Family Life

How close are you as a family?

We usually see each other at least once a month, maybe more often. We have lunch together on Sunday if we haven&#39t got anything special to do. We live in Tula, which is about an hour and a half away, but we always come to Moscow where my mother and father live. It&#39s not so far.

Usually my grandmother and my uncle and aunt are there too &mdash we&#39re quite a large family! Sometimes my brother and his girlfriend come over &mdash they live nearby. The meal takes about four hours, we spend a lot of time chatting.

There&#39s no one we call the head of the family, although my father&#39s advice and opinion are very important in all decisions we take. My uncle Vova in fact older than my father is, so I suppose he&#39s the real head of the family.

When my grandfather was alive, he liked to think that the whole family organized itself around him, but these days it&#39s different. But we all try to discuss things together when we meet.

In most families, it&#39s a small family group who live in the same house, mother, father and the children before they get married. But if one of the grandparents dies, the other usually sells their home and goes to live with their children. So it&#39s quite common to have one grandparent living with you.

Most children leave home when they get married. But there are some people who want to lead independent lives and they find a flat as soon as they start their first job, even before they get married. Of course, the main problem is that flats are so expensive to rent here, and we simply have to live with our parents.

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