Nov 4, 2009

Hari Perpaduan se-Rusia (bacaan umum di hari cuti)

Bismillahir rahmanir rahim,

I never paid much attention to Russian holidays since they all seem to share something in common - they have something to do with the so-yesterday Russian communism. But, a curious groupmate's question to our Russian Language teacher last week about 4th Nov. sparked a mild interest. She told us that what she's telling is not known to many ignorant Russians. 

1917 : Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution is a collective name for two revolutions in 1917:

1 - February Revolution 

  • At that time, the Russians were still using Julian calendar which was about-a-month late than the Gregorian calendar. So, according to the Gregorian calendar which we are using now, the February Revolution was actually happening on March.
  • Russia was in chaos due to World War I, harsh winter, famine, bankruptcy and what-nots.
  • Mikhail Rodzianko - Chairman of Duma (Russian Parliament) telegrammed the last tsar: The capital is in chaos. The government is unable to act; the transport service is broken down; the food and fuel supplies are completely disorganised. There is wild shooting on the streets. It is urgent that a new government is formed. There must be no delay. Hesitation is fatal. 
  • The tsar wrote to his wife : Again, that fat-bellied Rodzianko has written me a load of nonsense, which I won't even bother to answer.
  • On March 1, the tsar took a train to Petrogad aka St Petersburg to see his family after knowing that his children had contracted measles. 
  • On his way, his train was 'hijacked' by a group of disloyal troop, and the tsar was suggested in unison to abdicate his throne.
  • On March 2, the tsar did abdicate his throne and was reunited with his family and later, was placed under house arrest.
  • After this abdication, Russia was no longer led by the tsar, but instead the Russian Provisional Government.
2 - October Revolution aka Bolshevik Revolution

  • Again, October Revolution was actually happening in November
  • To cut things really short, October Revolution is all about the Bolsheviks overthrown the newly-formed Russian Provisional Government
  • Precisely, this revolution took place on 7th November 1917
  • Russia has changed from a communist country to capitalism
  • In order to satisfied those highly-resistant hard-die-fan of communism which mostly are the elderlies, the celebration of Bolshevik Revolution is still continued. Besides the elderlies, it wouldn't be a surprise if there are young people favoring communism over capitalism. Capitalism or communism, Russia is never a prosper country. For some, communism is much better because the money are shared equally among all. 
  • However, to down-tone the 'communism-ity' of the celebration (since they are now a capitalist country which is trying very hard to erase their 'dark history' of communism), they make it on Nov 4, instead of Nov 7
  • Of course the change of the date would enrage some of the people. But, the government outsmarts the citizens even better:

  1. since they are making it a public holiday, the Russians are likely to spend the holiday with their family rather than joining any rallies
  2. it is November, and the temperature is diving down near 0. Anyone would has a second thought before joining any rallies
  3.  and lastly, the government said : Do you know what? Actually.. Hundreds years ago, on Nov 4, we won the battle against Poland.. Many had forgotten.. So, let's remember! 
The Polish-Muscovite War happened about 400 years ago and all the babusyka, dedusyka of Communists' hard-die-fans are left dumbfounded - they were all whining about a revolution happening just 100-years ago but the government diverted the issue to a war happening 400-YEARS ago which they hardly ever heard before!!! ;P


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