The Death of Stalin Might Cause Nationalist Uproars in Russia

Joseph Stalin sitting at a desk in March 1935

The Death of Stalin wasn’t as popular with the Russian audience as it was with the Western one

Armando Ianucci’s movie The Death of Stalin was regarded by many as the film of the year, attracting a lot of positive reviews and causing great entertainment among the western audience. However, it didn’t have the same effect in Russia. People were afraid to reopen a heated debate on the role Stalin played in the Russian society, so nobody found the film half as amusing.

The movie is a dark satire on Post-Stalinist Russia

The Death of Stalin documents the political situation of Russia soon after the death of the communist leader in 1953. Steve Buscemi plays the main character, Nikita Khrushchev, who was the successor of Stalin, while another important role is embodied by Simon Russell-Beale.

This other character is no other than the cruel chief of secret police, Lavrentiy Beria. Despite the dark tone of the character and the entire movie, Beria is often made fun of, contributing to the entire comedic twist of the production. This is precisely what made the movie so highly acclaimed among the western critics and watchers.

Russian nationalists say the movie is an offense

However, the Russians found nothing entertaining in the movie. In fact, it might have threatened to reopen a spicy problem in the Russian society, especially with this year’s celebration of 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution. Nikolai Starikov, a Russian history writer and party leader, didn’t have any kind words to say about the movie.

“The death of any person is not a subject for comedy, and even more so the death of a head of state and a great leader.”

Starikov leads a nationalist party, and is a great supporter of Stalin. He wrote many books on the history of Russia, and most of them presented Stalin as a great leader of the people. The man regarded this movie as offensive, and a hostile act coming from the former allies of Stalin.

As a result, The Death of Stalin hasn’t yet received a license to be displayed across Russia. A representative of the country’s Ministry of Culture said she couldn’t tell if the movie would be banned, but a future screening might lead to unwanted reactions from the nationalists.


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Egyptian People Arrested After Waving Rainbow Flags During a Concert

People waving rainbow flags at a parade

Seven people who waved rainbow flags during a concert in Egypt got arrested

Last week, seven Egyptian people decided to raise some rainbow flags during a concert in Cairo. This turned out to be a bad decision, as the police decided to detain them for promoting ‘unnatural’ sexual behaviors. These people are currently under arrest, but they haven’t received an official accusation yet.

People waved rainbow flags for a gay artist

The Egyptian police came into the possession of some images taken during the concert of Mashrou’ Leila. The band’s singer, who is coming from Lebanon, is really open about his sexuality, and does not refrain from admitting he’s gay. Therefore, some fans decided to support him, and wave several rainbow flags during their concert in Cairo.

However, Egypt is not the right place to promote homosexuality. Although it is not strictly forbidden by law, gay people often avoid being open about their sexual orientation. If the police suspect some people of engaging on this kind of sexual relationships, they don’t hesitate to accuse them of immoral behavior or blasphemy, and arrest them.

Police always intervenes in open homosexuality cases

Therefore, in a conservative regime like the one in Egypt, waving a few rainbow flags is a rare instance of support for the LGBT communities. Unfortunately, it is also an act which attracts attention and, automatically, police intervention.

The rainbow flag images ended up on social media, where they reached the eyes of several politicians. This led to them openly blaming them, and report the act to the authorities. Now, apart from arresting the people responsible with waving the rainbow flags, they want to ban the band from ever playing in Egypt again.

On the other side of the conflict, the LGBT supporters blame the attitude of the authorities. Although they saw this act as a direct attack on the country’s traditions, the feminist writer Mona Eltahawy finds it a bit extreme to arrest someone for waving rainbow flags. Also, arresting people for having a certain sexual orientation is a bit extreme.
Image Source: Max Pixel

18 Years-Old Girl Dies From Snakebite While Under Chhaupadi

women doing the chhaupadi dance

An 18 years old girl died after being bitten by a snake as was under chhaupadi.

An 18 years old girl original from a remote area of Nepal died after being bitten by a snake but not treated on time as she was under chhaupadi.

This is a tradition linked to Hinduism which holds that, while menstruating, women are impure. They are also believed to be a bad omen. As such, menstruating females are forced to leave their homes and go to a “menstruating hut” during this period of the month.

While it lasts, they are not allowed to enter their homes or even their courtyards. They also cannot take part in usual family activities.

Tulasi Shahi, the 18 years old girl in question, followed this tradition every month, as she went to stay in the shed in which her uncle tied up his cows. This time though, the young woman was bitten by a poisonous snake on Thursday night. Early Friday morning, she died as a result of the snakebite.

“She survived for seven hours after the snake bite but died because medical treatment was delayed” stated Surya Bahadur Shahi, the local mayor.

Reports state that, after being discovered, the girl was first taken to a shaman that failed to remove the poison. The delayed and possibly lacking help at a medical clinic came too late for Tulasi Shahi.

Chhaupadi Led to the Death of Other Two Girls and Is Already Officially Prohibited

This latest unfortunate event tied to chhaupadi occurred in Dailekh, a district of Nepal. Another young woman because of the very same reason some six weeks ago. A 15 years old, living in another part of the country, is believed to have died because of smoke inhalation as she was in trying to light a fire in the menstruation hut.

The Supreme Court of Nepal already ordered an end to this tradition since back in 2005. However, this is still respected in some remote villages, reportedly particularly in the west of the country. A bill, still pending in the Parliament, is looking to formally criminalize the custom. International organizations are also trying to abolish the practice.

As they practice chhaupadi, women are exposed to a number of risks. These include the heat or cold, wild animals or intruders in the hut.

Image Source: Flickr