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5.10.2005

Are You a Homo Sovieticus?



Russians still use the word "Sovok" to describe shoddy service reminiscent of the Soviet Union.

It is equally apt whether one is speaking about a rude saleswoman in a corner shop, potholed roads or bureaucratic behaviour that wastes your time.

A person with a Soviet mentality is also a "Sovok", or "Homo Sovieticus" - a term coined by the philosopher Aleksandr Zinovyev.

These terms can also be extremely offensive - after all most people in the former USSR lived a large portion of their life under the old regime, and they are not ready to dismiss those years as futile.

"I still consider myself a Soviet man and see nothing shameful in that," says Russian State Duma deputy Viktor Alksnis.

"Yes I am Latvian, but I am also a representative of the nation that performed miracles during its existence between 1917 and 1991."

He is talking about the Soviet people - a pan-ethnic group which the communist ideologists believed they had created...

This reminds me of something I saw on Wikipedia the other day. The ethnic breakdown of Bosnian town Neum was as follows:
In 1991, the municipality of Neum had 4,268 people, of whom 3738 Croats, 209 Serbs, 196 Muslims, 92 Yugoslavs, 33 others. The town of Neum itself had 1,993 residents: 84% Croats, 5% Serbs, 5% Yugoslavs, 5% Bosniaks, 2% others.
Who are the "Yugoslavs?"

(This cartoon is by Andrey Bilzho, featured cartoonist and restauranteaur.)

1 Comments:

At 3:21 PM, Blogger joŇ°ko said...

Says Bilzho:
"Being Soviet includes a boundless belief in a bright future combined with understanding the absurdity of the present. It is a certain romanticism in relations between friends and a desire to get as much as possible out of the precious little one could possess."

 

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