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“I myself did a lot of break-dancing when I came back from Afghanistan. I worked in a professional dance troupe. For me, break-dancing is a language without words, one which I can speak freely. A language of movement….
One time our dance group met with the Yale University Slavic Chorus, which sings beautifully in Russian and English. We went to see them off at the Moscow railroad station. We started dancing for them, there on the platform, and they began to sing us Russian songs. It was unforgettable, the way the whole Moscow railroad station clapped wildly for us. But when they’d gotten on the train and gone, I saw one young guy who’d been watching them with a rage and fury so strong that I couldn’t stop myself from going up to him. Then I heard him say: “I was in Afghanistan! And those shits! Their rockets…” I felt pain and sorrow for him. He was blaming the American people for the American rockets. The American people, who, I’m sure, like the majority of us, sincerely want peace and hate war.
Not long ago I took part in a meeting of Afghan vets and American Vietnam vets. Among them was on American who had lost both his legs in Vietnam, to Soviet rockets. And he had come to this meeting, to help Afghan vets maimed in the Afghan war by teaching them to make prosthetic devices. What else is there to say?”
(From “Afghanistan: Soviet Vietnam” by Vladislav Tamarov)
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Yale Slavic Chorus’ Spring Wine & Cheese Concert, 2011