I've been pretty busy at Global Voices lately, no time to post anything here.
Three posts dealing with xenophobia, in one way or another:
Feb. 8 - on nationalism
Feb. 10 - on the attack on Aidar Buribayev
Feb. 12 - on two subway Lezginka dancers
The last one is short and fun, and though there're some nasty comments there as well, they don't leave that horrible aftertaste as similar ones in other posts do. Or maybe I've become immune by now.
Here's the video (one of the three) of the two guys dancing Lezginka in a subway car, most likely in Moscow - it's weird and beautiful:
I hope to be able to take a break from this topic now - hope nothing bad's going to happen in the next few weeks. I do need a break from this.
To be fair, though, Moscow is nowhere near as scary as it may seem from these posts. I'm speaking, of course, from my current housewifely perspective: a few hours out in the city on Saturday and Sunday is such a luxury for me now. I go shopping for books and for baby clothes, and it seems as if the whole city is out shopping as well.
In one store, I saw three Asian guys - foreign students, most likely - speaking with a young Asian saleswoman, a Russian Asian: I caught myself thinking of how sweet they looked - not lonely, not lost, not foreign for at least a few minutes.
And then I took a cab home, and the driver of the old Zhiguli was Armenian, and I showed off my Armenian vocabulary to him, very tiny by now, and he said that Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians shouldn't have split apart, and I didn't tell him that many Slavs think that all those Caucasian wars were complete nonsense, too, and instead I told him that history was such a complex thing, such a mess, and then mentioned Sergei Parajanov, a great Armenian who made the greatest Ukrainian film and was sent to rot in the camps for that... And the Armenian driver suddenly filled with joy and told me he had met Parajanov once - even had a picture taken next to him - and I told him that I was supposed to meet Parajanov, too, when I was still in my mama's belly, in late 1973 - but Parajanov got arrested right before that party to which my parents had been invited to be introduced to him. (My mama did meet Parajanov before he died in 1990, very briefly, beautifully briefly, but I'll write about it in a separate post later.) Anyway, with the sweet Armenian driver, we didn't dwell on the gloomy things; we just agreed that only a fool would expect something nice from Moscow, and I added that this is why Moscow can feel so pleasant sometimes - because you expect all those bad things to happen, and they don't, and this makes you feel extremely good. (Not so in St. Pete, in my experience: there, you think of all that goddamn culture, but instead keep bumping into swastikas and stepping into dog shit all the time...)