Sat, Apr 07, 2007 - Page 9 News List

Traditional Russian womanhood is a thing of the past

The generation of women who grew up under the Soviet Union had something in common with the past: the age-old spirit of sacrifice

By Dmitry Shlapentokh

It is understandable that the collapse of the country, and of the spirit that nurtured Russian intellectuals -- regardless of their political beliefs -- for generations, is unbearable for Tereshkova and people like her. But Tereshkova's dream about travel to Mars is not just suicidal nostalgia for a time when she was young and surrounded by people ready to sacrifice their lives for a greater cause.

In fact, the allusion to space exploration has another dimension: great achievements are not bound to one's time or place of origin and can be transmitted to other cultures and generations. Tereshkova's dream is a symbol not only of her desperation, which is the desperation of the creative mind in today's Russia, but also of her continuing belief in the great potential of the human spirit.

Dmitry Shlapentokh is professor of Russian at Indiana State University, South Bend, Indiana. Copyright: Project Syndicate

This story has been viewed 3094 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top