Voices From Russia, Too

Monday, 11 July 2011

11 July 2011. “Socialism is Good!” The Ordinary Folks of Gomel Oblast Say So!

Editor’s Foreword:

I’m sick n’ tired of hearing the Corporate Media‘s rants against Byelorussia… I don’t know who’s worse… the New York Times or Fox News… neither one tells the truth about this socialist state. They have an agenda, folks… so, look at the reality, not the crook news reports. Here are the people of Gomel Oblast… doctors, kolkhozniki, pharmacists, kids, co-op managers, grannies… the same as everywhere else. Reflect on this… the Internationalist Democrats and Neocon Republicans would bomb them without mercy to install a lickspittle Neoliberal Free Market junta, if they could. THAT speaks volumes about the morality of present American society, kids… none of it good.

BMD

******

******

******

******

******

*****

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

Editor’s Afterword:

The people of Byelorussia have a modest sufficiency. They don’t have all the “things” that suburban Americans take for granted, but there are other in life besides material objects. Byelorussians approve of socialism, and they want it to continue. Why? They saw the chaos that capitalism injected into Russia and the Ukraine, and they want no part of that, thank you very much. Ponder this… America deliberately introduced chaos into Russia and the Ukraine through its lickspittles Gaidar, Chubais, Kuchma, and Yushchenko. Russia has mostly shaken off American capitalist chaos, and the Ukraine is in the process of doing so. Byelorussia never got involved in this… which has led to it being blackballed by Neoliberal Free Marketeers, who want to topple the socialist government of Byelorussia. Why is it that Neoliberals hate socialism with a passion, especially socialism that works? I hate to tell them this, but the USA was strongest under the socialist New Deal of FDR… it’s never been as strong (relatively speaking) since.

I’d advise po-nashemu people to have nothing to do with the Republican Party… they’re nativists who hate our ethos, our religion, and our culture. We’re inferiors in their view, fit only to be lectured and led. Get with it, guys, look at the images! It looks like your mom and pop, baba and dede, and everybody else in the old ethnic neighbourhood. Do you want to stand tall with them, or, do you want to suck up to the Republican Born-Again kooks? Is that really a question?

BMD

Saturday, 9 July 2011

9 July 2011. A Multimedia Presentation. Only in Russia… Smile and Cheer! It’s Ivan Kupala Day!

Novo Huta (Gomel Oblast) BYELORUSSIA

******

Novo Huta (Gomel Oblast) BYELORUSSIA

******

******

Novo Huta (Gomel Oblast) BYELORUSSIA

******

Gorodnya (Chernigov Oblast) THE UKRAINE

******

******

Soviet stamp honouring Ivan Kupala Day, 1991

******

******

Minsk BYELORUSSIA

******

Moscow (Moscow Federal City. Central Federal District) RF

******

******

Novo Huta (Gomel Oblast) BYELORUSSIA

******

******

Novokuznetsk (Kemerovo Oblast. Siberian Federal District) RF

******

Perm (Perm Krai. Volga Federal District) RF

******

******

Ukrainian stamp honouring Ivan Kupala Day, 1998

******

******

Rakov (Valozhyn Raion. Minsk Oblast) BYELORUSSIA

******

Sumy (Sumy Oblast) THE UKRAINE

******

******

Tomsk (Tomsk Oblast. Siberian Federal District) RF

******

Gomel Oblast BYELORUSSIA

******

The tradition of Kupala predates Christianity; it coincides with the Feast of St John the Baptist on 24 June/7 July. Due to the popularity of the pagan celebration, with time, it was simply accepted as a native Christian tradition, intertwined with local folklore. This mid-summer holiday is still enthusiastically celebrated by younger people in Eastern Europe (especially Russia, the Ukraine, Byelorussia, Slovakia, and Eastern Poland). The night preceding the holiday (Tvorila Night) is considered a time for “good humoured” pranks… which sometimes draws the attention of the coppers. On Ivan Kupala Day itself, people engage in water fights and perform practical jokes, mostly those involving pouring water over someone. Many of the customary holiday activities on this day date back to the old Slavic pre-Christian pagan religion, they’re connected with the role of water in fertility and ritual purification. Youths would jump over bonfires, and girls would float wreaths of flowers lit with candles on the water and they’d attempt to gain an insight into their fortune from how the flowers float on the river. Men tried to capture the wreaths, in hopes of capturing the interest of the woman who floated the wreath. If a wreath floats a long distance, it promises happiness and long life.

An ancient folk belief says that the only time of year when the ferns bloom is on the eve of Ivan Kupala. Prosperity, luck, discernment, and power were the lot of those with the good fortune to find a fern flower. Therefore, on this night, villagers would roam through the forests in search of magical herbs, especially the elusive fern flower Chervona Ruta. Traditionally, unmarried women, signified by their garlands in their hair, are the first to enter the forests. They’re followed by young men. Therefore, the quest for herbs and the fern flower may lead to the blooming of relationships between pairs of men and women within the forest. On this holiday, according to popular belief, water can “make friends” with fire, and their union leads to a supranatural power. Fires lit on the riverbanks are symbolic of this combination. The main feature of the midsummer night festivities are fires lit in forest clearings. People danced around them and jumped over them… he who jumps the highest over the fire will be the happiest and the most prosperous fellow in the district . In some places, a midsummer fire chased the cattle home to protect them from the plague. Farmers believed that at the solstice, on the shortest night, you couldn’t sleep, as the evil spirits were particularly active and vigorous. Therefore, the bonfire was thought to have magical power to ward off all evil, especially from witches, who were especially powerful on the night of Ivan Kupala, they could steal milk from the cow’s udders or mow down the wheat and rye in the fields (such was the peasant folk belief, anyway). In addition to the fires, in some places, people lit wheels and resin barrels ablaze, and rolled them down from the hills, which were clear symbols of the solstice.

BMD

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

A Photo Essay. A Point of Unity. Orthodox and Catholic Easter in Byelorussia

Byelorussian President Aleksandr Lukashenko (1954- ), with his extramarital son Nikolai (2004- ), lights a candle at St Nicholas Church in Petrikov (Gomel Oblast) on Easter Sunday

******

Metropolitan Philaret Vakhromeyev of Minsk and Slutsk (1935- ), Exarch of all Byelorussia, serves Easter liturgy in Minsk at Holy Spirit Cathedral

******

Believers at Easter liturgy at Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk

******

Blessing of Easter food baskets at the Nativity of the Mother of God convent in Grodno (Grodno Oblast)

******

******

******

******

Blessing of Easter food baskets in Vitebsk (Vitebsk Oblast)

******

Catholic Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz (1946- ) of Minsk and Mogilev, held the Easter Vigil in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary

******

Believers at the Easter Vigil at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Minsk

******

The Easter Vigil, was held at St Xavier Roman Catholic Cathedral in Grodno (Grodno Oblast). Catholic Bishop Aleksander Kaszkiewicz (1949- ) of Grodno lights the great Easter candle.

******

In Byelorussia, most of the population is Orthodox, but some 15 percent are Catholic. Everyone lives together in peace… there’s no ethnic or religious strife there. That’s as it should be… we stay on our side of the fence, you stay on yours, and the gate between is unlocked… there can be no “unity”… but there can be friendship, and decent pragmatic folk will grasp that, for it’s good, no doubt on that score. As for the airy-fairy schemes of loud-mouthed pseudo-intellectuals, I think that all good Catholics would agree with me… “send us letters of friendship only… send us no more letters on doctrine”. We’d clink a glass and drink to that… and God would smile at it all. Is it so wrong to acknowledge our DIFFERENCES? They DO exist, after all…

My thanks to Mike, the original poster of these images.

BMD

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.