I’ve posted before about this, I think 1 or 2 times. Really, I’ve also posted a time or two about my experiences with tumblr; which really both of them are highly problematic. I’m not fond at all of the loud-spoken issues and types that sometimes post across these platforms. But then again, as the person I am, that’s not surprising.
But really…it’s just getting exhausting for me to try to deal with the outside community.
There’s this sense of “Slavic superiority” that permeates a lot of these groups and forums. Which I get, people are proud of their culture and heritage. That’s not an issue. I really don’t mind that. Pride in where you come from, your culture and the like are all things I understand. I am proud of where my family came from, so I really do understand it. But then, given recent historical events and political movements/leaders, there is a fierce tendency among loud, outspoken Slavic purists to push their Slavic superiority and denigrate other peoples.
Especially Germans and Germanic people. This is highly insulting and frustrating for me. Not least because I am about 1/4 German. I look like I’m Czech (which really I am, so whoot). While I was in Germany, living for a year and studying history and German — I was constantly mistaken for being a Czech uni student. And the whole year I was in Germany, even with people constantly mistaking me for Czech, I was always treated with utmost politeness, kindness, and respect. I lived first-hand what it’s like to be a “Slav” in Germany; and I got treated with more respect than in most other times of my life. Not once was I ever disparaged for being Slavic. No one cared, except to ask about where in the Czech Republic I had come from; which I always had to explain I am actually American. But still! I was always treated well and great. But then there’s this huge subset of purist Slavic pagans (and Rodnovers) who insist on crowing about how they’re superior to the Germans, how Germans are horrid people, etc ad nauseum. Which insults me not just because of my family heritage — but also because I lived there and know very well that people in Germany are polite and generally don’t care where you come from.
I’m not going to post a bunch of photos this time. There’s no need. It’s more of the same kinds of things I posted last time: people bitching about “non-Slavs” participating, or whining about who is and is not actually Slavic…and lots of hyper-national griping about people not living in Europe, in the “correct” country being interlopers who don’t deserve to practice or worship.
Just suffice to say that this time around, I got to read a lot of people (read: Eastern European Rodnovers) griping about how Germans are “ruining” Rodnovery and that Germans shouldn’t be allowed to practice. By “Germans” they of course mean anyone with any German heritage at all; for example, people whose families might have mixed in the Sudetenland of the Czech Republic, or German families who mixed up in Russia during the Empire, before the fall of the Romanovs, just to name 2 particular examples. Oh, and the further, laughable comments that only pure Slavic people living in the Old Countries should be allowed to follow the practices and worship the Slavic gods. That in itself is hilarious and stupid–because quite frankly, not everyone’s family had the option, luxury, possibility or ability (take your pick of the word most applicable) to remain there during the tumultuous last century. For example, my family, according to one family story, had to leave due to economic and political problems during the early 20th century. Of course, another story from another branch of the family is that there were dangerous things happening back then, and so some of the family fled to make a living and send support back home. Now, I don’t know which of these is true (or if any of the old family “legends” I’ve heard are)–but it does highlight a point. How many people’s families have fled from political upheaval? There’s nothing wrong with that, as I’ve said before.
So I am particularly unhappy with these attempted forays into spending time in online community with others. I am an American of Slavic heritage; my family did come in large measure from these countries. But I am also a German-American, and I am proud of that, too. It makes it difficult for me, since I cannot help but feel utterly unwelcome whenever I’m trying to participate in discussion. The vitriolic hysteria some Rodnovers have towards anyone who isn’t pure Slavic participating has really, admittedly sucked the fun out of these groups.
I’ve pulled back to where I browse for good articles. I don’t participate in discussions, and I only skim the chats that have happened; because at this point a good 80%+ are going to be annoying or just rude to read.∗