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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Defender of the Fatherland

x_4febdef5_bigOn the off chance that you were simply lolling about this weekend, and didn’t receive the memo, Sunday was “Defender of the Fatherland Day” in Russia. (They may need a similar day soon with all of the unrest in Ukraine, but I digress….)

Nowadays, the semi-holiday has turned into more of a Father’s Day, or Men’s Day in direct competition with Women’s Day of March 8, celebrated in many countries.  Military parades, fireworks, small gifts for men happen every February 23rd. 

Not that this date has any connection with a particular military victory.  It’s been celebrated in one form or anotherDefender-of-the-Fatherland-Day-2013-1 since World War I, but President Putin is the one who made it more official about a dozen years ago.

Which got me to thinking:  why is Russia called the “Fatherland” (ah-TYEH-chest-vah) in Russian for this holiday, but the word is generally translated as “Motherland”?  Don’t we generally consider Germany to be the Fatherland, and Russia to be “Mother Russia”-? 

Inquiring minds….

Ïðàçäíîâàíèå øèðîêîé ÌàñëåíèöûGenerally, you fight for the Fatherland, and you enjoy the culture of the Motherland, (homeland or “rodina”) if that makes sense.  Hence, defending the Fatherland sounds right, while the nurturing embrace of Mother Russia also sounds right.

Motherland, Fatherland, we are glad that the Olympics were safe and that soon, Maslenitsa will be upon us!  Chai and blini, it doesn’t get any more nurturing than that….

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