Sunday, May 2, 2010

Honouring 65th Anniversary Victory Day! (May 9)

Since the 60th anniversary of the Victory Day in 2005, the Ribbon of Saint George is freely worn by civilians in Russia as an act of commemoration and remembrance.

Respected artists are invited to perform in TV programs to commemorate one of, if not, the most important day in the Russian calender. Absolute bliss for me, just sitting at home and listening to their spirited renditions of heroic wartime tunes.

Our university celebrates Victory Day a week in advance in conjunction with May Day on April 30.

Traditionally, former teaching staff who have contributed during wartime, and foreign students are invited for a heart-warming gathering.

A get-together time with my little friend Chen Lei, an intelligent Economics student from Hunan, China.
The popular Dean of International Student Department, Mr Vladimir Galyga, a fatherly figure among all foreign students.

An elderly Veteran narrating his experience during wartime, his speech captured everyone's attention.

Foreign students are often invited to sing on this special occasion, alongside with Russian students. Gu-Liya from China, an Economics student sang a lovely Russian song.

Our respected guests for the occasion.

One of my Russian Language teacher Irina Sergeevna, together with her former student, Chen Lei.
War Veterans of The Great Patriotic War - The living testimony of human courage and resilience in face of fascism.
Months before May 9, a giant banner that remind us of the Victory Day is hung on the wall in our university.
Standing in front of my university. The entire city of Kaliningrad is adorned with memory of Victory Day.
The moment I was about to take a bus home, the Baltic sunset gloriously shone at the city center.

Do you know how many people were killed in Soviet Union when they fought against Fascist Germany during World War II?

20 million. Unofficial sources cited around 30 million.

Frankly speaking, I did not know until I came to Russia. Volodya told me, even former USA President Bill Clinton did not know it either when asked by a former USSR leader, his pure ignorance was captured on TV and broadcast around the world.

The term Great Patriotic War ( Великая Отечественная Bойна) is solely used in Russia and some other states of former Soviet Union to describe the war that went on from June 22, 1941, to May 9, 1945, against Nazi Germany and its allies in the Eastern Front. During this period, 6.8 million Soviet soldiers were killed and 4.4 million died in captivity. All in all, it is believed that Soviet Union lost 26.6 million men and women.

The wider definition of World War II is one which lasts from 1939 to 1945, which involved
most of the world's nations, organized into two opposing military alliances. In total, the world lost about 50 million to 70 million people in World War II, the gravest and highest ever casualty in human military conflict.

If we take the lower figure, it means that out of total casualty, slightly less than half of which are people from former Soviet Union.

Victory Day thus falls on May 9 where my university observes every year by inviting former teaching staff and foreign students to commemorate the significant moment in Russian history, if not human history.

We began the night by a speech from our Dean, followed by several Veterans who spoke from their hearts. Students, local and foreign alike, took turn to perform, either by singing or giving a short speech. We had foreign students from China, Vietnam, Blangadesh, Mongolia, Belorussia, and including myself, the only one from Singapore in the university's entire history since 1960s.

We had a great time together!! Thank you КГТУ! (Abbreviation of my university) Thank you Russia!!!


  1. Please tell Irina Sergeevna PRIVET from Roberta Croll...Thanks!

  2. Sure!! I will tell her, Roberta!