On the first of May, as well as on other Soviet holidays that required universal shows of loyalty, factory and office workers, government employees, students and faculty members would gather in a specific location, assigned by the authorities, with flags, posters and portraits of Communist party leaders, and would then slowly march towards the main place of the celebration.
Once in place, all shouted “hurray” to the Soviet leadership, to the Communist party, and to the glorious working class. Soviet-style socialism.
In the seventies, I took part in such “demonstrations” in Minsk, where I attended the Institute for Foreign Languages.
We marched, as instructed, with flags and other propaganda symbols, but we also had a chance to share – clandestinely – a few drinks of vodka or wine, and life seemed so damn good!
Photos courtesy of my co-student Pavel Samsonov.