Lina Mukhamedjanova and Natalia Shulgina

This is a picture of me and my daughter Natalia Shulgina. The photo was taken in Chernigov when she came on a visit from Simferopol in 2000. I got married to Shamil Mukhamedjanovin 1957 and our daughter Natasha was born in 1958. She was a very sickly girl. The doctor said that she was having problems living in the continental climate of Middle Asia and that I should rather take her to my hometown. We took Natasha to Chernigov and she stayed with my parents. My mother worked, so we hired a baby-sitter for Natasha. My husband and I returned to Kazakhstan. When Natasha was to go to the 1st grade at school my mother brought her to Kazakhstan. She waited until we returned from our expedition. She brought Natasha to school and took good care of her. We returned in October or November. My mother went back to Chernigov and Natasha stayed with us throughout the winter. In March my mother came to take Natasha to Chernigov with her. Of course, this was difficult for my mother. She was aging, but she was happy for us. Besides, Shamil and I earned well and sent her some money. I worked in expeditions for eleven and a half years and lived in Kazakhstan for 20 years. In 1965 I began to feel ill and my doctors recommended me to change the climatic zone. Shamil was transitioned to Chernigov and we returned to my hometown. Everything was fine until Shamil suddenly fell ill in 1975. He had fever and swollen lymph nodes. He had terminal cancer. Shamil convinced the doctors to operate on him. After the surgery my husband lived two more years. He died in 1977 at the age of 46. I've lived alone since then. I believe there's no second man like him in this world. My daughter graduated from the Faculty of Roman and German Philology at Simferopol University. She was a success with her studies. She knows Spanish, French and Italian. When she was a student Natasha married Victor Shulgin, a Russian man. Victor finished his postgraduate studies. Natasha stopped studying after they got children. Natasha thinks she is a metropolitan. She works at the university library. Her husband is chief of department at the university. They are a happy family and their children grow up in a loving and caring atmosphere. I have two grandchildren: Victor, born in 1982, and Alexandr, born in 1984. They both study at Simferopol University. The older one is a programmer, one of the best of the university, and the younger one is a mathematician. Natasha, her husband and her children often visit me in Chernigov. They support me materially and morally. I have many friends in Chernigov. I've never observed any Jewish traditions or celebrated holidays, but I've become a member of the Jewish cultural community. We celebrate Sabbath and learn prayers. On holidays Rabbi Yakov Muzykant comes to see us. Of course, I haven't become religious. I was raised by atheists at a time when religion was rejected. However, I like it that Jewish life is returning. I like to learn about Jewish traditions and holidays, which we celebrate in Hesed. I've always identified myself as Jew. Nationality has never been of major significance to me. Every nation has its scoundrels. I value personal qualities like kindness, honesty, and the capability to love and forgive. Now I've come to be interested in the history and life of my people. I'm interested in our traditions. There was no Jewish literature published in the former Soviet Union and there were no public Jewish organizations. I'm glad that we have an opportunity to return to our roots now.