Page 14 - February 2021
P. 14

                                         STORY OF A PLATE
                                         STORY OF A PLATE

                                      N I N A   K O S S M A N

                        A     p  e  r  s  o  n  a  l     e  s  s  a  y     a  b  o  u  t     t  w  o     o  b  j  e  c  t  s
                          f  r  o  m     m  y     S  o  v  i  e  t     c  h  i  l  d  h  o  o  d  -     P  a  r  t     2
                 Do  you  see  this
                 plate?  It  may  look
                 like  a  regular  plate

                 to  you,  nothing  very
                 special,  but  to  me
                 this     plate    brings
                 memories of a whole
                 set  of  such  plates:
                 some  plates  were
                 the  same  size,  some
                 bigger,            some
                 smaller.       In     my
                 Moscow        childhood
                 this  set  ("serviz"  in
                 Russian)             was
                 reserved              for
                 holidays,      and      it
                 stood in a “servánt”,
                                              a kind of cupboard that many Russian families
                                              had  in  Moscow  and,  I’m  sure,  not  only  in
                                              Moscow,  but  as  I  speak  only  of  what  I  know
                                              from my own experience, I say “Moscow”. Our
                                              servánt  was  nothing  special  really:  it  was
                                              made  of  wood,  with  two  sliding  glass  doors,

                                              and several glass shelves inside. These holiday
                                              plates  were  treated  as  something  precious,
                                              not  unlike  rare  rocks  in  my  collection  of
                                              minerals  that  boasted  of  rarities  such  as
                                              lazurite, calcite, and malachite in their natural
                                              form.  My  parents  took  these  holiday  plates
                                              out of the servánt only on special days, when
                                              we had guests, and I remember that on those
                                              days there was a small “table for children”,

        litterateur                                                                February 2021
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