From Russian to Israeli to American - Arts & Features

From Russian to Israeli to American

ALINA DAIN SHARON | | Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 10:00 am

There’s a Russian folk tale about an elderly couple building a little snow girl to fill the void they feel over not being able to have a child. Suddenly, seemingly in a gift from God, the snow girl comes to life. Upon reaching age 29, I’ve come to feel as if I symbolically did the same in a geographical and emotional journey that began in snowy Russia, and has spanned three continents and nations over the past 25 years.

Known as Snegurochka (“Snow Maiden” in Russian), the folk character evolved over time to be viewed as the granddaughter of Father Frost, the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus. One of my earliest memories from Russia is a little doll in Snegurochka’s image placed snugly next to that of Father Frost underneath the small fir tree decorated with various multicolor ornaments in the corner of our Moscow apartment. It seems like the perfect image of Christian bliss, but we were Jewish and were not celebrating Christmas.

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