Back to the roots: Day 5. Russians (Tatars) and alcohol

Today it takes me a lot of effort to write this post: my child is teething, it took me one hour to put her to sleep, just to hear her screams after less than 40 minutes. I keep coming back to finish writing this post and get interrupted immediately. The frustration is real.

Last 2-3 days were pretty tough, also, surprisingly, I was repeatedly confronted with people (directly or indirectly) because of me not willing to drink alcohol or have other people drinking alcohol around me and my daughter. I suddenly realized that alcohol is a big part of Russian identity even though I’m currently residing in an area with at least 40-50% muslims.

Living side by side with Christian Russians made Tatars more neutral towards alcohol. They drink it during holidays or weddings. At the very least they buy alcohol as a present or a treat. For example, if someone helps you carry a heavy wardrobe or fix your lights, you buy them a bottle of alcohol as a thank you present. It really seems weird but many people think in this way.

Another example is people having a muslim wedding in a mosque and on the next day booking a big place with loads of alcohol for a wedding party. They could say: “People are expecting me to buy them alcohol for my wedding”. But in the back of their mind, doesn’t it seem to be wrong?

I really do not want to mention the particular situations that I faced recently, but my general idea is that I’m amazed how people (supposedly muslims) still drink alcohol for various reasons. That’s really unfortunate, although I know a lot of other people who do not consume any alcohol in Russia.

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