I found this old picture of my class and suddenly felt like writing a very personal post, which may somewhat a different perspective on me…
Due to my fathers profession – he was a Soviet Army officer – I grew up in a rather unusual conditions compared to the rest: in a kind of a military ghetto.
We used to live in small “military” towns in Soviet Union and abroad -surrounded by a wall. The only men I saw around were officers and soldiers. By now I hold my breath when I see a man in a uniform 🙂
It was a blissful time because we have been so incredibly protected, that we never ever heard of crimes, violence, any danger – we felt perfectly safe and secure. At the same time our fathers went to the war in Afghanistan – but we were too small to realise the horror of it.
We were all friends, the international military citizens from all over the Soviet Union (dozens of nations), we lived like a big family. What was really special is the feeling of unity, trust, honor and respect. And we were proud of our fathers.
In the school we had a subject called “civil defence”, which was not unusual for a country that lost 26 Millions of people in the Second World War 40 years ago. The subject was a compulsory everywhere, however only in the schools of our military towns we could get the best of it and learned how to shoot a gun at the tender age of 12 (!).
The picture above shows another military gem – an official school game we used to play once in a year starting with the 6th form, if I remember correctly. The game was called “zarnitsa” (the lightning) and was very popular with the schoolchildren: we used to dress up in the uniforms and “play war”, using our skills how to escape the gas attack, rescue people, set up a tent, transport the injured, take hostages, disassemble and assemble of a sub-machine gun, etc. That was fun because we knew it was a game. We also knew it was a good training – and as life shows today, any peaceful tourist can find himself in war situation 😦
By the way, the photo was taken during the Zarnitsa game at the 8th class and I am also on this picture – guess who? 🙂