If you want to give it a more serious title it might be, The social, cultural and economic role of the Russian dacha, sounds a bit pompous, but never mind.
So,..... how to do this? well I have some really nice images of dachas and I have some personal experience of them after nearly four years living in Russia but I decided to get an authentic Russian voice to comment.I asked my friend and one time colleague Tatiana Petrovna, "what does your dacha mean to you Tanya? "this was her response;
My dacha is important to me as it feeds us nearly the whole year
It pleases my eye as I have beautiful flowers and dwarf conifers
It keeps me in good physical shape with digging which is sometimes very hard
I like to sunbathe on a bright summer day.
The dacha is a place to meet friends, to relax, talk, listen to music, drink tea and wine.
When it is raining it is a pleasure to sit by the fire among people dear to you.
Or just to sit in silence with my own thoughts.
Much depends on my mood
|Tanya on her dacha|
The dacha as you can see is close to the heart of Russians as it has been since Tsarist times when they were largely the prerogative of the upper middle classes. During the Soviet era people were allowed small plots for recreation and food production. Since then, after the middle of May each year there is a mass exodus from the towns and cities on Friday to the dacha in the countryside.
You can see from the figures above what an important contribution dachas make to Russian food production. The gardening is largely organic, highly sustainable and provides food security, something we no longer have in the UK.,