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Jolly whistle-maker shares the secrets of living well into old age

Some people think that after retirement the whole world stops: all you can do is sit in front of your TV, absorb the news and accept life the way it is. However, despite their advanced age many people still find the inner strength to take part in social life, make new friends and continue doing what they love to do.
By Igor Davydov, Ilaria Kantorova

Viktor Sosnovtsev, 75, usually spends his summer days sitting on a bench in Moscow parks and along boulevards making whistles from clay. It's hard not to notice him in the crowd: he's charming, good-looking, cheerful and ready to chat. He started to make whistles back in his childhood, but nowadays he considers his activity something more than simply making toys.

Whistles are modelled out of clay in the shape of deers, birds, horses or fantastic animals. Once they are ready, toys are dried out, seared and then decorated. Some types of whistles can be filled with a little bit of water: this enables them to produce a multitone trill instead of a whistle.

At the times of paganism, whistles were used as magic instruments: to call for rain or for the sun or to scare out evil spirits. As time passed, whistles lost their ritual significance and ended up with being considered an ordinary kids toy.

"People’s potential is far higher than what they use in this grey everyday life. We should always give them an opportunity to show that they are high above all this greyness. We should let them stand up, be individuals, be themselves," - Viktor Sosnovcev said.

Additionally, the whistle-maker struts his stuff on the catwalk:  he is a model at the Oldushka model agency, which promotes the beauty of Russia’s senior citizens.

June 23, 2016
Tags: people_multimedia, folk music, lifestyle

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