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Samstag, 7. April 2018

Christmas in Siberia

The New Year’s party 1898/1899 celebrated by banned social democrats in  Minusjnsk, Siberia. Among the guests were Lenin and Krupskaya. The other names I cannot decipher. 
Krupskaya wrote about the party:
“We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves during the holidays in Minusjnsk and had a break that will last us for a long time. At Christmas almost the whole district was in town, so we saw the New Year in very pleasantly at a big party. When the company broke up everyone was saying “A wonderful New Year’s party!” The main thing was the splendid mood. We mulled some wine; when it was ready we put the hands of the clock at “12” and saw the old year out in proper style, everybody sang whatever he could and some fine toasts were pronounced - we drank ’To Mothers”, “To Absent Friends”, and so on, and in the end danced to a guitar. One of the comrades draws well and he has promised to draw some of the outstanding scenes of the New Year’s party - If he keeps his promise you will get a very good idea of our New Year’s eve. Altogether it was a real holiday.” (January 10th 1899, to Lenin’s mother)
“ First of all, let me tell you how we spent Christmas. We had a wonderful time. All the people from the district came into town, most of them for three or four days. There are very few of us in Shushenskoye and it was very pleasant to be among people. We now know everybody in the district. We had a real festive time - went skating. I was laughed at, but since Minusjnsk I have made progress. Volodya learned a lot of figures in Minusjnsk and he now amazes the Shushenskoye public with his “giant steps” and "Spanish leaps”. Another amusement was chess. People played literally from morning to night. Only Zina and I did not play. But even I caught the infection and played once against a poor player and checkmated him. Then we sang, in Polish and Russian. V.V. has a guitar and so we sang to guitar accompaniment. We also did some reciting and talked to our heart’s content. Best of all was our New Year’s party (Volodya, incidentally, was tossed, it was the first time I had seen that performance and I had a good laugh).” (January 24th 1899 to Lenin’s sister Maria)

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