Disappearing Dachniki

Melissa L. Caldwell

in Dacha Idylls

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520262843
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947870 | DOI:
Disappearing Dachniki

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This chapter considers the sentimental attachments that Russians claim to feel for their dachas and for the countryside more generally, which take the form of nostalgic reminiscences and encapsulate a larger and more contentious set of debates about the nature and direction of the past, present, and future in today's Russia. The unpleasant reality faced by many dachniki is that there may come a day when they must dispose of their dacha property. Narratives about change and transformation cohere around mythologies of “disappearing dachniki.” Dachniki did not deny that change could bring tremendous improvements in their lifestyles at the dacha, even though they might grumble about the change. The challenges of authenticity facing dachniki are then reported. Nostalgia is both a commentary on social change and a form of social change itself, just as the organic life is as much a state of mind as it is a lifestyle.

Keywords: dachas; dachniki; nostalgic reminiscences; Russia; authenticity; social change; organic life

Chapter.  11921 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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