Time for another Postcrossing blog post – this time the theme is traditional Russian footwear! This is one of the things I like about my little Postcrossing project of learning more about cultures through the postcards I get from random users in the world – it is always a surprise where the next postcard is coming from, and what it is about!
Nadya writes that her postcard is a vintage ad of galoshes, which were very popular in Russia (USSR) in the last century. They are now mostly worn in villages and have disappeared elsewhere. As I can’t read Russian, I can’t really determine whether the ad is for galoshes (a rubber overshoe) or for valenki – traditional Russian footwear which can be worn with galoshes but are made of wool felt and not waterproof. They are less and less worn because of their association with ‘rustic dress’ but also because winters in Central Russia turned softer and wetter, so there was more need for waterproof footwear (1). This is a nice example of how the environment – in this case the climate – influences culture and their symbols!
So if anybody can read the ad, let me know what it says!