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Buddhists, Shamans, and SovietsRituals of History in Post-Soviet Buryatia$
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Justine Buck Quijada

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190916794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190916794.001.0001

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Soviet Selves

Soviet Selves

Victory Day

(p.60) 2 Soviet Selves
Buddhists, Shamans, and Soviets

Justine Buck Quijada

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 presents the Soviet chronotope embodied in Victory Day celebrations. Victory Day, which is the celebration of the Soviet victory over Germany in World War II, presumes the familiar Soviet genre of history, in which the Soviet Union brought civilization to Buryatia, and Buryats achieved full citizenship in the Soviet utopian dream through their collective sacrifice during the war. The ritual does not narrate Soviet history. Instead, through Soviet and wartime imagery, and the parade form, the public holiday evokes this genre in symbolic form, enabling local residents to read their own narratives of the past into the imagery. This space for interpretation enables both validation as well as critique of the Soviet experience in Buryatia. Although not everyone in Buryatia agrees on how to evaluate this history, this genre is the taken-for-granted backdrop against which other religious actors define their narratives.

Keywords:   Soviet Union, Victory Day, World War II, parade, friendship of the peoples, nationality policies, civic ritual, war commemoration, Ulan-Ude

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