The Politics of Candy

I have been having many feelings swirling around my head regarding my upcoming attendance at the local book festival and have discussed my preparations in my previous post, Will Anyone Come. I belong to several writers’ groups on Facebook, so I posed a question regarding the type of props that I should bring. The suggestions ran the gamut from business cards to bookmarks, postcards, and a poster, but the most often-repeated suggestion was candy. Since I have become quite the expert on research, I called upon Google, where I leaned about Russian candy.

There were sites where I could order it from Russia, but that was expensive and too much of an effort for a local event which may bring few readers to my table. Further research revealed a European market not far from my home. Who knew?

Imagine my excitement when I was told by the woman who answered my inquiry that “We have tons of Russian candy.” So yesterday, my husband and I went on a field trip to check it out. While their ad claimed to sell food from 25 Countries including Germany, Poland, England, Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Romania, we saw more Russian products than any other.

It turns out that there really was a “ton of Russian candy,” so I sought out the Russian-speaking woman working in the store. Once I explained the purpose of my purchase, she agreed with me that buying the very delicious, but also very expensive, chocolate was not prudent, so we settled on a bag of assorted hard candies.

Now this is the part where a bag of candy got political. The proprietor of the store suggested that I bring the candy in a dish but leave the bag at home. It turned out that, although the candy is Russian, the manufacturer is from the Ukraine. And as we all know from current events, Russia and the Ukraine are not good friends these days.

So my candy will sit in a dish, and hopefully, no one from the Ukraine will visit my table and discover my secret.


About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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