The Barrel Bellied Bathers

Image Source: npr.org

Since staying your dachas is synonymous with holidaying, drinking and bathing go together. Here, the barrel bellied bathers are having fun time near the Dubna River in Moscow Oblast According to Newman, "The dacha is the stage upon which the drama (or comedy) of Russian summer unfolds." Everyone in Russia, she says, has a dacha story.

2. Be that Peasant once you are in Your Dacha

Image Source: npr.org

Most of the Russians have that inherent likeness for farming. And it is at their dachas that they can fulfill that dream. In this picture, Sergey Yudin plants, burns weeds and becomes a peasant to please his soul. Do you know that in the Soviet times, such gardens grew some 90 percent of Russia's vegetables?

3. Swim in the Summer Water

Image Source: npr.org

Russians would love to swim. Not because they have an inherent capability of it but because its very few days of the year when they can swim in the natural waters. With summers offering that respite from intermittent cold, swimming can be a great pastime to relax your nerves.

4. Live that Fairytale life during Midsummer's Night

Image Source: volynnews.com

Like most of the Western nations, Russia celebrates its own Midsummers Night. The Russian version of St. John’s Day is Ivan Kupala Day. There are many old folk traditions practiced on this holiday, most of which are associated with water and fertility. For example, young girls float flower garlands on rivers and attempt to tell their fortunes from the movement. Boys and girls also jump over bonfires to test the strength of their relationship if they don’t hold hands for the entire jump; the couple is predicted to separate. Most of the time this festival is celebrated while you are staying on your dachas.

5. Shed Your inhibibitions while you are in Dacha

Image Source: national-geographic.pl

Like the concept of holiday that we follow everywhere, staying at Dacha can let you shed those inhibitions that bind you during your mundane existence. For example in this image, shoes and inhibitions are shed during a party at a dacha belonging to a Muscovite in the film industry.

6. Indulge into those Indoor Activities

Image Source: national-geographic.pl

Staying at your dacha is not always about getting into outdoor activities. People who do not wish to do so can let themselves spend pleasure time in indoor activities. Tatyana Gvozdetskaya embroiders in her family dacha in Bykovo, near Moscow.

Do you know that the famous figures of Russia leave for their dachas in summers as well? Vladmir Putin swoops into his by helicopter; Boris Pasternak wrote Doctor Zhivago at his dacha; and Joseph Stalin had about 20 dachas scattered around the Soviet Union.

7. The Bold Dacha Girls

Image Source: keywordsuggest.org

In the short, sweet summer, after a long, dark winter, Russians trade wool coats and heavy boots for bathing suits and sandals. Near the dacha community of Vyalki, young girls ride horses and swim with them in a nearby pond.

8. The Family that Eats Together Stays Together

Image Source: albanytula.org

Dachas offer you the ideal space and time to spend quality time with you family and friends. Its here that you can invite friend for bar-b-que (shashlyk), sing songs around the fire (no briquets) , grow a garden (much healthier) or head out to the nearby forest for  mushroom picking. Why not visit Russia to see these legendary Dachas with Triphobo's Trip planner?

9. Fun Time for Children

Image Source: vice.com

Dachas know hoe to entice children. In this picture, Six-year-old Polina Merkulova hides in the bushes outside her family's dacha near Sergiyev Posad, about 50 miles northeast of Moscow. An hour's drive brings the family from city to country.

10. Dachas speak their own story

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Every dacha tells its own story- the art, the passion and the nature that goes into its creation. Mostly self built, Dachas come in all shapes and sizes.

So how do you spend your holidays? Is it better than the way Russians so theirs? Let us know.

You may also like to read:

Off the Beaten Path in St. Petersburg- Beyond the Accustomed

Lake Baikal- What to See in this Enchanted Landscape

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NEHA KAPOOR NEHA KAPOOR

A lover of literature, Neha wants to understand world through the prism of books. Nuances of words, spoken or written, entice her to delve into the human psyche. A voracious reader of Partition and feminist literature, she desires to deconstruct and unlearn the congealed forms of knowledge system.

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