Who is Pionerka Doosya?

Who is Pionerka Doosya?



[Pie-oh-nair-ka] is a female Young Pioneer, a member of the Young Communists Association of USSR. The membership in the All-Union Young Pioneers Association was proclaimed as not mandatory. But that was just one of the tricks the Communist Party had up its sleeve. If you were not a member, a Young Pioneer, your whole future was pretty much fucked.

Doosya is a short form of Evdokia, an old Russian name, mostly given to the girls of peasant origin. My Grandmother on mom’s side was a farmer, the long descendant of Catherine the Great’s German immigrants, lured into central Russia by promises of tax-free farming, back in the 18 Century. To erase any traces of German origin which was already frowned upon in the late 1930s by the almighty Stalin, she named her daughter Evdokia.

Evdokia moved into a big city at the sweet age of 15, to escape poverty and hunger and to go to school. The country was still recovering from the devastation of WWII, and the farmers were least looked after by the Soviet Government. Despite the triumphant statements by the Communist Party over the speedy recovery and multiple posters of happy youth, the system of education in rural areas was pretty much non-existent. Partially due to the majority of female teachers moving to the city, partially due to many male teachers not returning from the war.

By the age of 20, my mother realized that her commoner’s name was the subject of jokes by the city folk, particularly at her college. She was a very pretty young woman, who absorbed every word of her teachers and graduated with honors, but she blamed her name for the prejudiced treatment by city peers. Often asked where she was from by young men she dated, she would answer honestly, and then watch them disappear. The social acceptance bar was set very high, regardless of the endless campaigns by the Communist Party trumpeting on every corner the absence of elitism and inequality.

She changed her name to the one sounding better to the snobbish urban ear. Not that long after she met my father, an aspiring physicist from a noble family of party aristocrats, future professor, and the multiple prestige world awards winner. My father fell in love with her instantly. I am not sure if the name helped there at all, but…

I was about 5 years old when their constant fighting began. They would get more and more creative in belittling each other, and the difference in their origins began to shine way too bright. It is around that time when I started to hear my father saying in the heat of the verbal fencing match: “Doosya you, Doosya”. Meaning “Simpleton, you useless simpleton”. Which, of course, set off the new argument fireworks.

That is how my childhood was pretty much shaped – by the preachings of the Communist Party on one side, and the reality of class inequality on the other. Today, just a tad short of celebrating the half-century of being alive, I am once again caught between a rock and a hard place. The political turbulence taking over the world seemingly brought me back to my communist childhood memories finishing the full circle.

It is my duty to tell you the stories that have been haunting me for years. I do not care what political side you are on. The history may not be erased. Erasing History is erasing yourself.
Take what you want from my stories. Just do not pretend you know it better than me.

I refuse to accept any excuses as reasons for canceling the truth, adjusting the facts, and rewriting history. I earned my right for such refusal in a very hard way. I learned the truth about equality and human rights of Socialism in reality, and not in a utopian dream.

Deleting the facts and history is deleting yourself, bringing your own existence to a speckle of historical dust. Progress stands on the cement foundation of history. Taking away the foundation will leave one in a crawlspace. Lots of creepy creatures in there, you know…

“Vsegda Gotov” –
Pionerka Doosya

Pin with the image of Vladimir Lenin, red star and flames. Sign in "Russian "Always Ready" Young Pioneers Association of USSR
“Always Ready”. All-Union Young Pioneers Association of USSR Membership pin