Bride follows Soviet tradition

A BRIDE followed Soviet tradition and laid flowers at a war memorial on her wedding day. On February 3, Oksana Sharafutdinova, 27, of Elder Way, Stevenage, married Mark Harris, 29, at the town s register office But after the wedding, Oksana, originally fr

A BRIDE followed Soviet tradition and laid flowers at a war memorial on her wedding day.

On February 3, Oksana Sharafutdinova, 27, of Elder Way, Stevenage, married Mark Harris, 29, at the town's register office

But after the wedding, Oksana, originally from Stevenage's twin town of Shimkent in the former Soviet state of Kazakhstan, accompanied by her groom, went to lay flowers at the war memorial in Stevenage High Street.

It is tradition for marrying couples from former Soviet countries to remember the sacrifice of human life made during the war.


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Oksana, who is now an administrator with the probation service, and her brother Alexander arrived in Britain with their mother Galina who married Stevenage resident Ralph Dimelow in April 2000.

Mr Dimelow said of the tradition to leave flowers: "Having lost my father when I was 14 years old as a result of his war service and seeing the effect of war on others including my wife's family in Kazakhstan, I am hugely respectful of the Soviets for remembering the sacrifice this way.

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"Perhaps our society in Britain would be better if we also remembered that the freedom that we enjoy did not come cheaply."

Among the messages of congratulations to the couple was one from the mayor and mayoress of Stevenage, Simon Speller and his wife Bridy.

After the reception at the Hermit of Redcoats pub in Titmore Green, the couple went off on their honeymoon to Paris.

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