Dawn in Suzdal… no, I don’t know the temp… it looks plenty cold, though.
Anton “Gamover” Zaitsev (1969- ) (left) with his sidekick Boris “Bonus” Repetur (1958- ). They’re two of the most popular game-show hosts on Russian TV.
Real Russians, Ukrainians, and Byelorussians DESPISE racism and embraced the black people who turned to Orthodox Rus’ for comfort and refuge from Western racism… as we see US Tea Party today. Interestingly, most Ukrainians vomit at the revival of Uniate nationalist racism imported to the Ukraine from Germany, Canada, and the USA. After all, they voted for Viktor Yanukovich in rejection of Vatican/US-sponsored “nationalism”. Take a look at the following… it’s not a goof:
All that you hear in the Oligarch Media is how racist and hateful Russians, Ukrainians, and Byelorussians are (and by implication, how “perfect” the USA (Republican Party) is). Of course, there’s nutters on the other side… there are nutters here, too. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Both the Church and state stand foursquare against racism. Both United Russia and the KPRF stand united against racism. In the USA, the Republican Party embraced segregationists such as Strom Thurmond, and it used the 14th Amendment to enhance the rights of corporations, not people (in Citizens United, the most egregious example of “judicial activism” ever seen), when the “original intent” was to protect the political rights of black folks against the night riders… on the other hand, in Russia, VVP blows shofars, wears a Tatar skullcap in Tatarstan, and condemns racism (contrary to what you hear on Fox News from Palin and Beck). Racist extremists (the Russian equivalents of Senator Thurmond) tend to end up in the Butyrki (hey, they get three hots and a cot… they’re not shot out of hand (although they should be))… I seem to see a difference. Let’s have some more interesting stuff from the Ukraine:
The truth will set you free. However, you have to clear out the wax from your ears and open up your eyes to what’s truly there. You could start by pulling the plug on Fox News… that’s a good start. Then, start to make up your own mind… that’s TRULY subversive. After all, they want us all to be good little sheeple, mindless consumers, and lockstep conformists… let’s make their day, instead!
Monday 24 January 2011
Truly, you need patience and forbearance if you’re at a monastery. I waited for quite some time for the girls to come back from the city hospital. They had put on an impromptu concert for the patients in honour of Epiphany, as there were friends of the convent in hospital. Now, finally, their old “clunker” wheezed through the convent gates. In merry confusion, the girls rushed into the square. Kids will be kids! Well, there was nothing to indicate that they live in a convent. However, when they entered the church…
Of the eleven girls that live in a whitewashed house near the gates of St Nicholas Convent in the old quarter of Maloyaroslavets (another eight pupils over the age of twelve live with sisterhood), Vera seemed the most quiet and serious. Since I don’t know her past, I can’t say what makes her somewhat different from her relatively luckier peers. Let’s start at the beginning… she was born on the holy and beautiful island of Valaam. However, initially, its sanctity initially didn’t affect her. Her family, with many kids, impoverished, struggled with the serious illness of drug addiction. They sold everything to get their hands on that cursed concoction. The convent rescued her from her frequent trips to the back alleys with her mother. Nature “rewarded” her with a terrible affliction; she was born with cleft palate. She’s one of God’s own. Mother Yekaterina noticed her, and managed to get her admitted to hospital. It’s no lie… when she was nine-years-old, Vera couldn’t speak clearly, but, soon, the little girl learned how to read. Yes, yes! Sometimes it happens… then, she underwent a complicated operation. Vera, step by step, learned how to pronounce words.
Today, Vera’s speech is clear, yet, not so long ago, she couldn’t pronounce the simplest word clearly. Yes, repeated sessions with a speech therapist helped much. However, most importantly, good people, not depraved and bestial ones, surrounded her. What would have happened in an ordinary orphanage? Yes, what would have been her fate, if not as a child, then, as an adult? She could have degenerated from being an angel of God into being a lawless person who hated the brightness of the light.
Why am I so adamant about it all? Well, firstly, of the children at the convent orphanage, all are troubled in one way or another. Every one of the girls has a tragedy in her past. As a rule, they had the misfortune of being born into families suffering from drug addiction and alcoholism. Some of the girls were picked up wandering on the streets, outsiders noticed some of them, and even some parents brought some of them here, as they realised that they couldn’t raise their child properly. Moreover, their teachers treat them all equally… and they are all equally loved.
The nuns of the sisterhood, according to tradition, leave their past behind when they enter the convent (for example, they don’t use their “secular” names). In their “past” lives, many of the sisters were educated professional people, including some who were teachers. Here was an opportunity to put their training to good use! Therefore, the convent founded a real school. The girls follow normal rules, every month, an official from the RONO comes to test them. Test results show that average grades in the monastic school are much higher than in an ordinary secular school. After graduating at the shelter, the girls continue their education at the Kaluga Orthodox gimnaziya. However, although they study there away from the convent, they don’t interrupt their lives of prayer and obedience. Russian monastic tradition abhors idleness.
Today, Vera wants to dedicate her life to monasticism. However, no one is forcing it upon her. Upon reaching adulthood, she will make her own decision concerning her life. After all, not everyone has the call to monastic life. I (probably, very subjectively) noted the following. The sisters who work as teachers, it seems to me, positively glow with happiness that the Mother Abbess gave them such an obedience. Whatever you might say, even tough they have become brides of Christ, their maternal instinct is still intact. Probably, because of that, the girls are surrounded such warmth…
Don’t most of us lack love in our lives? Beyond question, it’s good that people brought kids to the shelter whose eyes showed the evil that marred their lives. Nevertheless, it will still take some time to erase the terrors of the past; they still have nightmares about it. According to the sisters, such nastiness only bothers the kids every now and again. If they see a child having a bad dream, they approach her, and embrace her… once again, all the evilness drifts off into nothingness. Many of the girls have even forgotten their parents (bad things are all too easy to forget). When people ask them the question, “Where are you from?”, they quite honestly say, “We’re the granddaughters of St Nicholas” (the patron saint of the monastery).
As far as I’m concerned, it’s no lie.
21 January 2011