Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lithuania's Soviet nostalgia: back in the USSR


A belated link to this piece, incredibly interesting to research and write, about Lithuania and its somewhat unusual attitude to commemorating its Communist past - via live role-play theatre in former nuclear bunkers, eerily peaceful Soviet 'amusement parks', Stalin impersonators, vicious Alsations, and Nostalgija Borsch. I also ate beaver and mashed potato, though sadly that wasn't relevant enough to merit inclusion. It was delicious though.

This feature landed in The Guardian's g2 section the day Osama Bin Laden died, so I figure a lot of people may have missed it.
Having failed to answer a question correctly in Russian, I get it repeated in broken, angry English. The interrogating KGB officer pushes me against a filing cabinet. "Where are y'fRRROM?" England, I say, cowering. He prods me in the chest, hard. "You are English? English spy! English spy!" In another "scene", a KGB doctor forces me to strip to the waist, in front of the other participants. "Jacket off! Shirt off! Strip to waist! Quick! Quick!"
Here are a few more of my pics...
Soviet Sports Hall, Vilnius. Just spectacular

Lenin mate, you've got something in your eye. The eerie splendour of Grutas Park

The 'Nostalgija' Menu in the restaurant at Grutas Park

Upstairs in the Soviet Bunker. I have never, ever known damp like this

Eating (Soviet-style) dinner in the Soviet Bunker, after our, erm, ordeal

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