Guchinova E.-B., Klimenko G. “I Had a Nice Siberia”: Oral Stories about the Kalmyks’ Deportation of the “Generation 1,5”

E.-B. M. Guchinova
Kalmyk Scientific Center of the RAS,
Elista, Russian Federation
ORCID: 0000-0002-9901-0131


G. A. Klimenko
St. Petersburg State Transport University,
St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
ORCID: 0000-0001-6768-8418,


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ABSTRACT. The publication is devoted to the deportation of the Kalmyk people to Siberia (1943–1957) and the memory of this period. It consists of an introduction, two interviews, and comments to them. The interviews were informal, with persons exiled with their parents to Siberia at preschool age for 13 years. The purpose of this publication is to show the possibilities of a spontaneous story about a traumatic experience that spells out the trauma and its manifestations, sometimes beyond the narrator's intentions; in this case – from the standpoint of “generation 1, 5” (Rumbaut). The paper focuses on the generational cohort for whom the Siberian village became a small homeland: this was a generation with a particular experience of trials and loyalties and the socialization of children under the conditions of deprivation of the Kalmyks. Spontaneous interviews reveal the language of trauma the Kalmyks used to talk about the deportation. The paper also explores the role of gender in narrative and adaptation strategies. Research methods included discourse analysis of the interviews. The author presented materials in the form of transcribed interviews received in 2004 from K.S. and in 2018 from R.A. The discursive strategies of these two narratives indicate their positive character (Alexander). The texts of the interviews and comments might interest scholars who study the deportations of the Kalmyks in the USSR and memories from this period.


KEYWORDS: deportation, the Kalmyks, repression, oral story, traumatic memory, narrative, “generation 1,5”, Siberia, gender


DOI 10.31250/2618-8600-2022-2(16)-94-117
УДК 930.2:316.7



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