….. with Elena Bria
American Christmas is over. People are getting ready for a New Year celebration, aren’t they? I know for sure Russians are.
The New Year is the most favorite Russian holiday. To make it festive people save money, buy delicatessen, which they usually cannot afford. Houses get cleaned, clothes get washed, housewives exchanged with the recipes of salads.
But delicious food is not the most important thing that people are excited about. There is a special spirit in the air. The New Year is a time for new beginnings, hope for a better future, new happiness and luck.
I asked Elena Bria, a young artist from Moldova, what Christmas and New Year mean to her.
EB: these holidays mean little to me. I just like this bustle on the streets, the lights, decorated Christmas trees, the Olivier salad, wrapping gifts for loved ones listening to the “Home Alone” on the background. When I was little, on December 25th, my family and I were going to someone’s house for some nice cute get-together. I stopped celebrating Christmas when I was studying at the university. Because I had so many exams and test just around Dec 25th.
Well, Elena is 20 years younger than me. She was born at the time of perestroika, when the Soviet Union broke apart, and Moldova became an independent country. People have been given the freedom to celebrate Christmas (along with other religious holidays). Some of them do it according to the Julian calendar on January 7, while others do it on Dec 25th according to the Georgian calendar.
On the contrary, I don’t remember my family celebrating Christmas at all. Every once in a while my Mom would tell me not to do the floor, not to knit or crochet. She would mention some religious holidays which I was not familiar with back then. I grew up during the Soviet era, when Christmas and other Church holidays were banned. Many Christmas traditions were moved to the New Year. Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on Jan 7th (after the collapse of the Soviet Union it became an official holiday). The two holidays sort of mingle together. Therefore, people usually decorate the Christmas tree on New Year’s Eve. And the presents are also given on New Year’s night.
I was persistent asking Elena: isn’t the New Year the beginning of the beginning?
EB: the New Year is characterized by such an illusory mood, which is felt especially on December 31. But then you wake up on the morning of January 2 (or the 5th, if it was a very fun New Year’s Eve) and realize with regret that the new year has come, and the old problems have not yet been solved. And then all the magic ends.
It is so true. People try hard to make the celebration magic. They choose festive attire and menu details according to the advice of astrologers. And under the beat of the main chimes of the country on Red Square,They drink champagne and make a wish, truly believing that it will come true in the new year. Not many understand that only they can help themselves.
I believe in the Universe myself. I think that everything happens for a reason. But I think there is still a way not to get bogged down in your unfulfilled desires.
My home remedy for the Universe to work is:
- to find the positive in everything what’s going on with me (it’s very difficult but really helpful)
- to learn something new always!
- to be open to new meetings, possibilities, customs
- to be nice and helpful to the others
- to be creative and maybe ambitious
- something else that I can’t think of at the moment, LOL
Of course it’s not an ideal recipe or the only one right. However, it helps me.
And what is your magic way to make your life better?