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Russian Scout Clubs
November 30, 2012 16:51

The most curious and bizarre thing to note about youth organisations in contemporary Russia is this: they are more numerous than in Soviet times but more insular and, as a result, less attended by children. Some clubs require payments or material contributions that are expensive for the family.

The main organisations aimed at teenagers in Russia are:

The pioneer movement in contemporary Russia is no longer politicised, and instead promotes community values and patriotism. Newly established in 1990, it is represented by the International Union of Pioneer Organisations (Federation of Children Organisations), Inter-Regional Organisation “Pioneer Commonwealth”, and various regional and local pioneer organisations.

Scout movement was introduced to Russia in early 20th c., however soon after the October Revolution it gave way to the Pioneer movement. Today Russian scout movement is all but unified. There are presently three all-Russian scout organisations that differ in form, ideology, structure, and functioning: National Organisation of Russian Scout-Guerillas, All-Russian National Scout Organisation, and Russian Association of Scout Navigators.

Historical and touristic unions
Their activity is directed at study, preservation and revival of historical and cultural traditions of Russia and its history. They promote healthy lifestyle and carry out local research expeditions. They are represented by Massolit and Youth for Petersburg Revival, The Road to the Source, Springs, etc.

Military and patriotic organisations
These are focused on military education and physical upbringing of children and teenagers, promotion of civic and patriotic values, revival of heroic and combat traditions of the country. Among these – various search and rescue unions, military-patriotic unions, Association of Military-Patriotic Clubs “Styag” (Standard, ), young paratroopers and frontier guards clubs, and the staff of such military-sportive games as Zarnitsa (Heat-Lightening, ), Orlyonok (The Eaglet, ), and Perekop (, after the town in the present Krimea region of Ukraine that was wiped out during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922).

Ecological organisations
Members of these look after Nature and educate others on the ways to protect the environment. These organisations are very popular in Russia today. A children’s telecommunication project “Ecological commonwealth” was created with support from the Ministry of Nature Resource of Russia.

Voluntary organisations
Here teenagers can help disabled people, orphaned children, and veterans.

Professional unions
Those who have decided upon their career at the early age join professional unions. Professional fields traditionally included journalism, geography, space science, fashion, and theatre. In recent years there has been a growing interest in economy and banking, whereby an inter-regional organisation “Children’s Business Club” appeared.

Religious unions
These organisations promote Orthodox Christian values among teenagers and young adults.

Informal organisations

The works of J. R. R. Tolkien are extremely popular in Russia. They prompted an unbelievable surge in fantasy genre, assisted at historical reconstruction festivals, and helped to establish historic fencing as an official sport. Above all, they influenced several generations of people who united in their passion for the fantastic world of elves, goblins, hobbits, and so on. Role games based on Tolkien’s books go on to this day.

Anime fans
Anime and manga cartoons and comic strips also proved to be incredibly popular among Russian teenagers. Of particular interest: Maho Shoujo, Bishojo Senshi (Sailor Moon), and Pokemons. There is also a group of J-rockers, mad about Japanese rock music.

Russian Goths are hardly different from any other in that they also choose black colour, piercing, and the theme of death to dwell on.

Russian Emos also follow the Western trends, listening to Dashboard Confessional and wearing the pink-and-black combo.

This part of Russian teenagers tend to represent the “cultured”, contemporary bourgeois lifestyle, with a particular interest to Fashion, Technology, and the latest trends in just about anything. “Signature” bags and spectacles and expensive SLCs are hipsters’ “brand marks”.

Author: Julia Shuvalova

Tags: Russian society Russian youth Russian youth clubs   

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