Why my family left: Tania Luna reflects on the babushkas who stayed behind in Chernobyl

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Tania Luna left Ukraine when she was 6-years-old. Here, she shares her reflections on hearing about the woman who stayed after Chernobyl. Photo: Ryan Lash
Tania Luna left Ukraine when she was 6-years-old. Here, she shares her reflections on hearing about the woman who stayed after Chernobyl. Photo: Ryan Lash

In the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, 350,000 people were presented with the heart-rending decision: to stay in their homes and risk exposure to radiation, or to uproot their lives and move away. The overwhelming majority left.

[ted_talkteaser id=1857] But in today’s powerful talk, Holly Morris introduces us to a group of elderly women who returned to Chernobyl after the disaster, setting up their lives in the toxic dead zone. Choosing the comfort of familiarity over lonely, transplanted lives in Kiev, these babushkas have lived in their ancestral land, on radioactive soil, for the past 27 years. “Home and community are forces that rival radiation,” Morris concludes.

Last year, another TED speaker offered a different perspective on the Chernobyl aftermath. Speaking at TED@New York

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