Just for better understanding of my previous posts’ intonations, let me explain why I personally didn’t accept the Holodomor Remembrance Day on 22 November. That day I didn’t visit any of big events on the open air, in museum, opera or church. I didn’t light a candle as was suggested and didn’t put it on a window. It’s not because I don’t respect victims of the Holodomor, or don’t recognise it as a terrible crime. It is because this suddenly established Remembrance Day turned up to become a kind of huge “celebration” with strange and unnatural rituals.
There is no reason to invent artificial dates of memory and sorrow. In every religion there are special days to pray for people who left our world. The Holodomor Day of 22 November is surely an artificial thing, not supported by the Ukrainian society. I don’t know a single person who took the appeals of our officials seriously. All the events around this date – opening of huge and expensive memorials, big TV-screens in all the capitals of regions, translating films and documentaries about the Holodomor, thousands of guests and the all-country mourning with the ban on all not-sad TV programs, etc – reminds me a Soviet-time events, participation in which was obligatory for everyone.
There are a lot of questions. Why this day was scheduled on 22 November? Why not, for example, 23rd or 24th, or 25th? Why not December, or January, or February (when a critical point of hunger was reached)? And, for God’s sake, why this day is called “an Anniversary” in English copies of official documents?
Holodomor of 1932-33 is one of the worst pages of the history of Ukraine. It’s hard to imagine how people, who were ruling Bolshevik’s USSR, came to the very idea to kill peasants by leaving them without food. It’s scaring to think how that innocent victims were trying just to stay alive during almost two years, and to support their families and children. When I was a child, my father’s mother Lydia Pogorila told me how my grand-grandfather took all the family gold and went to the Western Ukraine, where he exchanged it for food. My mother’s mother Polina Orel (she left us 10 years ago) also saved memories about her mother, trying to make a flavour from some herbs and cook a kind of bread for her children. Thanks to God, nobody died in my family from both sides. But people did dye in their neighbourhoods, and it’s a fact. I keep their memories about those sad days, and I will tell these stories to my children.
I am very proud that, after such a terrible times, our grandparents – Ukrainian nation – found a power to go on, to live and love again, and to smile again. They never “celebrated” that horror times by lighting candles and cursing “the enemies”. They just tried to live their lives on the basis of the eternal human values, and were teaching their children to forgive and forget.
We, Ukrainians, have respect for Holodomor victims in our hearts. There is no need to be taught by anyone (is it President or whoever), how exactly we should remember this or that.
Meanwhile, I do know the answer to the question, why the Holodomor Remembrance Day was scheduled on 22 November. We should not forget that the same day previously was called the Liberty Day – to mark the Orange Revolution anniversary. Why the Orange holiday was almost forgotten? The answer is very simple. The inspirers of the Orange Revolution didn’t want to stay again on Maydan (the main square of Kiev) together.
Main leaders of the Orange Revolution preferred to hide behind the shadows of the Holodomor victims, than to come back to Maydan and to look into the eyes of Ukrainians who were standing there four years ago, who believed them blindly and took them to power. Now it’s time to report on the work they were supposed to do since 2004. But they’ve got just nothing to say.