The Russian Community in
North Cyprus celebrates
70th year Victory Day
By Margaret Sheard….
There is a large Russian community in the TRNC and being far from their motherland they still like to celebrate festivals and traditions and 9th May 1945 – Victory Day is no exception.
We were invited to attend their 70th year celebration which was held at the Pia Bella Hotel by our friend Sergey Eletskikh and we arrived to see a large group of people who had come to join in the celebration, from Russia and many of the former USSR states.
Although we do not understand the language there are many similarities to the VE Day celebration in the UK and the event started with a minute’s silence before Sergey, accompanied by Andrey Dolganov, entertained the audience with some sad folk songs about WW2 and gradually the music took on a happier theme with some very boisterous songs which had most of the Russian community singing along and there were plenty of feet tapping.
We were introduced to Marina Yűzçelik who is Chief of the Board of the Russian speaking society of North Cyprus. Marina is from Belarus and is also a Life & Breath Coach with her Soul and Body Work operation. I also spoke to Igor Korshunov who is from Ukraine and the owner of Leverage Investments who sponsored the event. Creditwest Bank were also sponsors and Figen Kaymak also arrived to join in the celebration together with a colleague.
Igor told me a little about the celebration which is a very big event in Russia with parades and celebrations in Moscow in memory of the Russian people who lost their lives in WW2 and the 9th May is marked each year so as not to forget the fallen. Perhaps we forget that Great Britain was not the only country who suffered great loss of lives, and it was very interesting to attend another country’s event to commemorate those who paid the ultimate price.
We also met another lady. Nadia, who is from Siberia and she got a little upset during the singing and showed us a photo on her cell phone of her father in his army uniform and another we think was her son-in-law at a celebration in Russia, carrying a photograph of her father. Later Nadia told us that her father never actually got to the front line as he was shot in the shoulder and it seems it was not possible to remove the bullet which he carried with him until he died at the age of 83.
As the music progressed, a very large cake arrived and this was cut and shared amongst those present, a lovely end to a very interesting and enjoyable few hours with the Russian community of North Cyprus.