What’s happened on June 12, 1990?
Russian independence day...Independence from whom?
12 of June was the Day of adoption of the declaration of state sovereignty of the Russian Socialistic Republic by the First Congress of People's Deputies. 907 deputies voted for sovereignty, 13 abstained.
Btw: After one year on the same day, the first Russian presidential election was held, and Boris Eltsyn became president.
This declaration proclaimed the sovereignty of the Russian SFSR and “the intention to establish a democratic constitutional state within a liberalized Soviet Union.”
Back then it meant that Russian citizens finally got freedom of choice, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and freedom of religion. For the first time in our history, political parties got equal rights for their representation, legislative, executive, and judicial powers were separated.
But as we see since that time Russia is not moving forward in developing freedoms and powers. We are moving back, unfortunately…
How do Russians celebrate Russia day? What happens on Russia Day?
Each city conducts different kinds of events, praising Russia's achievements, pay tribute to famous Russians and demonstrate national pride by singing the Russian anthem, and so on.
As this year there is coronavirus epidemic, we don't have many celebrations, but usually, concerts are held at almost every part of the city. Here is an example of how it was in my city, Saint-Petersburg:
Then Putin congratulates and gives medals to different(sometimes absolutely useless but loyal to the regime) people in Kremlin. This year is different because he granted medals to many health care workers for their work during the pandemic.
And then celebrations are ending with fireworks. But this year we won't have them in Saint-Petersburg.
Btw: This year the Russia day falls on Saturday, which is a weekend. So according to law, the public holiday shifts to the following Monday. So yep...we are going to rest till Tuesday.
How this day is perceived by Russian people.
Only 49% of Russians know the real name of this holiday, which is the Day of Russia (39% think it’s independence day). I believe that this misunderstanding has happened historically because the name of this holiday was the day of the Declaration of State Sovereignty. The name was too complicated for people, so they started to call it Independence Day.
This celebration is quite new because it become a holiday in 1994, so people don’t really feel and understand it.
There are plenty of debates in society about the date. Some people believe that there is nothing to celebrate because this event led to the dissolution of the USSR. Others believe that this declaration saved our nation from complete separation and falling apart to pieces.
If you'd ask me now: what do you celebrate? I’d definitely answer that it was a day of independence from the totalitarian state. But what is this celebration right now? I have no idea...it looks like just another day to have fun and celebrate something together, without asking each other about historical reasons for the Day of Russia.
For me, such kinds of holidays are important because they remind us that we are one nation. That we live in a great country, with a rich history and its uniqueness... with its beautiful people. That everything bad or good that’s going on in this country is our responsibility and this is WE (not Putin or someone else) who are writing the history. It’s time to rethink the past “stop crying over spilled milk” and move forward.
Don’t you think so?