Staying Stronger Than Before by Aybolek Akyyeva
Millions of lives and many countries were affected by the downfall of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The USSR broke apart during the years of 1990-1991. The Turkmen Soviet Republic was one of the seventeen countries that broke apart from the USSR. My parents and their families lived under USSR period their entire lives, so when the USSR fell, it affected my parents and my grandparents. My grandfather was a doctor and my grandmother was a teacher, and they had earned and saved some money over the years. Later, they lost a lot of money and property due to the collapse of the USSR. However, government changed people’s lives forever and created a national financial crisis.
When the Soviet Union ended its currency, the Ruble was worth almost nothing. It lost its value, so people lost a lot of money. My relatives, like many families during this time, saved their money in Rubles, so this created a lot of economic depression all around the country. The end of one nation was a beginning of another nation. The Turkmen Soviet Republic was changed to Turkmenistan, and we became an independent country in 1991. There were a lot of changes in the country when they started to rebuild a new government. When the new government took over the currency was changed from The Ruble to Manat. The Manat started gaining value and people were accepting to use the new currency.
During the period of change, there was no government to control the industries or organizations. Sometimes banks were not open or even if they were open, they were not regulated. This put people in panic mode because they didn’t know what to expect next, like closed government offices, banks, schools and more. My grandparents were able to cash out their money, but with lost value. They were lucky to get their money from banks, but they were not happy with the result. Some people did not find any way to get their money from the banks because everything was closing. Money that people had saved lost its value and was not accepted in many places. My parents were in this situation and lost their savings. They had to work long extra hours to make more money to recover from our family’s financial crisis.
The new government had a hard time controlling people and keeping them calm. Workers were not getting paid on time, which made people to start demonstrate. Many people didn’t get paid for two or three months, including my parents and my relatives. After some time, the government settled and started giving people a salary. My father got a job in the government in 1991, which made our situation a little easier than some people. The new president was selected and things began to improve. They did a good job with making people trust the new administration. The government paid the salary from before and pensions were given to people.
My family was affected financially and emotionally by the collapse of the USSR, but they were able to stay positive and make a loving family. My father’s job went well and my mom started working as a nurse. My parents did everything possible to give my sisters and me everything we needed. They bought for us all the necessary school supplies and good clothes. My parents sent us to good and prestigious schools. They were even able to send me to the US to study even though we were not a rich family. These unpleasant events taught my family to stay together and made us stronger than before. My mom and dad worked a lot to save money, so we would not have financial problems. They helped each other and supported us to have a better life.