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CHERNOVS CHOICE

Published: October 10, 2012 (Issue # 1730)


The Russian language is believed to be rich and highly nuanced.

This made foreign journalists think hard about how to translate the word dvushechka, used by President Vladimir Putin in reference to the two-year sentences the imprisoned women of the feminist punk collective Pussy Riot were given in August for an anti-Putin performance in a Moscow cathedral.

The whole case ended up in court and the judge slipped them a dvushechka, Putin said when interviewed for his 60th birthday television special, which aired Sunday.

Dvushechka sounds like a vulgar diminutive of two, and so news agency Agence France-Presse translated it as a little two, while the Associated Press news agency chose to avoid the subtleties and translated the word as a plain two years.

This is a pity because the Russian word says a lot about the person who uses it. It sounds loutish, somewhat tender and almost lustful, giving the idea that a man who has it in his vocabulary has certain power, finds nearly sexual pleasure in imposing it on those who cannot defend themselves and does not care about what others think about it.

In classic Russian literature, diminutives are frequently used by the most repulsive characters.

Using the word about prison terms for anybody even if it were not young women, two of whom have young children suggests an evil background and evil frame of mind.

After dropping his dvushechka, Putin, however, was quick to remark, I have nothing to do with it.

According to Putin, Pussy Riots performance was not political, but pure hooliganism, for which they got what they asked for.

If anybody had any doubts about his direct involvement, now they should not.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, were arrested March 3, while Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, was arrested March 16. The three have been held in a Moscow detention center since then.

Their crime consisted of entering the church, when there was no service being held, and trying to videotape a music performance, which was stopped by the churchs guards after less than 60 seconds.

Like Pussy Riots other performances, it was directed against Putin and was called Holy Mother of God, Drive Putin Away.

Putin expressed his satisfaction about the verdict three days before a postponed appeal hearing, due Wednesday, Oct. 10. The womens defense said it sees his words as applying pressure on the court.

But quite frankly, an official of such stature has many other, more discreet ways to give orders to the court than via television.

A number of protests are planned around the world Wednesday, but not in St. Petersburg, where a rally was held Oct. 1. Check Pussy Riots support websites for times and locations.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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