1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

My military childhood December 7, 2008

I found this old picture of my class and suddenly felt like writing a very personal post, which may somewhat a different perspective on me…

Due to my fathers profession – he was a Soviet Army officer – I grew up in a rather unusual conditions compared to the rest: in a kind of a military ghetto.

We used to live in small “military” towns in Soviet Union and abroad  -surrounded by a wall. The only men I saw around were officers and soldiers. By now I hold my breath when I see a man in a uniform 🙂

It was a blissful time because we have been so incredibly protected, that we never ever heard of crimes, violence, any danger – we felt perfectly safe and secure. At the same time our fathers went to the war in Afghanistan – but we were too small to realise the horror of it.

We were all friends, the international military citizens from all over the Soviet Union (dozens of nations), we lived like a big family. What was really special is the feeling of unity, trust, honor and respect. And we were proud of our fathers.

In the school we had a subject called “civil defence”, which was not unusual for a country that lost 26 Millions of people in the Second World War 40 years ago. The subject was a compulsory everywhere, however only in the schools of our military towns we could get the best of it and learned how to shoot a gun at the tender age of 12 (!).

The picture above shows another military gem – an official school game we used to play once in a year starting with the 6th form, if I remember correctly. The game was called “zarnitsa” (the lightning) and was very popular with the schoolchildren: we used to dress up in the uniforms and “play war”, using our skills how to escape the gas attack, rescue people, set up a tent, transport the injured, take hostages, disassemble and assemble of a sub-machine gun, etc. That was fun because we knew it was a game. We also knew it was a good training  – and as life shows today, any peaceful tourist can find himself in war situation 😦

By the way, the photo was taken during the Zarnitsa game at the 8th class and I am also on this picture – guess who? 🙂

LOVE, axinia


37 Responses to “My military childhood”

  1. Sahaja Says:

    Really!!! One of my friend is daughter of military officer and I always felt they are a bit different from others….may be because of the discipline and mostly because of exposure they get at tender age!

    Gun at the age of 12….No wonder you are such a strong lady 🙂 Should learn that from you !!

    And about the photo – I am bit confused between 2 people but I feel strongly that its the right most girl sitting on her knees. [just below the standing person] …..

  2. Nita Says:

    Beautiful picture and I think you are the one of the left side. It was interesting to read about your childhood.

  3. Diffio Says:

    I remember it. I hated lessons of “civil defense” but liked to shut. I was feeling “Terminator” at the moments 😉

  4. Diffio Says:

    Nita, do you mean “right side”? 😉

  5. wortman Says:

    i say, left side with the black hair 😉

    i think, it was normal in these days to be a “soldier-child”, to play war and doin things like that. it was the same in eastern germany 😉
    we here, in the old west-germany, dont play anything like that, and also haven’t groups like that.

    I was at the navy 😉 i liked my black uniform with the golden signs 😉 let me think… its more then 20 years ago…

  6. draupadi16 Says:

    Dear Axinia! You described a very interesting part of your childhood! Thank you so much for sharing! Very joyful and peaceful days of December for you – Draupadi.

  7. Bala Says:

    One in the left most.. right?

  8. swaps Says:

    Finally, the best post 🙂 Thanks for sharing it.

    What a coincidence, that you must write this post when our National Defence Academy(that trains future officers) is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee !! Here too we have a similar set up, we call it National Cadet Corps. I never ventured into it, though.

    You know, I am surprised you took part in such training given your indifference to sports. ‘Civilian Defence’ is a big deal for me, it was the civilians who won WWII. So we can count on you ? 🙂

    Do you notice, the way you have posed in the photo is exactly like in your current avatar.

  9. kanagu Says:

    a nice post.. got to know something about of Russia.. As far as the photo is concerned I think you are the one in the right most sitting on the knees.. Am I right? 🙂

  10. I think you’re the girl who is kneeling down in front the only girl who’s standing 🙂

  11. axinia Says:

    @swaps, I knew you would love this post!-i was actually waiting for your delighted comment 🙂

    @Sahaja, I am not sure that it is right for a girl to try using a gun at the age of 12…It was my life, but nevertheless, i grew up into a princess, not a fighting maiden! 🙂

    @Nita, thanks, I am very please to get your comment again!

    @Diffio, thanks for sharing – did you also grow in the same military surrounding?

    @wortman, – Eastern Germany has taken it from us :;) BTW, this picture was taken near Cottbus, where I lived at that time.

    @Draupadi, thank you, dear…I am glad you liked it.

    @kanagu, thanks! – there are many more interesting facts about Russia, I am planning a big article on that since long, hope to finish it by the end of this year…

    @Raj, thanks 🙂

    And now, the Grande Finale – who guessed right?

    First of all I thank everyone who suggested that I was that pretty girl on the right (sitting before the standing one) – it is very flattering indeed, but not true.

    In fact, I was rather an unattractive, tiny girl at school – and that is the one on the very left. 🙂

    Nita, wortman, Bala and swaps got it right! 🙂

  12. Sahaja Says:

    Oooh….so my deduction went wrong…I had confusion between left most and right most as I said…but the black hair made me vote for right most one….Thanks for the interesting post!!
    And using a gun at age of 12 could be a mighty princess too…given u r in right arms….its ok 😀

  13. Sahaja Says:

    Merry Christmas Axinia 🙂
    [I am going home tomorrow so might not be able to come online !!]
    Happy New Year ….keep smiling and keep blogging….Love U Loads


  14. swaps Says:

    Even then you had begun to look mature 🙂 ….makes me wonder what I would have been to meet you, what topics you would have talked about.
    (In my 8th form I was a communist, drawing portraits of Karl Marx…dreaming of another revolution.)

  15. axinia Says:

    @Sahaja, I am stiil an armed princess -only armed with LOVE 🙂

    good question!
    In my 8th form I wan keen on philosophy and was writing my first philosophical tractat 🙂 My passion for history and literature was also there.

  16. Sahaja Says:

    ayyo ….arms i meant….good hands…in care of elders at that age 😀

  17. radha Says:

    no i cant believe u are that one, i was ready to exclude it for first!! ahhah

  18. noni Says:

    just dropping by…….nice blog…pics…and words…

  19. waaaa . . . I got it wrong 😦

    I think we were fooled by your hairstyle . . . at least I was 😐

  20. axinia Says:

    Sahaja, thank you, now I see…

    radha, I was indeed pretty uninteresting:)

    noni – thanks, keep visiting!

  21. axinia Says:

    Raj, unfortunately I was having my har short almost all my life (!), only recently my husband asked me to grow them long, and I am so gald I did!´

  22. There was only two times when I was able to shoot from a real gun. That was during my NCC training in school (Actually at a camp). When I was in College, I had a chance to read the “Rise and Fall of Third Reich”. So, I did have some idea about the second world war and the Russian defense. I thought that it was quite hard to have lived in Russia during the pure communist times(Read Stalinist times). Or, that is the image portrayed by another book – Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. Just for the sake of argument: I feel that if Lenin had not died so early, it would have been much better for Russia and the world. Do you agree?

    Destination Infinity

  23. Sahaja Says:

    u have got a christmas gift and santa is wondering u didnt pick it up yet 😦

  24. axinia Says:

    DI:”I feel that if Lenin had not died so early, it would have been much better for Russia and the world. ”
    I agree to 100%, Stalin was a monster, Lenin was a good one, but he died too earlie .

  25. swaps Says:

    Wondering what would a 8th form girl write in philosophy??
    Perhaps you will share that with us 🙂

  26. axinia Says:

    It was a thesis on “Beauty” (what else?? :)) – apparently, almost none of great philosophers have treated this topic so far…I was only aware of Tchernyshevsky (Russian).

  27. swaps Says:

    All I know is Truth is God, God is beauty.
    And that is the crux of all philosophies, I believe.
    (If you still have it, please share…want to see how deep you have delved into it).

  28. axinia Says:

    sorry, I think I don`t have it anymore…it was handwritten anyway 🙂
    I remember only that I was writing it at the same time when my classmatres had been getting drunk at discos – and I was totally indifferent towards other than intellectula things 🙂

  29. swaps Says:

    I know, I know your type. Trivial things don’t impress you….that is cool 🙂

  30. I found you completely randomly, through wordpress’s random blog button, and I have to say, I find your blog quite interesting!

    That must have been quite an unusual upbringing. I have generally found that people who were raised in situations similar to that (army/govt/foreign office families) are generally more confident and successful than most people. It seems that you fit that tendency.

    I too learned to shoot around age 10-12, when my father started to take me dove and quail hunting with him. Now, I thank him for teaching me how to handle guns well, because now I’m a reenactor and handle rifles all the time!

  31. dinesh1201 Says:

    Hi This is an amazing and memorable pic. Loved it. which one is u?

  32. Да, таких полезных блогов я еще не видел! Этот блог даст фору многим сайтам ( по содержанию и не только)! Пять с плюсом баллов!

  33. Да, такой блог по-любому надо раскручивать как только можно – что б как можно больше людей о нем узнали! 🙂

  34. Это прям в точку!!! По другому и не скажешь! 🙂

  35. Mae Says:

    Hi 🙂 A recent experience made me return to this particular post.

    In what way has growing up in this military type ghetto shaped the way that you handle different situations now or shaped the way that you think? Would you say that a particular job can greatly influence “mental toughness?” or greatly influence a person’s thinking/actions?
    Or, is some of this cultural?

    In the past I have had jobs that are in a very fast paced, stressful…highly pressurized environments. In the last week, I began to work on a farm which is a completely different industry for me having no farm experience and I can begin to see myself a bit more calm, a bit more relaxed. I have practiced meditation on and off in the last few years which have had some benefits but I actually see working at the farm as having more benefits in terms of relaxation :)) This started to make me think about Indian people. There was another blog post of yours in which you correlated Indian people living in a country with hot weather and being relaxed and calm, more at ease. You can’t treat a farm job as a 9-5 job, it is like a lifestyle, which made me wonder if this is more “cultural.”

    How have your different jobs impacted your lifestyle?? :))

    • axinia Says:

      good question Mae 🙂

      As far as this military gehtto of my chldhood is concernced, I only feet it gave a lots of security, I knew that NOTHING could happen to me, no cirmes, no robbery, no rape, really nothing bad what peopel could fear in towns. And security gives self-conficdence, this is helpful everywhere, in job life too. However my own sister is not that self-confident at all 🙂 I think a lot depends on the personality which is shaped my the previous lives.

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