LATVIA – Riga Russian Theatre
«I was born, grew up and studied in Latvia, my family is half Russian-speaking, but before the war I never felt that the people of Latvia did not accept Russian-speakers. Unfortunately, after February 24, I felt a change in public consciousness, even among intelligent people,» Dana Bjork, director of the Mikhail Chekhov Russian Theatre in Riga, told the Press Club program (TV24).
She said that she often even had to explain that «we are not a Russian State theatre, but a Russian theatre representing Russian culture, the Russian language and its beauty, which has always fought against imperialistic thinking, that we don’t support what’s happening in Ukraine.» (Note: Belonging to the state of Russia and the ethnic origin of people in Russian has two different words separating the concepts, while in other languages a Russian citizen and a person of language and culture has one word – Russian; which is why so often there is confusion – about what we are talking about or who is in front of you).
«Living in another country, not responsible for Russia, but speaking Russian, you still feel guilty all the time explaining your position,» Bjork outlined the situation, pointing out that she believes in reason and understanding of our society, which should be unified, no matter what language anyone speaks.
Bjork suggests being rational – there is Putin, his regime and the Russian Federation, which includes people who are against the regime. She supports the idea that Russian speakers should speak openly and louder about their position.