Proud and ashamed

Tatiana Urbanskaya
20:30, 16 May 2016
Ukraine
389 0
Opinion

I’d like to address an unpopular issue. Perhaps, it will seem unpleasant.

We are really keen on being proud of the achievements of our fellow citizens: small and significant (well, mostly significant ones, as we are trying not to notice smaller successes) victories of volunteers and army, successes in the blockade of Crimea, organized by the Crimean Tatars who were forced to leave the peninsula, the victories of Ukrainian athletes at the World Cup, Jamala’s triumph at the Eurovision-2016, and many other. This sense of pride is a normal desire to be part of those victories, feel some kind of relevance and involvement, some sort of importance.

But, at the same time, we choose not to remember that the majority of the winners actually won against all odds

But, at the same time, we choose not to remember that the majority of the winners actually won against all odds. They won despite the infamous bureaucracy of the state, which laid many of its functions on the shoulders of its own citizens; despite the pettiness of state officials who allocate kopiykas from the state budget for molding young athletes; despite snobby critics, reflecting on politicization and general tragic message of Jamala’s lyrics unsuitable for the format of Eurovision, an easy music contest for "housewives," etc.

In addition, we turn a blind eye to the fact that we only felt this pride at a climax of success. But earlier, as the victories were forged, and potential winners needed help, hey were hardly noticed by anyone. In other words, did the winners enjoy such a massive support before they actually became winners? Will the public support still be there when the victories will be forgotten (as in the case with volunteers who, against the background of a hybrid truce, are struggling ever harder to raise more funds)?

Most importantly, will we transform these victories into something bigger by changing ourselves? Will we, finally, become Europeans?

Most importantly, will we transform these victories into something bigger by changing ourselves? Will we, finally, become Europeans? Meanwhile, as one part of Ukraine’s society is proud to present overseas the world’s most powerful aircraft, created in Ukraine, the AN-225 Mriya; the second part of the society is trying to shake up the officials to do their job properly; the third part of the society might as well continue the illegal amber production and strip the Ukrainian forests for exports, and the fourth – criticize any good initiatives from the height of their own couch without offering any alternative solutions…

It doesn’t look well at the moment.

As an example, there are already four Ukrainian cities ready to become part of Jamala’s victory and host the next year’s Eurovision-2017. However, even banal discussion of this topic on the Internet sparked an ugly online row. Thus, the residents of these cities have already started breaking lances, proving the uniqueness of their home cities and humiliating the "adversaries" in the spirit, far from the reasoned and civilized debate. Skeptics are already counting the costs of the competition in advance predicting the failure of this venture. Meanwhile, the officials, no matter what, are already counting the percentage of kickbacks they can secure in the process of preparation for the contest...

Moreover, we should also remember that a lot of "thoroughbred" nationalists go as far as trying to level to the ground Jamala’s (and Ukraine’s) victory, spitting out negative comments over the Crimean Tatar origin of the Ukrainian singer (which does not prevent them though from being proud of the Big Win).

And it makes me feel sad for some reason.

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