“There's my homeland, here – home …”



The bastard Nazima was born in Kurgan area near Ural. For many years she is a RESIDENT of Nautrēnu parish, a retired Nautrēnu high school Russian-language teacher. Nazima has been enriched in Latgale, a well-known Latvian and Latgalian language, children and grandchildren born, but she still sees her mother's village in the distance.
“Latvia is like a homeland, my home.” “I'm a rich man i have two homes,” Nazima Melne says.
- How many years are you living in Latvia?
It'll be forty-five this year.
“How did you decide to move to Latvia?”
At the age of sixteen i had gone to the pioneer camp at the Black Sea, where i met a boy from Latvia, Anatolia. That was love. I couldn't forget his blue eyes. For six years we exchanged cards, but then he sent a letter that he was coming to see me. We met in Chelyabinsk, and he said i was going to get married the next year. I left my home in 1973 and came to Latvia.
- You were able to speak Russian, Tatar, and Bashkar languages, how did you learn the Latvian language?
It was very hard, but within three months i knew what i was talking about, but i started to speak for a while. I worked at school, taught Russian. I ask colleagues to talk to me in Latin. It was hard for me to have another language - latmeat.
I remember when i just arrived, everyone comes back and says “Hello.” I thought i had to make it. The second name was on my wedding day, when the neighbour, in joke, said “Oh, huh!” I thought it was something good and tried to repeat, everyone laughed at me.
“How do you see yourself in this environment?”
Half like a bastard, half a Latvians. I mostly speak latgalically. When i started thinking in a rumor, i translated the latgalically.
- How did you take it in Latvia? Did you feel like a stranger?
Very well received. Very kind, hospitable people live here. I never felt any negative attitude from my colleagues or parish people, because i was an insider. I don't understand those who live here for many years and have not learned the language, but even more shame than those who are born here and say they can't learn Latvian.
- I know that the bastard kitchen is different from the Latvian kitchen. How did you get to our food?
We don't eat pork meat, there's no coarse bread, but i'm quick to taste your bread when i visit my own, always take it like a turn from Latvia.
“What links do you still associate with your homeland?”
It's years, and i'm more saddled by homeland, i think almost every moment, even i remember the smell of my village as i walked through the woods, as i read strawberries. In the woods, the strawberries are as big as you are in the garden. I don't forget about mine for a moment, though there's very little relatives now. It is rare to go to the homeland. Here is my family, my children and grandchildren. I have a homeland where i was born, but also Latvia is like a homeland, my home, and i am a rich man that i have two homes.
Nazima was talking black in Nellie Vilnius.
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