‘The beauty of a woman comes from her gentle heart and her strong mind’
Patience, unconditional love and generosity, these are the qualities that define Raisa’s personality most. Raisa lives in Saharna, one of the most picturesque villages of Moldova. She has two daughters, Nelea (50) and Tatiana (45).
‘For 35 years, I gave Romanian language lessons in the village school. Of these 35 years, I was the school’s principal for 17 years. I dedicated the larger part of my life to the world of books and knowledge, to sharpening minds and to shaping my students’ character. As their teacher and as their principal, I instilled in my students my love of reading, my fellow man and of life in general. My motto was „Knowledge, not grades,” and that’s why my students always performed so well.’
She looks proud and content when she talks about her students, she seems to be reliving the feelings and emotions of those past years. Almost as if she was there again.
‘I see myself as a strong person. To me, everyone is the same and I love them all equally. I feel powerful when I make myself useful, when I know that there is someone who needs me, my help or my advice. A while ago, I volunteered in a care centre for the elderly. I helped and assisted them and it was a delight to see their joy and gratitude. I also feel strong when I go through my own trials. They make me stronger. A powerful woman knows how to handle situations like these, she sees the positive side.’
Raisa’s power stems from her wisdom and her sensitivity for the feelings of the other. She wants to make a difference in their lives and she is always there for them. That’s how she shows her love.
‘While others might see a woman as strong, determined and confident, even a strong person sometimes feels weak. Or fragile. I feel weak when a friend betrays me. I also feel discouraged if I don’t see any result of my hard work.
I live in an old and small community. Our village has about 300 inhabitants and each and every one of them has a special place in my heart. As long as I am physically able and as long as they need me, I will do my utmost to help them. I regularly visit them, to see how they are doing and whether there is anything they need help with. Sometimes we organise get-togethers in the park so that our pensioners can enjoy a cup of tea and each other’s company.
A woman's ultimate calling, in my opinion, is to be the perfect wife for her husband. She is his loyal helper, a wise mother for their children and a reliable example for younger women. A woman must always provide clear guidance, give sound advice and comfort people in times of need.
I feel feminine when people appreciate who I am and what I do for them. I also feel feminine when I can make someone happy, when I can help them, give them comfort and offer relief.
A woman has several roles and most of them are related to their family. A grandmother has to lead by example, this is especially important for her grandchildren. She helps shape their character. A mother is responsible for her household, she needs to keep everything under control. She gives her children moral and spiritual support. The role of the daughter is to listen to her elders and to love, obey and respect them. My greatest wish is to be involved as much as I possibly can in the life of the people of my village.’
From a school teacher to a counsellor to the entire village, Raisa fulfilled her calling with dignity. When asked about her school years, she says: ‘I would do it all over again.’
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