“If You Meet a Russian, Say This…”: A Lesson in Latvian Literature or Inter-Ethnic Strife?

Russian residents of Latvia are in a state of mild shock after learning what local schoolchildren study in literature lessons, writes “bb.lv” with reference to “Studio 4”.

Some angry mother addressed the editorial office, showing journalists the text of one of the books that is studied in Latvian schools by children.

We quote from this work:

“If you meet a Russian, talk to him like you’re standing in a window on the second floor, and he’s in the yard, up to their ears in shit and dirt, because that’s the difference between Estonians and Russians. Be civil and coldly affable, at times even smile. Don’t hit them in the face, but look down on them, and you’ll see how scared they are of you. This is how the dog fears even the easiest hint of dismay in their master’s voice, and the Russians, with their broad souls, even today, are nothing but the Tatars slaves they have been for centuries. “

Journalists went to the mentioned school, where it turned out that it was not at all reprimanded. This is Gunars Janovskis’ novel “Sola”, which is included in the school curriculum by the Ministry of Education of Latvia.

Literature teacher Ieva Grahoļska said that it is not necessary to dig out certain parts of the work, but to look at it as a whole – the novel teaches Latvian children patriotism.

“And nothing better has seen or read in all the years. I believe that it is a gold reserve of Latvian literature,” she said, adding that this work is studied in every second school.

In turn, the Center for Educational Content indicated that the novel is indeed included in the school curriculum, but it is only one of the works from the whole list included. Talking about it with children or not is the choice of each individual school.

Journalists summed up their story by saying that there is no reason for unrest on the topic of incitement to ethnic hatred in this case.

Comment of Aleksandr Gaponenko:

“According to international treaties, the actions of Latvian Ministry of Education of Latvia officials imposing on children texts promoting racism (and ethnic inequality is racism according to scientific concepts) are classified as preparation of genocide. However, genocide and other crimes against humanity in Latvia are not punishable if they are aimed against ‘incorrect’ people. I’m not even talking about completely ignoring the Constitution. Šnore got away with equating Russians with lice, Sedlenieks got away with defining Russians as genetic garbage, Zeltiņš from ‘Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK’ got away with participating in international Nazi structures, and Janovskis got away with it.

But Filey will be punished for having a ‘wrong’ origin, although he did not commit crimes.

People of ‘wrong’ origin are so intimidated that they do not even try to defend their children. Complete atrophy of self-esteem and a lack of vitality. Especially among men, who by nature must protect their children and women. A shame!”

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