Defenders of the Fatherland Day

March 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm (Uncategorized)

Tuesday was the actual holiday for Defenders of the Fatherland (now also generally known as Men’s Day).  I am the only one in my group who constantly has a man living in my house.  Other people just have host mothers whose sons live elsewhere.  However, I got to actually see the holiday celebrated because of my host dad, Volodya.

It was a very funny day.  Volodya likes his vodka every day of the year, but I guess the holiday gave him a good excuse to drink openly, and a lot.  He came up to me at four in the afternoon and asked me (in Russian) “You want in?  You want in on the Schnapps?”  I said no, because I’m not sure it’s appropriate for young women to drink with older men in Russia.  He was very sad, but he went out anyway to buy more vodka.  When he came back, he sat down in the kitchen and watched the Olympic ice dancing with me while pouring himself shots.  He kept trying to get me to drink too, but I kept saying no.  Iya came home in the middle of this and got mad at Volodya.  She saw the vodka bottled and yelled, “Are you serious??  Another one?!”  Volodya looked upset and said, much like a five year old, “But it’s my holiday!”  It was all very funny.

Volodya also put on his old army uniform for me and strutted around proudly.  He showed me all his medals.  It was very cool and interesting.

In Russia, people have one pair of house clothes that they wear when they’re at home.  I wear my Lehigh sweatpants, and today Volodya tried to read them.  He knew the “L” sound in English, but got confused at the “H” because the “H” is also the Russian letter for the “N” sound.  So he read the “LE” in English, but the “H” in Russian, and suddenly his eyes lit up, and he gleefully shouted “LENIN!!”  So now he thinks that my sweatpants say “Lenin” even though I’ve tried to tell him that it’s not Lenin, it’s my university.

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1 Comment

  1. Arielle said,

    We just learned about ‘men’s day’ along with March 8th ‘international women’s day’ in class! Hope you are enjoying your trip!
    When do you come back to LeHigH?

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