Last Friday, May 9th was a holiday in Moldova, celebrating Victory Day. This marks the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in the Second World War (known as the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union). The Soviet government announced the victory early on 9 May after the signing ceremony in Berlin.
In Balti this holiday was celebrated by a parade, wearing orange and brown striped ribbons and speeches from veterans, the Mayor and other local officials. This was also a school holiday.
The celebration of Victory Day continued and the war became a topic of great importance in movies, literature, history lessons at school, media, and the arts. The ritual of the celebration gradually obtained a distinctive character with a number of similar elements: ceremonial meetings, speeches, lectures, receptions and fireworks.
In Russia during the 1990s, 9 May was not celebrated frequently, because Soviet-style mass demonstrations did not fit in with the way in which liberals who were in power in Moscow communicated with the country’s residents. The situation changed when Vladimir Putin came to power. He started to promote the prestige of the governing regime and history, national holidays and commemorations all became a source for national self-esteem. Since then the Victory Day in Russia has increasingly been turning into a joyous celebration in which popular culture plays a great role. The celebration of the 60th anniversary of Victory Day in Russia in 2005 became the largest national and popular holiday since the collapse of the Soviet Union.