Racially Proper New Year Ukrainian Style


December 16, 2015

Alexander Yablokov


Translated from Russian by Kristina Rus for Fort Russ

Russian Father Frost and Snegurochka

The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, headed by Vyacheslav Kyrylenko (nicknamed “the Penguin”) sounded the alarm: we must urgently deal with Ded Moroz [Father Frost], Snegurochka [Snow Maiden], as well as “The Irony of Fate” [iconic Russian holiday movie]. The “cotton” [rus.: vatnye, meaning ‘pro-Russian’] sentiments are too strong in the country, expressed in mass-consumption of “Olivye” salad, watching the “Blue Flame” [Russian New Year’s TV music show] and the brainwashing of the younger generation of patriots with the myth of the so-called Ded Moroz.

To remedy the critical state of affairs at all the cultural institutions, kindergartens and schools received guidelines outlining racially proper holiday celebration procedures. The document emphasizes that the New Year is a tool of Kremlin propaganda to restore the so-called “Soviet values.” In fact, according to the Ministry of Culture, it is a brazen act of aggression. Actually, the most important holiday of true Ukrainians is “Rizdvo” (Christmas), while the New Year is just a change of dates, and proper patriots should listen to Poroshenko’s speech and, possibly, that of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on New Years eve, while standing up in front of the TV.  (If Yatsenyuk’s lump on some of his body parts injured during a fight at the Parliament will be healed by then).

Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk

Moreover, it is strongly recommended to learn from the experience of the strategic partner of Ukraine in matters of New Years celebration. Santa Claus must replace the Soviet Father Frost, and images of “Zimonka” and “Holy Mikola” (St. Nicholas) must be strongly promoted, implemented, so to speak, into the wide cattle-masses to give the action a national flavor. 

“Zimonka” [Winter] is not so easy to discern. First, the sex of this Christmas character is unclear. It appears to be a female, but the Ministry strongly recommends to use an image of a bearded man in a blue (!) suit. In fact, the same Father Frost, but considerably transformed under the influence of enduring European values. In principle, recalling Conchita Wurst, “Zimonka” could be a female. Secondly, there is absolutely no guidance about what this “Zimonka” does, what is its role in New Year celebrations. Whether it reduces the nation’s dependence on Russian gas, or distributes presents along with Saint Nicholas on December 19.

It is especially taxing on preschool workers, because kids have a soup of conflicting images in their minds. Some believe in Father Frost, because their parents don’t follow the latest instructions of the Ministry of Culture and continue to raise their children in the spirit of the banned Soviet traditions. Others confuse Santa Claus with the Finnish Joulupukki, although they can’t pronounce his last name. The third, after watching TV, demand to explain the nature of the relationship between the Snow Maiden and St. Nicolas, and what does Spongebob has to do with it? However, the strict kindergarten teachers solved the problem simply: everyone has to come to the New Year’s party wearing vyshivanki [Ukrainian style embroidered shirts], and hold snowflakes in their hands. Discussion is over.

The media is filled with heated disputes on the differences between the racially proper Santa Claus and Kremlin’s Father Frost. I will not recount the intriguing details, and jump directly to the conclusions. Most important – glasses and a wide officer’s belt. Father Frost has no glasses or belt, unlike Santa Claus, who looks like the father of Ukrainian democracy Joe Biden (US Vice President).

Patriots are particularly concerned with the content of holiday TV programming. Everyone is afraid that the zombie box will show the Russian “Blue Flame”. It’s a terrible crime against the nation, since almost all the “Flames” have Kobzon and other artists, which the Ministry of Culture blacklisted as separatists and vatniki [“quilted jackets” – Russian]. The patriots suspect that “Inter” could again, like last year, show fragments of the “Blue Flame”. Therefore, Ukrainian social networks are actively discussing the subject of a pogrom of this unpatriotic channel.

It is extremely difficult to create a racially proper New Year’s program. Ivo Bobul (Ukrainian artist, a favorite of the 70+ Ukrainian audience) is perfect. He is always dressed in a black vyshyvanka, and his repertoire is so proper that even the fanatical patriots cannot identify any faults since he is  impossible to listen to. Then there is a “kosher” Vakarchuk, and the list ends there. Ani Lorak, admittedly, is a separatist. Same story with Sofia Rotaru and Verka Serduchka. It remains only to combine Ivo Bobul with the Ropes choir and the same “Okean Elzy”. An uneasy task.

The hot separatist Ani Lorak

The best minds of the presidential Administration are fighting to eradicate the “Russian tradition of the New Year”. All TV channels are warned: wrong content during New Year’s broadcast may cost them their license.  Therefore, “ATO heroes” [ATO – anti-terrorist operation] are in great demand today, wishing Ukrainians a happy New year for the next two weeks. The list of ‘heroes’ is constantly being refined, as not all of them, as it turned out, are really heroes. There are a lot of criminals, child molesters and looters. Therefore, those with disabilities are in particular demand. This is not a joke. Wheelchairs are decorated with garlands, a hero is given a glass of champagne, which is then immediately taken away, because it’s props.

The most anticipated event of New Year’s eve is Waltsman’s address to the nation [Poroshenko’s real last name]. Inspirational and patriotic show with the same disabled, the Crimean Tatars and BTR’s is planned. And no Father Frost. Only the asexual “Zimushka”, Biden look-alike Santa Claus and the same Waltsman with champagne glass.

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