Daily life

 

 

The day was filled up with work on the kolkhoz and various household tasks, made more tiring because this was a world with a minimum of artefacts. Most of the object were made by the peasants from local materials: wood, linen, hemp, leather, and plant roots used as soap or onion skin to dye cloth. The deportees recount their exile through a few key objects that represented their poverty or, in some cases, a source of hope: the pigs that were reared some years after the war revealed an important improvement in the living conditions of those who owned them.

This restricted, tiring daily life became a basis for reconstruction. This was the central element in community life: national attachment was maintained by taking part in festivals and religious rites, the language spoken at home, traditional songs, some articles kept or copied, like Ukrainian embroidery, but this did not prevent local integration via exchanges of services and skills, and shared leisure and social events.

Daily life was an area where different worlds could meet: collective work and private activities, various traditions within the general background imposed by the Soviet world, where customs and objects imported from the homeland existed alongside, ignored or encountered the local world.