Tajikistan Personal Experiences: Munira Tamolova (1952-64)

Figure 1.--This photograph was taken in 1957. Munira was 6 years old. It was a warm summerís day and she had been playing with her friends in the garden in back of Munira's hime.

These three pictures are of a Tajikistan girl named Munira Tamolova. She has kindly offered to tell us a little about her chilkdhood in Tajijistan which was during the Soviet era.

Infancy (1952)

In the first picture she is 6 month old. She is seen in her cot. As with all babies in Central Asia she is tightly wrapped in blankets and strapped into the cot. There is a rope attached to it so that it can be rocked. This is the same for girls and boys. Munira is 6 months old in the picture. The photograph was taken in 1952.

Playing (1957)

The second picture was taken in 1957. Munira was 6 years old. It was a warm summerís day and she had been playing with her friends outside her house. These are the children in the picture. Munira remembers that day very well. She can still name all the children in the scene. There was Zoya, Tanya was next to Munira. She was next to Zoyaís brother Tolik. The girl holding the doll is Ahrah. We were playing together and enjoying ourselves when Misha, Tolikís 16 year old brother, came. He had bought a new camera and he was eager to take photographs. He got us to stand in a line and to hold hands then he took the photograph. We wore a variety of clothes. The girls wore dresses except me Iím wearing a strap short outfit and Tolik is in shorts too. The girls and I liked playing with Ahrahís doll. Years later Zoya, Tolik and Misha and their parents immigrated to Israel.

Pioneer Camp (1964)

We also have an image of Munira and Pioneer Camp. Soviet children were virtually compelled to join the Pioneers and most children in the post World War Ii era went to Pioneer summer camps. It was a warm summer in 1964 and Munira was a 12 year old girl. She and her 10 year old brother had gone to the Pioneer Camp at Chyeka, in the Varzob valley. Here they stayed for about two months. Munira and her brother, Farruk, went on vacation to the pioneer camp. What a time we had. They were happy days. We were kept busy because there was a lot to do. There was tennis, table tennis, volleyball, swimming in the pool and hiking into the mountains. We had lots of hikes into the hills. We liked this activity. Twice a week there was a movie show. Other night time activity was dancing and music. We took part in drama and put on a play and musical concerts. We dressed in formal clothes. The boys wore shirts and short trousers, girls wore dresses. We had less formal clothes when we went hiking. I donít remember wearing a uniform like you see in lots of pictures about the camps in Russia. When we first arrived we had an opening ceremony. This was a big fire and we sat around it singing songs and drinking juice. At the end of the camp there was a similar closing concert and ceremony.


Their mum was a civil servant and worked in the government record office. Her husband was a professor and worked in the university. The Pioneer Camps were looked after by a department in the Trade Union. The Trade Union mum was a member of was the one which organised the camps.

William Fergusson


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Created: 6:25 PM 11/8/2004
Last updated: 6:25 PM 11/8/2004