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The Silverware is Real Sterling in Russia…

February 17

When I was little we use to break out the real silverware when holiday guests came over. That was when you knew that good food was going to be served. These moments of real silverware came at Thanksgiving and Christmas usually and no other time. I remember my mother and father saving money for a special set of silverware. It cost a fortune and since we were dirt poor, it was almost an impossibility to achomplish. But my dad said it had to be and that was that. So we use to water down the ketchup, mustard and drank powdered milk, plus many other things to save money. We finally got our silverware for special occasions…

It was in a special cherry wood box and was a set for 12 people, made of real sterling silver. I use sneak and look at it when no one watched. It was like a treasure because we worked so hard to get it. It was a treasure and treated it as such. Normal silverware was aluminum or stainless or plain steel. The steel would rust and the aluminum would corrode/pit…

Now lets fast forward to today’s time and understand where I am coming from with this story…

Russians have tons of silverware, real silverware and or sterling silverware! We have tons of the stuff. It is amazes me every time I pick up a spoon that is tarnished and I have to polish it. They turn black from tarnish…

Everywhere we go to visit someone we see real silverware. Eat out and you have real silverware. Eat at home and you got real silverware. Yes we have stainless steel also and aluminum and plastic but people eat with real silverware as if there is nothing special. I fact to not eat with real silver silverware is strange now for me…

It seems that after I have done some investigating, it seems that in the Soviet era, real sterling silver was normal for most people. It seems that no one looks at it like it is special, except for the fact that they have to clean the stuff all the time and that can be a pain…

We have a ton of the stuff and most of it is put away in our storage area. I bought stainless steel wear when I came to Russia and now I understand why Sveta looked at me like I was crazy then. In the village we use aluminum ware and some silverware. I use stainless most of the time at home because my old habits of “labels” is at work. Silver Silverware is for “special”…

This is just one of those quirks that comes across my mind as I go through my day. It is an example of what perceptions that we have as to how Soviets lived. I lived a life in America that was poor and real silverware was a monumental undertaking to have. Yet I was told that Soviets would love to have my life and live as good as I do… :) (Just like I was told that the Chinese would love our life!)

That it seems was just a bunch of hogwash! It seems that many Soviets were eating off of fancy fine dinning utensils while us normal Americans were lucky to have stainless steel wear. I know I lived it in America and now I live it in Russia, as I have hundreds of pieces of sterling wear now in Russia, to eat off of all the time, anytime I feel like…

Just an interesting thought of mine from Russia and now you know something new about Russia. That is why I love Russia…

Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia!

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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Russia

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