101-Year-Old Visits Gothenburg

Polina Pavla Velekanova the 101-year-old woman

Polina Pavla Velekanova, 101-year-old woman, visited Gothenburg from Ulricehamn to take part in a memorial function for the soldiers of the World War II from Russia (former USSR) who had either lost their lives fighting against Nazis or went missing or whose whereabouts were not known.

Polina Pavla Velekanova the 101-year-old woman

The lady was hale and came to the Russian Consulate at Sankt Sigfridsgatan in a wheel-chair but without any other help. She is a Russian but moved to Sweden to live with her 70-year-old daughter. The cheerful elderly woman interacted with other attendees answering questions from different generations of people who were curious to know about her times in the world around her. Before retiring, she had worked as a teacher. She lives in Ulricehamn, one of the municipalities in West Sweden (Västra Götaland Län).

Eugenia Granat and Sergey Merkushev in performance, Polina Pavla Velekanova, 101-year-old woman is seated in the front row to the right by the aisle

The event was organized by the Russian Consulate in Gothenburg and Russian-Swedish Cultural Centre. The event is part of the Victory Day (9 May) celebrated all over Russia on a grand scale.

Consul General Vadim Barabanov at the function with guests
Consul General Vadim Barabanov’s wife at the function with guests Larissa and Marija

About 100 people from and around Gothenburg attended the solemn occasion. Artists Eugenia Granat and Sergey Merkushev enthralled the audience for an hour with their songs based on excerpts of Alexander Tvardovsky’s poem ‘Vasily Terkin’ and on the Great Patriotic War of Russia over Germany.

Vasily Terkin is a comic-tragic-patriotic poem about the World War II evoking the life of a soldier (comedy, drama, melodrama, patriotism, tragedy, heroism).

Daniel Martsenyuk, Vice-Consul, says ‘the ties between Göteborg and St Petersburg are historic’ and Göteborg is a ‘sister city’ of St Petersburg