HS Turku | Russians and Ukrainians have a Christmas tradition in Turku that even the war could not break

A Christmas play in which Russian and Ukrainian children perform together will premiere in Turku on Saturday. Finland’s Russian-speaking minority does not divide itself in the way that the mainstream population easily imagines, says the director of the theater.

With the king has adhd The evil stepmother gallops across the stage to the beat of the cancan. Cinderella’s stepfather, on the other hand, complains to the king that his wife is from such a toxic family that even the monster died of poisoning after eating this sister.

“I would have liked more real horses on the stage, but unfortunately the stage is too small”, regrets the creator of the theater performance Konstantin Abakumov.

The Albatros Christmas play of Turku’s Russian-speaking youth culture association is rather headlong in places, and according to Abakumov, it reflects its time.

One current theme, however, shines by its absence: the Ukrainian war is not commented on in the play. However, both Russian and Ukrainian children and young people take the stage.

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The modernized performance of the classic fairy tale Cinderella will premiere in Turku at the Runosmäki Youth Center today, Saturday.

The good fairy Glasira Seroglasova (right) conjures an evening dress and a pumpkin carriage for Cinderella Anna Vasiliev. Some of the performers of the mouse characters visible in the background are from Ukraine.

Albatross the amateur theater’s Christmas play is a long-standing tradition that premieres around Christmas and New Year.

This year, the youngest performer is seven years old and the oldest is in his twenties. Three of the five Ukrainian performers have fled to Finland because of the Russian invasion.

There are at least two Russians involved, but all members of the association are united by the Russian language. The association mainly gathers people from Eastern European countries, a large number of whom have represented the ethnic Russian minority in their home country.

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In addition to all that, thirty Ukrainian children from Turku and neighboring municipalities have been invited to Saturday’s premiere. The vast majority of them have fled their homeland because of the war.

The Christmas play of Turku’s Russian-speaking youth cultural association is an annual tradition that brings together the Russian-speaking minority in the region. And the war has not broken the tradition. There will be at least two screenings.

Youth Culture Association Chairman Abakumov says that the war in Ukraine has never caused any conflicts in the theater company.

“We are all friends here. It may be that sometimes there has been bitterness between the adults of different associations about grants, for example, but never between the children.”

According to Abakumov, the confrontation caused by the war may seem more black and white to an outsider than it actually is. For example, it is difficult for him to say how many of the actors in Cinderella are actually Russian.

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“During the former Soviet Union, people’s backgrounds mixed so much. If you were to dig into the backgrounds, probably every other person would have either Ukrainian or Russian roots.”

For example, the Cinderella play was directed by Abakumov’s spouse Jelena Abakumova, whose mother was born in Russia and father in either Ukraine or Moldova. There is no absolute certainty about that.

Plays the role of Cinderella Anna Vasiliev, 17. He was born in the far east of Russia. His mother is half Russian, half Korean. The father is Kurdish.

Konstantin Abakumov himself is half Russian and half Inger-Finnish.

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