The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(in northern Russia; toloka in southern Russia, the Ukraine, Novgorod, Pskov, and Tver’, and talaka in Byelorussia), the custom of mutual aid among villagers in prerevolutionary Russia. Neighbors were asked to help with pressing work. They were not paid for their labor but instead were given a feast when the work was finished. The practice of pomoch’ was most commonly used for agricultural tasks, such as harvesting of grain, threshing, or mowing, as well as for chopping cabbage or moving dwellings. The occasion was usually festive. The pomochane would arrive dressed in their holiday clothes, and the feast, often given at the place of work, was accompanied by singing and, at times, dancing. The custom had its beginnings in the organization of the rural commune. It was often used by rich peasants to exploit other members of their village. Similar forms of mutual aid existed in the rural areas of many parts of the world.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Vladislavlev, Mozhet li gosudarstvennaia duma pomoch krestianam?
By 1897, Lenin had identified elements of the urban proletariat that were not spontaneously joining the class struggle, and so he put forward a more interventionist conception of the party: instead of pomoch" (helping) and sodeistvovat" (assisting), we now read about rukovodit" (leading) the proletariat's class struggle and organizovat" (organizing) this struggle (2: 446).