e-Book on Russian Women (Part 5)
Russian Women and their free time
The Russian woman often complains that she cannot squeeze all her numerous house tasks and everyday problems into a 24-hours day. Nevertheless, the life in Russia is arranged according to the old proverb, which can literally be translated as ‘Devote you whole time to the business and only an hour of it to rest’. After hard work the Russian woman can relax and have a good rest. Though the weekends are usually full of washing, cleaning, ironing and linen mending and summer vacations to tending the dacha, weeding and gathering the harvest and making as much as possible preserves for winter. But the moment comes and the Russian woman flatly states: “Stop, it’s high time to get my breath! “
And where does a Russian woman rest?
In banya (Russian sauna). The banya is not only a ceremony of getting clean but rather a means of getting rid of a stress, a relaxation. It clears the organism, rejuvenates it and trains the heart muscle.
Treating her female friends to tea or a glass of wine or sometimes, to tell the truth, to a thimble of vodka, accompanied by pickles, fish, meat, Russian pelmeni (meat-filled dumplings).
On the sofa reading a book or a magazine.
At the theatre, an exhibition or a concert.
Going shopping to fashion stores.
At various amateur societies.
Going in for sports or hiking in the forest.
And, of course, at her favorite needlework: dressmaking, embroidery, knitting, for the Russian woman is very good at different kinds of handwork; there is nothing she cannot do. You wouldn’t frequently come across a woman that didn’t know knitting or crochet-work. They allow Russian women to have a bit of rest and, at the same time, to relieve the strain, to exercise her creative powers, to improve the family well-being by producing nice and cheap clothes for the children, husband and herself. I daresay, knitting takes the top position in the list of the Russian woman’s hobbies.
The second position in the said list belongs to cooking. Many women collect the recipes of pipes and cakes for years, they experiment and crate new dishes which become specialty in the house.
It is obvious that the Russian woman’s hobbies are not mere passions but always have practical implications for the home and the family.
Thus, each Russian woman chooses a hobby which suits her. Some take up painting, others write poetry, still others devote their spare minute to reading or their pets. A woman may not have a hobby as such, but almost everybody prefers some employment to all others which both her soul and body enjoy.