A small town in the Saratov steppe (Rovnoe)
Цай Александра, ученица 9 «Б» класса,
My homeplace is a small town situated on the left bank of the Volga in a hundred kilometers from Saratov. Its name – Rovnoe – as well as the name of the whole district reflects the nature of a flat steppe surrounding the countryside. If you think that the landscape we have is dull you are wrong. There are not so many people who have managed to see a real bustard bird in nature (it’s a protected rare species in Russia) or admire the endless fields of blooming colourful wild tulips in spring, are there?
The history of Rovnoe dates back to the 18th century, when German colonists invited by the Empress Catherine the Great arrived in Russia to settle in the lower Volga River. Some of them founded the settlement of Zeelman in 1767 and it had this name till 1941 when the Great Patriotic war began and the German population of the settlement was departed to Siberia and Kazakhstan. It’s one of the gloomiest pages of my settlement when the whole nation could lose everything they had because they belonged to a “wrong” nationality. If you walk around the town you’ll see some of the well preserved old German houses. I live in one of them. Some years ago the former hostess of the house, an elderly German Frau living in Germany now, realized her long cherished dream to see her sweet home. It was a very touching person’s meeting with the past.
Due to favourable climate our farmers can even grow melons and watermelons. That’s why a watermelon became the symbol of the district and we have a monument to it in the central square.
The special pride with Rovnoe dwellers is our Volga. What a magnificent sight is a sunrise over it! When I see it I always think: “How nice it is! I love you, Life!”
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