Oct 14, 2020
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Who is Russian?

From preschool childhood I had to solve a complex ideological problem, without having special funds for this and for this. And it cannot be said that she herself arose in me and tormented me. No. It was put in front of me by the people who surrounded me in my nursery, as they say now, everyday life.

A teacher in the 2nd grade in the city of Dobromil, Lviv region, told us that there is no better and more beautiful place on Earth than Ukraine. I did not know then about what happens to adults and why they begin to lie, why they stop seeing the world around them and stop carrying good in themselves. Did not know. I was just surprised and tried to tell the teacher that the city of Kuibyshev is not worse than Ukraine, and there are many places on Earth where it is also so good and not worse than in Ukraine. I wanted the universality of goodness and beauty, as I would say now. What did I say then?

I also loved Ukraine, I loved this beauty and riot of colors around, and I will tear out the river under the windows, and the view from the window to the mountain, and on its top the ruins of the Herburt castle, and Lysaya Gora, where bonfires were lit on the night of Ivan Kupala ... I was faced with 3 hectares of the Polish landlord's garden and an alley with century-old walnut trees, they stood out strongly from other trees, how they reacted to the wind, to everything around. Now there is nothing left of this garden. In the post-Soviet era, when everything became possible, it was cut down and built up with houses.

But then it seemed unfair to me not to see the rest, what is called Russia. I'm not sure at the same time, but did I know then the very concept of justice? Or maybe I knew much more than I think?

Future kindergarten and elementary school teachers are taught methods and innovations, but I wonder if they teach what and how to tell children so that they understand who they are and why?

Now, on the other hand, I found out why the teacher in my kindergarten in Western Ukraine did not like me. Children directly and directly feel love-dislike. And it is important for children to grow up in love and kindness. In general, quite recently, after 50 years, I found out why she did not love me. When she graduated from school, she had a boy in her class that she liked. The boy took a grenade and killed our officer and two soldiers in the city. The boy was tried and shot. And this girl for the rest of her life hated everything connected with the USSR and Russia.

And then, as a child, this dislike for me was incomprehensible to me - just like an exaggerated love for Ukraine. Even children's logic and children's understanding of what is good, such views and such an attitude towards others did not fit. Yes, I must say, they still do not fit.

When did this happen? - What? - Well, the same question about the Russians?

It arose at 3-4 years old, in a kindergarten in Kuibyshev. The teacher told us: all Russian boys, get together then and there.

And I followed the teacher and kept asking: who am I? After all, I knew that some of my relatives were from Ukraine. Am I Russian? Who am I? It's so painful to answer this question.

She told me that I was Russian.

In my kindergarten group, a little Chuvash boy was bullied. Here the teacher gathered us and explained: You are Russian! Do you know who the Russians are? How are Russians different? We, of course, amicably said no. The teacher tells us then: Russians are those who always protect the weak! Russians are the ones who always protect those who are wronged! Russians are those who protect others!

This is how the kindergarten teacher formulated one of the main principles of the global model of the future Russian national idea: Russian is not a matter of biology, but of axiology.

After that, my view of the world changed. It turned out that I have a mission. I did not know such a word, and we did not watch cartoons about it then. It just turned out that by the very fact of my birth, I was associated with a certain deed and a certain understanding of good.

Actually, the whole national idea today revolves around that childish question: who are we?

And the answers here are also few, and they are all "childish":

- either Russians are just nationality and blood, and we are the same as the rest. Then Russia disappears here and what was before the appearance of our mission - Muscovy - reappears. And then our fellow neighbors-brothers are right - with all the ensuing consequences;

- or we are a civilization with our own, established in history, culture - the Russian world, as they often say today. In general, a world based on the state, but not reducible to it. There is a mission here, but it is regional. Not bad, but there are not many such worlds left and they have not much time for life either;

- or we are a world project, one of the world poles that define the meaning and purpose of our historical existence - and not only on Earth (in eternity and in infinity) - its values ​​and commandments of life. We then fulfill the role that I heard about in kindergarten: we protect the weak, the needy, the deprived, we protect Light and Truth.

A year later I found out that maybe I am Other? In a kindergarten in Western Ukraine, a boy called me a Muscovite during lunch. I didn’t know who it was, but they explained to me that being him is “bad”, and even very bad. There was a fight, the daily routine of the kindergarten was disrupted by ideological issues. This question remained for life. And we turned out, years later, friends.

And this boy, having become a husband, told me one of the secrets of the existence of Ukraine. He belonged to one of the elite families (as they say now) of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. 50 years after kindergarten, he told me: Ukraine will never be independent. She has only two ways - to be in Europe or in Russia. If it enters Europe, it will disappear, dissolve. Only in Russia will it be preserved, will be itself.

We now often talk about the need for dialogue. More and more words, but less and less dialogue. Once we did not need translators so that we - Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians - could easily understand each other, hear each other, and we did not need to explain the meaning of the words of our languages.

And the words in the Belarusian language from the old song of VIA "Pesnyary" "Alexandryna" and today easily convey the main thing that is in our life:

“I don’t forget the songs of that old spring:
- There were three pines on the Muram track ...
Now I can confess, then I fell in love ... "

Alexey Ananchenko

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