Paganism and/or Patriotism: Russia’s New Slavic Pride

Perun’s Day celebration (Russia Beyond the Headlines).

An article in Russia Beyond the Headline talks about the rising interest in Pagan Slavic roots in that county, exemplified by the increasing number of celebrations of Perun’s Day, which was last Monday.

As more and more Russians seek solace in patriotism, many are turning to their ancient past and reviving pagan traditions. Apart from various festivities, Slavic traditions are being revived in songs, clothing, martial arts and even psychotherapy. According to sociologists, this interest in the past is becoming a trend in Russia.
At least one sociologists suggests that aside from the small number of actual Pagans, this interest is only skin-deep:
However, [Alexei] Levinson believes the appeal to Slavic traditions in popular culture is mostly superficial, and those who treat it seriously are few. “Being patriotic is currently a very fashionable thing in Russia, and the appeal to the culture of the past gives people an opportunity to be a part of the trend,” he said. “Besides, young people simply like to put on some elements of traditional Slavic clothing – it is pretty and uncommon, after all.”
Finnish scholar Kaarina Aitamurto has a book on Russian Paganism forthcoming from Ashgate titled Paganism, Traditionalism, Nationalism: Narratives of Russian Rodnoverie. She has published on Rodnoverie in The Pomegranate and elsewhere; here are some samples:

One Comment

  1. Medeina Ragana says:

    The issue of “nationalism” isn’t just confined to Russia, it affects all of the Slavic states: Poland, Ukraine, Belorussia, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, etc. as well. I think the only country(ies?) that have left nationalism pretty much out of the picture (although probably not entirely) is Lithuania and Latvia. Just my take on things.