Russian Lullaby:a key to Russian character

    Many foreigners come to Russia to find out more about its culture, customs and traditions. But before coming to the country there is some kind of stereotypical thinking and misunderstanding. Still there is tense debate about the mysterious Russian soul and unpredictability of the Russian character. Yes, to some extent it seems kind of controversial but it is only at first glance.

In every country there are people having different views on life. Sometimes this is called mentality. But independently of this difference, there is also a chance to find a compromise. If you are willing to understand Russians, forget about the stereotypes and try to study our culture by means of music, art and literature. And also don't forget that early childhood is an important period in character formation. Even being pregnant, mothers usually sing a lullaby her unborn child. After a child is born, it begins to see the mother as the song is something familiar and dear.Аs the saying goes сum lacte nutricissuxisse. This is where the character formation begins.

    For example, in military families parents are trying to raise their sons as courageous people and worthy defenders of the homeland in case of war. Perhaps, in this case mothers sing a kind of corresponding lullaby... Not so long ago during my Master program I discovered the Cosac lullaby by a famous Russian poet of the XIX century - Mikhail Lermontov. Those who begin to study the Russian literature often are familiar with his novel "The hero of our time", drama "The Masquerade", his famous work "Borodino”. It was a wonderful surprise to discover that Lermontov could write such a wonderful lullaby on behalf of a mother. Those who are familiar with Lermontov's biography should remember that the poet died young without having an experience of being a father. But due to his great talent, Lermontov succeeded in creation of the trustworthy atmosphere of life in the Caucasus in the XIX century:


По камням струится Терек,

Плещет мутный вал;

Злой чечен ползет на берег,

Точит свой кинжал;

Но отец твой старый воин,

Закален в бою:

Спи, малютка, будь спокоен,



This time lie in the Caucasus was full of danger, this was not a safe place for a child. That’s why Lermontov writes about it in such a way:


 Over rocks still flowing Terek

 Splashing muddy shaft;

Crawls ashore an angry Chechen

With his dagger sharp…

But old warrior - your father-

Hardened in combat:

Nothing threatens, sleep my baby,

Everything’s all right.


The mother is worried about the fate of his son. One day her son is bound to become a warrior like his Cossack father. And, perhaps, to be killed in the war. So she sings to him with tears in her eyes, but she could do nothing with it:


Сам узнаешь, будет время,

 Бранное житье;

Смело вденешь ногу в стремя

  И возьмешь ружье...


Time will come, you‘ll learn my baby

Kind of soldier’s lot

Set your foot in stirrup bravely,

Take the gun to load…


This is the warrior’s lot. She cannot change the life of her son or her own life, 

She is a Cossack wife and Cossack mother in future, she should wait for her men and help them in any difficult situation: to sew with silk the saddle-cloth, to see them off and to pray that God will protect them. But as the child is now too little to fight, she has to sing the lullaby which is going to help him to be courageous in future...

Dina Mukhamedzyanova

Теги: russian lullaby, russian character, children music,
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