Victory Day is on the 9th May every year, celebrating ‘when we beat the Germans in the war’, so I’m told. In Russia it’s known as the Great Patriotic War, where it’s known in the West as World War II. Seems to be a controversial topic, as to who ‘won this war’, but the Russians think it was them, and still celebrate their victory. It’s one of the most important holidays, and I asked some of my classes about it on Monday. One girl told me that it’s more important than Easter, as Easter is just religion, and the war was about people. Anyway, the day started at 10am with a parade of The Army at Ploshad Lenina (Lenin Square).
Much like any city parade, there were thousands of people, and unless you got there hours early, or climbed any tall object you could find, you couldn’t see a lot.
We tried to watch from the roof terrace of the Italian restaurant, but security were standing in the way, not letting people stand up to watch.. so we went back to the street, and walked through the crowds where people were selling the usual – flags, balloons…wigs.
It was quite strange to see a Russian Army marching to Russian war music in Russia, made me realise where I was…! But it also made Novosibirsk seem like any other city as everyone was so happy – waving their flags and carrying their balloons. Then they opened the barriers, and everyone walked down the street, that’s usually full of cars and buses. So quiet!
And the perfect opportunity to ask the Russian Police for a photo. They were very pleased and were quite excited to become famous in England asking if I was going to put the photo on Youtube..!
We went for breakfast, and off to the park – I’ll tell you about that later!! And then back to the square at 21:50 for 8 minutes of fireworks!! They weren’t quite London NYE but they’d put the Christmas lights on so it was all very pretty!
To world peace…