July 30, 2012

{sling diaries} History

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Lately, more than ever, I've been feeling the need to reconnect with my own heritage, as well as preserve it for our children and generations to come. I was young when Mark and I got married (and now I'm so old!), and I spent a long time trying to adapt and get used to a new culture after moving to the US. Now, years later, after finally getting myself rooted in this no-longer-new life, I'm beginning to realize that I've been quite out of touch with my original roots, with the rich culture I was raised in. And I miss it now, more and more each day. I long to go back home and visit places that I took for granted in my youth, places where life stood still, where some of 'endangered' 100-years-old traditions and ways of life were still the norm. I don't know when we'll be able to go back there as a whole family. But until then, we will continue sharing stories, memories, art and any knowledge that will help our children develop a connection to the history that they are tied to.

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Last week we celebrated Pioneer Day here in Utah, and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to remind our children some of the history, both local and personal. We attended local celebrations, made simple family tree charts which encouraged us to pull out some old photos (Mark's really good at things like that), visited This Is the Place Heritage Park, watched Native American dances. Our children may not understand the significance of such activities at this age, but I hope that as they grow and as we continue to make efforts to stay in touch with our past, they will build respect for those who came before them and made their life possible in one way or the other.

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(she nose planted just minutes before this picture)

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p.s. Don't know what I'd do without having my phone to take pictures with. Meanwhile I'm trying to get a hang of another D200 that I got for free because it doesn't autofocus, but still works pretty well for some shots on manual focus. It's a challenge, but I'll admit, it's kind of fun, and I'm rediscovering my love for unintentional blur.

5 comments:

Jessica said...

Olya, I don't think I realized you did not grow up in the US, where are you from?

Lovely as always... wish we could have gone south for Pioneer Day. xx

Angie said...

It would be fun to be able to go and see where you grew up. I would love to go there someday. I love that you are teaching the kids more about their heritage. I love the flowers in their hair and how bright and vibrant they are! Can't wait to see you all soon.

Olya said...

Jessica, I grew up in Moldova, although my parents are both Ukrainian. Then throw Russian influence into the mix... I used to speak all three languages, studied and experienced a rich (and often confusing at school) mix of literature, art and history from those 3 cultures as well. I used to be overwhelmed by all of it at school, and now that I am older and the desire to learn is more natural and self-driven, I find myself enjoying re-discovering some things with better understanding of them. I'm lucky that our local library also has a selection of some Russian and Ukrainian classics that I can read in their original languages.

Angie, I think the city life changed quite a bit from what I hear, and I'm not looking forward to seeing those changes, to be honest (more fast food, malls, and such). It's the country life in some places that would truly be a trip back in time (about 100 years) for you :) I really didn't realize and appreciate just how unique that way of life was until after I moved here...

mary catherine said...

These are all so beautiful--love the flowers in your hair, love the kids' clothes.

susana said...

Nice pics*
Love the colours!