"Brainwashing" is firmly fixed in the school curriculum of Belarus.
At the appointed time, my son's friend from another school failed to get in touch. The promenade failed to take place. In the evening, a friend called and said that their class had been taken on an excursion to the KGB school after lessons.
At the KGB school (now it is officially called the Institute of National Security, but the meaning remained, and the curriculum originates from the fifties) children were allowed to shoot. They were taken to the shooting range and were given weapons: come on, kids, learn how to shoot, start with balls. Then they heard a heroic story of the institution. They said that many prominent people graduated from the KGB school. However, no names were mentioned. What if children google them? Then they may see dull faces of a Patrushev and Sukhorenko. So let them take everything on trust. Moreover, schoolchildren got tea with sweets and cookies - the atmosphere of friendship and trust was easily created.
The children were also shown a monument to the Chekists, which, unlike the scandalous policeman, hid in one of the corridors of the KGB school. The monument is for a get-together: nobody outside knows about it. However, those in the building can come at any time, bow their heads, cry and pray. These cast-iron Chekists are hidden safely, nobody will jeer them. Well done, the interior has been arranged correctly.
And nothing terrible happened. KGB officers did not urge them to enter the institution and make a career, did not tell terrible stories about enemies of the people and did not intimidate for poor performance with the Gulag. They were quite happy and nice guys. They will check the box "welfare activity", the same will do the school administration, and everyone will forget about it. But last year the same class visited two excursions at once during the school year: riot police and unit 3214. The police newspaper wrote that the children "gladly tried on their bulletproof vests, helmets and batons".
In other words, brainwashing and zombification of our children have long been part of the school curriculum. Excursions to the "death squadron". Crowds in the ice palaces at the Mikalai Lukashenka Tournaments. The order "smile and wave" at holidays like July 3, when schoolchildren must stand on the sidelines of the avenue and play happy childhood. Thorough brainwashing when entering the BRYU and the career prospects associated with it. The imposition of February 23rd as a big holiday. These are the very little strokes that fall great oaks. It's the same Chinese torture. Under its influence, any child whose parents offer to obey the rules not to spoil the certificate, can simply back down and join that colorless mass, which properly pays contributions to Belaya Rus and forgets how to pronounce "I will not". Nobody can take away his ability to think, but the ability to say "no" is atrophied like a rudiment. Then we wonder why all people are against this regime, but the majority is silent, thus prolonging the regime's days. It's because children too often had excursions in the KGB and waved red-green flags from the stands. Meanwhile, parents were silent, instead of saying "don't go to doubtful places, keep your hands off this dirt".
I remember when my son was a first-grader, they were taken to the Christmas holiday in the KGB. Only two children - my Daniel and his friend Arseniy - did not go there. Arseniy did not understand what the KGB was and cried. He could not understand why his mother did not let him go there. His mother explained that the party there was bad and he could not go there. His mom was right, and Arseniy does not perform at any mass events. But two dozen families didn't even think about the place their children were taken to. That's a pretty indicative story. We are to blame for the BRYU and White Russia. We are those who once remained silent.
And the truth is that adults, conscious Belarusians convince themselves that nothing terrible happens. After all, children visit the KGB after classes. It's optional. If it happens behind classroom hours, but at some "extra-curricular activities," no one will be outraged. Well, it's okay, military training instructors are about to come to schools and put things in order. Unless, of course, we all together stop this rusty squeaky mechanism.
Iryna Khalip, especially for Charter97.org