13 December 2009

Sparrow Hills

Left to right - Tatiana, Anastasia, Olga, Marie. Centre: Alexei

Evenings: cicada calls across browning Christmas lawns. In pyjamas and freshly washed hair we'd crowd around the icons in the lounge room for evening prayers. Mama taught us to pray for the living and the departed. The names of the dead seemed to ring and rhyme (nearly everything does in Russian after a while).. Angelina, Nina, Zoya, Kapitalina, Galya, Galina, Evgeniya, Venyamin, Venedikt, Sofia, Elena, Otrok Sergiy (otrok meaning youth)...

What's in a name? Do you live up to the etymology of your name? Do the vowel sounds and the syllables shape your character in strength and weakness, femininity and masculinity? Is it the biggest gift you can give to your child?

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