DACHA /DAH.cha/ n. a Russian holiday house or cottage, often far from luxurious
- Country house for summering
- Vladimir’s villa
- Russian country home
- Black Sea bungalow
- Cottage for Putin
The dacha has played an important and robust role in the cultural history of Russia. Over the course of several centuries it transformed from its medieval FEUDAL origins as a ‘manor’, into its slightly snooty-nosed BOURGEOIS phase as a ‘summer house’, on through the turbulent BOLSHEVIK regime and the corresponding rise of the KOLKHOZ (a communal farm), and into modern times, where its cultural place is eloquently described by the School of Russian and Asian Studies…
But for many Russians, the dacha is still a simple home-away-from-home. Every weekend, many don large rubber boots (резиновые сапоги) and weed and care for their vegetable patches. They eat shashlik (a kind of barbeque on skewers), play outdoor games, go for walks and just relax. At night, they retire to what usually amounts to a simple wooden shack, often lacking running water and electricity. To many, this is a “return to the soil,” to their roots and the ways of their forefathers. Although some scoff at this ramshackle Russian tradition, both supporters and scoffers alike will agree that the dacha is an important part of народность (Russianness).
And there you go. You even learned SHASHLIK (also SHASHLICK or SHASLIK) to boot!