The Abakan River

The Abakan River (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s sharing this article “For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II” on how a family in Russia (then Soviet Union) somehow miraculously survived for 40 years after the parents took their children with them to escape from the communist persecution in their village to the taiga in Siberia. It must have been challenging for them to live in the wilderness as they not only had to adapt to the physical environment and find their own food through growing crops and later hunting or trapping wild animals, they also had to cope with the isolation living in this remote area that is devoid of any other human presence except for themselves.

Somehow their story reminds me of how indigenous people live in isolation from modern civilisations, such as the Yanomami Indians in Amazon rainforest, but at least these people had already learnt to adapt to the environment having lived there for generations, and they would have no problems finding food and making shelters for themselves. But in this case, the taiga was not the family’s original habitat, as they grew up in a village, so having to adapt to the wild environment for 40 years must have been really tough. I suppose by then, the family felt that they had grown accustomed to living off the land and the attractions of modern devices and conveniences didn’t really appeal to them, except for a few things such as the television, as mentioned in the article.

In a way, it could be a blessing for the Russian family not to be exposed to the modern ills of living in a town or city, and be free from outside influences or propaganda of politics, such as not knowing about World War Two and so on. On the other hand, it is not their natural habitat too, unlike in the case of indigenous people, so they had to cope with the hardship of facing occasional rough weather and famine, and eventually a few family members died before reaching old age due to poor health, and in the case of one, he contracted pneumonia, which he probably had no immunity against.

ShabanoYanomami.jpg

ShabanoYanomami.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This phenomenon is common among indigenous people who were exposed to the intruding people from modern societies for the first time, such as miners who ventured into their territory, as there were cases in which some of the people contracted diseases from them, having not developed immunity against these viruses in their own community in the past. The indigenous people would thrive on their own as long as the modern civilisation leave them alone in their natural habitats and not invade their lands or try to make them migrate to modern cities since they would have a hard time adjusting to urban life in terms of health, culture and so on. Hence, it is perhaps understandable that the last survivor of the family would prefer to stay on her own instead of going back to the village where her relatives are, having grown accustomed to living in the taiga. Perhaps it also testifies to how God has provided for the family, as she said “the Lord would provide and she would stay” at the end of the article.

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