I recently read an article in a Finnish newspaper about the persecution of Finnish people in Soviet Union during 1930's.
According to the article (here in Finnish), most of the victims were either Finnish socialists that had fled Finland, Finns that had moved over from America (in hopes of better living standards), or unemployed people from Finland who went to Soviet Union in search of employment.
So some of these people had moved to Soviet Union because they wanted to help in building the socialist utopia. However just as many other immigrants and minorities, most of them were persecuted due to Soviet government paranoia about possible spies and traitors.
One of the individuals interviewed by the article author was Irma Wahlstén who was a young girl when NKVD separated her from her mom and sister in January 1938. An experience that she mentioned was that of her teacher hitting her in the head with a plate because she had refused to thank Stalin for the food.
Presumably this was not a situation where Stalin was personally present.
The question I would like to ask is:
Were children in Soviet Union commonly expected to thank Stalin for food, even when he was not present?