My Dagestan
Magomedova Zaira, 15, Khasavyurt


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I live in a small but very beautiful republic Dagestan. It is a multinational republic. People of 43 nationalities, speaking 38 national languages, live here. Imagine if the Russian language
werent the common language. How would we communicate with each other?

The nations are different, the languages are different, but there is one thing that unites all of our nationalities: it is hospitality and love of our Republic. No matter what nationality you are, you are always welcome in any mountainous village or family. The mountaineers used to say, May the hearth of the house where the guest was offended perish. The best food, the best bed, the best chair all of these are for the guest. The other thing is a great respect for elderly people. Young people take good care of them. People respect their relatives and neighbors and are always ready to help them.

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One day late in the evening my father saw a man standing in the city square with his bag. It was a late hour and my father came up to him and asked him, Do you need anything? Im a tourist from St. Petersburg, the man said, and I don't know where my group is. I lost my way in the local market and when I came to the place where our bus was, there was nobody there. They went to Makhachkala without me, thinking that Imust have gone there independently. I have just been to the local hotel but there are no vacant rooms there.

My father said, I see you are a good man. Let us go to my house, and you may spend a night there and in the morning youll go home. My wife will give you a good supper.

He came to our house. At first my mother told my father that it was not right to bring an unknown man to the house, but my father said that if a man was in need we had to help him. In the morning he left us saying that the people in Dagestan were very hospitable. He gave us his address and asked us to visit him in St. Petersburg.

I am very glad that I was born and live in Dagestan.


I. Understanding the Story
What do you think is the main idea in the story?
1. It is important to be kind.
2. No one should separate from the group.
3. Dagestan is the only city where people are hospitable.

II. Vocabulary
Finish the sentence with the best word in the list.
republics hospitality elderly tourist independently vacant
1. This room is empty; you can stay in this _____________ room.
2. We give great respect to our ________________ people.
3. Dagestan is one of the ______________________ in Russia.
4. He will have to travel to that city alone, ___________________.
5. Dagestani people are proud of their ______________, and are kind to guests.
6. He is travelling around Russia; he is a ___________________.

III. Now you Talk
1. Talk about hospitality in your home.
2. If you could travel, where would you like to go?
3. Was the mother or the father correct about letting the man stay in their home?

IV. Now you Write
Choose one of the questions in Exercise III and write a long answer.

V. Role Play
1. The tourist and hotel clerk: They talk about the tourist getting a room.
2. The father and the tourist: They meet in the city square.
3. The father and the mother: She disagrees about the unknown man coming to the house.
4. The writer and the tourist: She asks him all about St. Petersburg.
5. The tourist and the tour leader: They talk about the tourist being separated from the group.