RUSSIAN WEDDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE 20th CENTURY (Exemplified in the Recordings from Nizhniy Novgorod Volga Region)

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Key words
wedding ritual, the midst of the 20th century, Nizhniy Novgorod Volga Region
Klara Korepova
About the Author
Klara Korepova
Tel.: +7 (831) 433-82-45
23, Gagarin av., Nizhniy Novgorod, 603950, Russian Federation
Full Professor (Philology), chief of the folklore department, Nizhniy Novgorod State University named after N. I. Lobachevskiy

 this research is supported by Russian Fund for Humanities No. 15– 04–00549.


The research deals with numerous recordings among rural population, namely people who entered marriage in the midst of the preceding century, recorded by folklore researchers of the Nizhniy Novgorod State University through various years. It is stated, that the praxis of marriage notification, restricted to registration by authorities without ritual ceremonies, that had been developed in the 1920–1930 decades, kept appearing still in the midst of the 20th century, but peoples’ attitude to this praxis turned to be rather dismissive. It is demonstrated by the folk term: spisalis’ “they wrote themselves / have got written together”. Thus there in the rural localities people tried to adhere tradition. Tradition, which was remembered enough by elderly generations, was maintained, but undergoing transformation. Rituals with communicative essence have dropped out from the wedding ceremony, namely certain meetings between groom’s and bride’s counterparts, such as “propoy” — the drinking away of the bride or the visit to the groom’s home by bridesmaids. Due to monetary reasons, “sgovor” — the arrangement as a ritual related to financial resourcing, was lost, as well as gift ceremonies. Proposal of marriage was maintained in the forms, peculiar to local traditions, as well as parents blessing, Bogomolye the prayer, public announcement about bride’s virginhood and a small feast. New trends of development appeared in the 1960–1970s decades due to rise of prosperity and recovery of the interest to the traditional culture in the society.