skip to content »

Russian dating service national geographic

russian dating service national geographic-78

With privatization in 1990, owners could buy land and expand beyond six sotkas, but the landscape remains a mishmash of shoulder-to-shoulder dwellings.Decor tends to out-of-date calendars, mismatched crockery, paintings of bears in the forest, and lace curtains hanging in doorways to defend against mosquitoes.

russian dating service national geographic-43russian dating service national geographic-47

“A childhood photograph shows it reaching well above my head.” Sweet or bitter, lighthearted or dark, the story always takes place in summer. Physical force is the only language they understand.” Another time, a beefy lout, flouting dacha decorum, let his dog swim in the lake. End of problem.” When Boris isn’t at the dacha, he’s driving a cab. He was going to set a camera trap to catch offenders.The dacha has threaded its way through Russian culture ever since Peter the Great handed out land on the outskirts of St. (“Dacha” is derived from the Russian verb “to give.”) The dacha is the stage upon which the drama (or comedy) of Russian summer unfolds. In western Europe it stretches eight months or more. (Municipalities grab property illegally and sell it to developers for dacha subdivisions.) It’s a place to brood, ponder life, party, cherish the company of family and friends, and more recently it’s become a badge of conspicuous, over-the-top consumption for Russia’s new money.Summer in Russia is precious and brief; winter, interminable. The dacha is a litmus test for changing Russian values and a celebration of those that stay the same.It’s a cultural divide, says Maxim Semyonov, editor of Valday’s weekly. Our first multistory building went up only 40 years ago.” City folk, Maxim explains, consider the dacha a place to relax.“In Valday a dacha is about hard work and serious gardening.” Nadezhda Yakovleva, a soft-spoken woman with delicate features who runs the local museum, provides more evidence.On the outside are high stone or brick walls, sometimes with slits, as if to allow archers to shoot burning arrows at any peasant foolish enough to attempt a breach.

“Their owners have not developed a soul,” Konstantin observes sadly.

Big-city dachniks are regarded as an alien species best avoided, in the way that one tries not to brush against stinging nettles in the forest.

Though I suspect he is mistaken, Boris insists that only city folk trash their surroundings; locals would never be so remiss.

Boris’s dacha, like most in Valday, is a garden plot with a cabin.

Such plots, originally six sotkas (.15 acre), date back to Soviet-era land distribution programs that allowed Russians to endure postwar food shortages made worse by the disaster of centrally planned agriculture.

On the other end of the spectrum are kottedzhy (cottages), the name for the wannabe castles built by New Russians, postcommunism’s superspenders.