Dimitri was a tailor. When he measured a man for a suit, he always asked him: "Are you left or right?" Everyone called him 'the Jew'. At first I thought he might have been Jewish; either that, or he charged high prices for the suits he made, or some other trait that categorised Dimitri into the limited knowledge that his fellow villagers had about the Jewish people. But that wasn't the case at all; he was an Old Calendarist, meaning he celebrated Christmas on the 6th of January and not the 25th of December, like the Russians, followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church. He was a Christian, but because his religion deviated slightly from the Christian Greek Orthodox norm in his home environment, he was given the label 'Jew', without even being one, judged by his difference, which is of course how most prejudices are born.
Dimitri visited my father when he was very ill and in hospital. He was probably at his funeral, and the memorial services too, so I must have shaken his hand at some point, but I didn't know him at the time to have thanked him for his loyal friendship, a rare thing in our times. Sadly, I found out that Dimitri died only a few months ago. I never got the chance to meet him, but at least I got the story behind the photograph, and managed to write it.