Destruction of the Berlin Wall is a “positive” celebration
Recently, looking at how the Germans celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, I felt a little jealous. The problem is not that people are celebrating something. The problem is that this celebration is not anyone’s “anti-celebration”. When a nation celebrates its victory in a battle, it should consider that it is the defeat of the other, previously or currently considered nation’s enemy. The fall of the Berlin Wall is no one’s defeat. Even the current President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, who considers the destruction of the Soviet Union a disaster, and specifically for Germany, due to his the then work, he was trying to promote the preservation of the so-called “German Democratic Republic”, even Putin could not say, “well, how bad it is that the Berlin wall fell and the Germany is reunified, it would be much better that this country be divided into two parts.” No one can say such a thing. For this very reason, this is a “positive” holiday.
Now, let’s take any historical event, which we, Armenians, rightfully are proud of – the Battle of Avarayr (where we did not win, but heroically resisted), the Battle of Sardarabad, Shushi. These are wonderful holidays, glory and honor to our heroes, eternal memory to the soldiers on the battlefield. But we do “not complete” with the world with these days, we rejoice that we won, but the rest of the world does not rejoice with us, with our victory. This is, of course, not only in Armenia. For example, every year, on July 12, in Belfast, protestants celebrate their victory over Catholics in a battle that has taken place in 1690. The protestants rejoice but not the Catholics. On this land, on that day and until now, there happen clashes and riots. Such holidays are available with any nation, but they are not similar to the Berlin Wall fall.
This is perhaps due to the adoption of Christianity 1700 years ago as the state religion that makes it such a holiday. However, in contrast to Shushi and Sardarabad, there is no unity among Armenians even regarding this event, because a part of historians say that we are not the first in this sense, whereas the other part claims that we should have remained a pagan, others, without some certain basis, opine that when the church assumes the role of the state (even of “forcedly”), no good ever comes of it. Anyway, I have not heard that any foreigner would exclaim, “Oh, what a good thing you did, Armenians, to declare Christianity as a public holiday, we are extremely happy for you.”
Our referendum on independence as of September 21, 1991 is not also an event of international scale. It could be so if afterwards we had reached outstanding success in the state building process. But it is, to put it mildly, not the case. The idea of independence does not unite us, the Armenians living here, many of the “yes” voters in 1991, today, have “regretted”, and if we are not united in such matters, then with this idea, we cannot “go out to the international arena.”
Hence, we here, inside Armenia, have our “Berlin Wall”, which is more durable than the monster built by the Communists in 1961, which failed 25 years ago. Actually, it is not one wall, these are many walls, which over these 25 years were built between people: social, psychological and cultural. Of course, also the wall between the ruling elite and the rest of the population. All of this can fall only by the consciousness of a common national goal.
… It seems that the Ukrainians have recently begun to formulate these goals and build a drive through wall on the border with Russia. If that is the outcome of awakening of self-consciousness, then so far they are wrong in their formulation.