I’m Kissing your Hands, Jana, in front of Them Bowing my Head.

Jana Holla in Japanese cimonon2014This last August 2014 we spent in Male Levare, Slovakia, staying at Jan and Jana Holly’s place. The house was modern, with the beautiful yard and garden, flowers and cypresses, well kept and Jana in komonopleasant to live in.

The main attraction, however, was the hostess Jana, a talented nice woman, who cooked for the family three times a day new dishes. Among them were typical Slovakian bakery, polivkas (soups), salads (scalloped potatoes – the best ) of various kinds, meats, fish and so on.

Raised in the big village family, Jana learned how to cook from early childhood from mother and grandmother. So, from generation to generation, village girls mastered their skills.

Smart and savvy from nature they grow up quickly into good hostesses and wives.

Every day we visited different places, saw picturesque country side, Malazky Park, Zavod, Holich, Myavja, Gajary and many other places,including small Austrian towns and villages.

This time the roads seem to me well-paved, maintained and regulated by traffic signs and directions.

Green vegetation appears to be fresh and lush, the small animals were wandering about without hindrances, freely.

The roosters, one and twelve hens were in Jan and Jana’s household, used to start the early day call-up with the leaping “Ke-ka-re-ku”! One starts and the others respond at once. In a second all village was full of symphony of “Ke-ka-re-ku”s. We noticed that symphony keeps on through the whole day, sometimes the cow’s “Moo-moo” joined in. Pigs were quiet. Onlu nearby horses produced pitiful neighing, we did not know why. Perhaps, it was something personal, between the horses.

One day a stork flew to us, spreading his wing wide open, and sat very high on the top of a tree.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jana and Janko

Look around! It was interesting to watch the nature in every corner of Janko’s father Viktor’s native village.

With gratitude we recollect this small, peaceful spot of the world and most of all, Jana’s hard-working hands, which I’m kissing and in front of them, bowing my head.

Dagestanian poet Rasul Gamzatov composed in Russian the verse “Kissing the Women’s Hands”, I translated it into English and bring it to you. What can be said better than in the poem?

1. “Kissing the millions of women’s hands,

In front of them I’m bowing my head,

For me, their ten kind fingers,

Are like ten fingers of a swan wings.

2. I know these hands since my childhood,

I got tired – they never did.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jana's hands

They, little ones, were always in a mood,

To leave everywhere their great print.

3.What was torn out, was mended,

By those hands, quick with needles,

Then they lay the tables, attended

By all the people in the World.

4. They baked the bread in old mode,

I fell for its smell for time long,

They lit up a spark in my soul,

The women’s hands, messed with dough.

5. Always to keep clean the Earth,

They wash stains with a drop of tear,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Jana's flower

As if a painter erases from his masterpiece,

The last false bar, to be clear.

6. They have to do haymaking,

And collect flowers into the buckets,

The same for a poet – rhyme taking,

To build up words into the sonnets.

7. As if bees pick honey into combs,

They collected all happiness again.

The Earth! Does nit it sound,

That every year sings a new refrain?

8. When a grief once becomes sober clear,

When joy makes you as being drunkard,

I’m always kissing these women’s hands,

In front of them, bowing my head.”

This poem is dedicated to Jana Holla who likes to grow the flowers very much. For her the pictures from Slovakia and fine music:

Tchaikovsky-“Waltz of Flowers” (Nutcracker)


  1. Валя! Не устаю восхищаться и удивляться твоей способности маленький жизненный эпизод превращать в историю жизни отдельного человека и всей семьи. С большим удовольствием прочитала всю статью и была просто покорена гимну рукам Яны ! Спасибо , что в своих статьях ты уделяешь внимание казалось бы совсем незаметным вещам в обыденной жизни, а в действительности так много значащим!Ты заставляешь переоценивать ценности! СпасибоЭмма

  2. Дорогая Эмма! Твоё имя созвучно имени моей сестры Эммы, которая давно уже ушла от нас. Она тоже любила читать и писать письма ко мне. Я храню её простые, незамысловатые письма с обязательным описанием каждый раз, когда она посещала мини-рынок в Брянске и какие цены были там. Как мне недостаёт её писем сейчас в моей жизни. Своим чтением и комментариями моих статей ты и некоторые другие люди восполняют великую потерю. Спасибо, милая Эммочка, что ты есть на свете и дай бог побольше лет пожить тебе и пообщаться со мной.Целую и обнимаю

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