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Russian Politicians Seek to Ban Halloween

on September 19, 2008 - 11:02am

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When Canadian politicians spend time and money on issues that seem irrelevant, I always think they have too much time on their hands and have lost their sense of purpose. Not sure if banning Halloween and Valentine's Day would be considered high priority in Russia, but I'm going to assume there are more pressing issues that should be dealt with.

An article from USA Today reports that:

The State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, will consider a measure this month to guard students from what the government considers destructive Western influences, such as the two festive celebrations that are growing more popular in Russia.

I can appreciate wanting to preserve culture and identity. I just wonder how 'destructive' Halloween or V-day is on the character or development of people. I would argue Duma member Maxim Mishchenko's comments are more harmful when he likens Russia's youth with hairy primates:

If the state won't interfere, they (Russia's youth) will behave like little monkeys, copying what doesn't fit with the soul of our culture.

They've decided an outright ban won't work, but instead will consider passing a law that says schools will only celebrate Russian holidays. And when you put it that way, they aren't so far away from groups in North America who push for banning most Halloween celebrations in our schools. The difference being that Russia is citing nationalism as their motive, as opposed to (the more disturbing, in my opinion) religious agenda here.

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