I am travelling alone with two 3 and 5 years old fully bilingual kids to our family minority language home country - Russia. Sounds interesting? Keep on reading!
Almost 3.5 hour flight went well. The kids were extremely well behaved (Surprise!). They even were able to negotiate on who takes the window seat without letting the entire airplane know about their discussion.
The moment we approached the boarding area my son commented about people: “mama, they all speak Russian!” and I realised that here is the start point for learning about Russians and Russian culture. The kids were studying peoples faces and were paying attention to other people’s conversations.
The next early encounter with Russia was in the air - kids reaction to the airline food. Russian black bread, butter, cheese … and pasta and chicken dish, which my kids picked.
I was curious to see how my Italian kiddos will react to pasta. The very hungry kids finished all the chicken, but the little one left the pasta and ate all our white bread instead. My sweet tooth girl did not want to eat a cake either.
Did you know that such a simple thing like “venik” (a short brush of bound straw) can make a kid happy?
This was one of the most exciting moment for me and my kids. The older child noticed "venik" at the back of a bus that we took to get from our plane to a terminal. His eyes were shiny from happiness. He said “ Mom, this is a "venik"!“ (“Мама, это ВЕНИК! “) .
Right at this moment I understood the great significance of our trip - it is a real life encounter with everything they read about and talked about all those past years.
This first trip to Russia is much much more than just a visit of friends and family.
More to come soon!
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Image source: wikipedia