Friday, August 26, 2016

Back to Kasrilovke...

            For many of you are strange, even exotic, that I was born and raised in a small Ukrainian city of Zhitomir, which is 60 miles from Ukrainian capital Kiev. Thanks Sholom Aleichem, my city is known as Kasrilovke all of over the world, but not a lot of people know what’s going on there now. Several days ago I found an exceptionally interesting, unfortunately on Russian, article on Internet and started to feel, that I have to write something from my chest directly to American citizen, who probably has no clue, what’s going on around him.
           The article is about John Uke, who decided to open Hi-Tech start-up in Kiev. He calculated carefully a lot of things, which can bring him a success and, of course, a financial stability in a future, he listened to other entrepreneurs, and he decided, that Ukrainian capital is the best place for his future company.

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            Dear John Uke,

            I understand you have no any idea, who I am and why I’m writing to you. Let me be clear. I’m one of the people, who used to live for many years in Ukraine and immigrated to USA a long time ago. No matter, how many years I lived in USA, I’m trying to know about the most important events in my native city of Zhitomir. After many years living in America, after becoming a "sometimes proud" American citizen, I feel, I’m still from Kasrilovke, and I’m not alone. There are a lot of people, who now live in different countries, but remember their roots, and roots are back in Ukraine.

           Coming from the most free country in the world with, according to you, absolutely innovative technical idea, you pay attention to some things, which are really important for success of your business and your personal well-being. Being from Ukraine and living in America, definitely I have different perspectives on many things happened there.

          What do you know about diversity? May I remind you, that diversity is one of the most important pillars of American Freedom, and it means of inclusion of all people, chance to be heard, respect of all religions, colors and races, and even a right to have different opinions and ideas. We’re all different and have to live together in peace and dignity. I understand your intention to prove your idea, set-up business, and develop a company of your dreams. I even can tolerate your financial problems related to a high living and business cost in Northern California, but one thing, as an American, you should know about your new surroundings.

          We all know about the revolt happened in a winter of 2014 (Maidan). Ukrainian citizens clearly expressed their opinion to live in free and independent Ukraine. As many immigrants, I supported Ukrainians to be independent, moreover I strongly feel, that Ukrainian people don’t need any high supervision from another country and must follow their dreams to build a democratic and self-governing state. But…

          Among all events happened in that time, there are some small details, which had been neglected by many people in the world, but not Jewish communities. To be exact, there were some anti-Semitic statements, which popped up here and there. One of them and, I hope, it was a really one in my city.

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                 I understand that most of Ukrainians want to go through DE communization process and get rid of all signs of previous history. I also understand that most of the steps to achieve this goal must be done in civilized way. Unfortunately, some of these steps were accompanied by anti-Semitic words and even mood. Even now, after 25 years of Ukrainian freedom some of independent ones use an offensive anti-Semitic slang ("Жид" - kike), and probably proud of it. I know you’re ready to tell me, you’re not anti-Semitic and nothing to do with absolutely unacceptable by world standards behavior of Ukrainian citizens. As an American, I’m asking you to teach people in Ukraine how to be free in many ways and include all people, who live there now. We, Americans, can become the great example of the culture of equality, diversity, and even distinction. You’re looking for the talent, and talent comes with different colors, races, and religions. I know you want to be prosperous and outstanding, so, please teach your new friends how to open their minds to all people without restrictions and preferences. Real business success comes to people, who count money and respect people no matter of their color, race, and religion.

                 I hope, you will read this short letter and understand my perception. We’re all EQUAL.

                 With respect,

                 Alla Staroseletskaya

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