Photo Challenge #13 / Happiness


“Easter Egg” / Theme: Happiness

A little about this photo…

Here’s a little story my grandmother would always tell me about Easter Eggs and her brother (my great-uncle).

My grandmother’s family lived in the Soviet Union when she was a girl in the 1930s. (She was part of an ethnic group called the Germans from Russia.) Since communism is atheistic, it was severely frowned upon to celebrate ANY religious holiday, Easter included. And when I say severely frowned upon, these were the days after the Holodomor, the great starvation winter (1932-33) that Stalin used to force “persuade” the people to accept the communist way of life. (And yes, my grandmother’s family lived through that.)

Okay. Back to the story about the Easter Eggs. Every Easter, their mother would hard-boil eggs. (Well, except that year back in 1933, I suppose.) And my great-uncle would always take a egg or two to school. (This would have been 1935-ish, when he was about 12 years old.)

Of course, he would always get in trouble. “Don’t bring those eggs to school, Emil!” his mother would tell him. So did his grandparents. And his younger sister (my grandmother). Even his father, although the father’s job on the commune farms kept him away from home most of the time. Emil’s teacher even came to visit the home to tell his mother, “Stop sending those eggs to school with your son!”

But there was nothing they could do. My great-uncle was a stubborn kid and he would do what he would do! Fortunately, nothing bad did happen to him because of the Easter Eggs.

Now, thinking back on this little tidbit of a story, I have a few questions. 1) Did this happen more than one year? (The more I think about it, I think it probably only happened for one (maybe two?) year. Stalin’s Great Purges were from 1936-1938. Their grandfather was taken in 1938. Their father was taken in 1941, but only because he was deemed necessary as one of the mechanics that kept all the commune farms running. And 2) Were the eggs dyed? Unfortunately, I never thought to ask these questions while my grandmother was alive.

On a side note: My Uncle Emil was known for doing things “his way”. Despite his propensity to thumb his nose occasionally at the authorities, it was probably that stubbornness that ended up saving him from the gulag… But that’s another story.

Side note #2: I am fully aware of the irony of the theme of this photography prompt (“Happiness”) juxtaposed against a story that discusses people being starved and taken away to the gulag. It’s perhaps the German-Russian heritage in me? (Soviet-era jokes tend to have a bit of a macabre edge to them.)

So… that is the little story of my great-uncle and the Easter Eggs. And with that, I wish you a very happy and blessed Easter!

THIS WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is posted every Saturday. Please join me in posting your own photos with #2018picoftheweek

10 thoughts on “Photo Challenge #13 / Happiness

  1. I can see the happiness in it. Staying stubbornly to what you want. Thumbing the nose at authority, when you know that authority isn’t all it’s cut out to be. Yea, I can see his egg-gesture as bringing him happiness. Especially since he got away with it.

    Liked by 2 people

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