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Pictures from Our Visit to the Museum of Political History

During our trip to Russia, there has been one question that has been continuously arising in my mind. How do Russians feel about their country’s checkered past? On the one hand the empire of Russia was grand, powerful, and the most beautiful empire in the world, yet during other periods of time, notably during the communistic period, the country was a repressed and dismal place. I asked numerous people about this, ranging from youIMG_1507ng Russians in the street to our tour guides, and there is no unified answer. Some middle-aged Russians feel nostalgic about the “good old days” as people everywhere are wont to do. However, many young people don’t consider the past to strongly affect their present mindset. They were born towards the end of the Soviet period, and they certainly are aware of the past, but they live taking advantage of the new opportunities afforded them by the new Russian Federation. Students I’ve talked to love learning English and other languages, and traveling, and simply having fun. They live in Petersburg, a city full of imperial and communistic imagery, a city of contradictions that Dostoevsky called  “the most abstract and intentional city in the world”, and their lives are so directly parallel to ours, as students in America. They simply love living and exploring, mindful of the dark past, but minds set on the bright future.

 

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