August 3rd, 2005

(no subject)

How many Americans, born in the Soviet Union, would be good soviet citizens?

While living 2 1/2 years in Ukraine, I saw a lot of photos of my Ukrainian friends growing up in the Soviet Union. The photos were always black and white--Soviets didn't have color cameras like Americans did.

What surprised me was how politics was always absent from these photos. There were photos of families on the beach, families having meals, families traveling to other cities, and school photos. I never once saw the red Soviet hammer and sickle in the hundreds of photos which my friends shared. My surprise that these photos lacked any politics was probably a result of being effectively taught Cold War propaganda. Like all Americans, I was taught that Soviets had a lot of military parades and were devoted to destroying the “free world”. The reality was much different. These Soviets citizens were similar to the average Americans. They had families, they had careers, and they had a small group of friends. When these photos were taken,in the 1970's and 1980's rarely did politics directly affect the average Soviet citizen. My friends left the government alone and as a result, the government left my friends alone.
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