My Native Language Essay

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My Native Language Is your native language something you take for granted? Well, for me it has been a struggle — a struggle with history, politics, society, and myself. Yet something guided me through it. I don't know what you heard about my native land — Belarus. For most of the world it is a new country, as four centuries of severe Russian assimilation devastated Belarusian culture. But some of it managed to survive, mostly in the villages. This shaped my biography. Although I was born in a city in the western part of then Byelorussian SSR1, the first six years of my life I spent in a village with my grandparents. I remember the manmade old woody gate to the orchard. I remember noises of storks on the roofs of the houses…show more content…
In the second grade, the teacher mentioned that soon we were going to study a new subject. It was the second official language of our part of the USSR — the Byelorussian language. That fact did not mean much to my classmates. Nor it did to me until one day my classmate teased me again about a word that I said "incorrectly." The teacher, who had been watching us, said that if it had been in Belarusian, it would have been correct. For the first time it occurred to me that the "village" language I had been speaking before I entered school was one of the Belarusian dialects. But in our exercise books, with the ABCs of knowledge, we were writing and rewriting, "The USSR is our great motherland. The official language of communication is Russian." At school we studied Belarusian rather superficially. We rarely spoke it, even during the Belarusian literature and language lessons. After years of studying in Russian, I could easier express myself in that language. But some instinct did not let me ignore my native language completely. Once I was quarrelling with my mother. She was shouting in Russian that I never shared my problems with her, but sulked like a wild wolf-cub, waited until they became bigger. She said "vauchanjo" — a very specific Belarusian word for "wolf-cub." My grandmother used it to
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