22 May 2007

Always Ready! (всегда готов)

Recently there were silent celebrations around Russia to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the Pioneer Organization. Now it may sound like a Russian movement to decorate Ladas with high-end Pioneer sound systems; but for 68 years it was one of the youth organizations in USSR along with the Komsomol (Young Communists).

Notice the girl pioneer: it is the sign of Pioneers

Pioneer Organization, a derivative of Scouting, was intended for children of age between 10 and 15 and considered a first stage of education towards a supreme communist humanbeing. Although membership was voluntary (like everything in USSR; but you had to be a member anyway to survive), all children would be sent to Pioneer Camps, where they would set up camps, light bonfires, do sports and sing songs and marches of communism.

Little communists having fun in Pioneers Camp, like all saying "WE WANT TO GO HOME!"

After 15, with a solemn recommendation from Pioneer leaders according to the dedication to the communist cause, the next phase would be to join the Komsomol and do some serious socialist training, like learning how to prepare Molotov cocktails, basic field and weapons training. A friend of mine told me that many generations of USSR had their first sexual experience in Komsomol camps (maybe that's why many of the elders still keep the memorabilia in their homes...). Another interesting fact is that the name of the Komsomolskaya Metro station comes from the daring Komsomol members who helped to build the Metro Station, as their joyful contribution to free labor. You can still see their insignia on the columns, if you can survive the human traffic in the metro alley (it is situated right in the middle of three main train stations and still one can see all types of people from the USSR and a lot of police to check their documents (and more..))

Inside Komsomolskaya Metro Station. The Komsomol Insignia is still on the pillars

Now, as far as I can understand from Russian TV (yes, i regret to say that I watch TV...my teacher insists that uit helps my Russian progress), there are some crazy enthusiastic kids who still dress like Pioneers and set camps around the radioactive forests around Moscow...There are also others who still continue their Pioneer past in different ways, like this guy

всегда готов / Always Ready...for a beer


andrei said...

Tell us about Turkish pro Ata Turk youth organization.

Rubashov said...

On a related note, I was recently at one of Sbarro's (the pizza/Italian restaurant) locations in Moscow and was amused to see that the employees' uniform consisted of white shirts with Italianesque red kerchiefs around their necks - they looked exactly like the Pioneers. I found it quite amusing!

Dinc Arslan said...

I really wanted to add something about the Turkish Scouts but they were already non-existent when I was a student. As a part of the ancient Turkish schooling system, we were encouraged (not obliged hehe) to be a part of a student group like chess club, honor club..etc. Those who were unfortunate to be Scouts were to wear humiliating uniforms and parade on memorial days...But i didn't really get what you mean by "Pro Ataturk".