Wednesday, 13 December 2017

150 Canadian Stories of Peace — the book


Ottawa, Canada.  Dec. 13, 2017 — In recognition of Canada’s 150 years of Confederation, a collection of stories — told by ordinary Canadians aged 4 to 88 — is released. The Anthology
150 Canadian Stories of Peace was compiled by Gordon
Breedyk, Mony Dojeiji, Evelyn Voigt, and Koozma J. Tarasoff.

Read it free online at 150canadianpeacestories.com

‘We wanted to hear the voices of Canadians, and how they are contributing to a culture of peace,’ says Mony Dojeiji, member of the volunteer committee who gathered these stories. ‘The main criteria were that the stories be true and concise, fitting on one page.

From almost 200 submissions, 150 were chosen by an independent review committee for this book. We are honoured to bring them to you.’

There are stories expressed in prose, poetry and song. Stories that are joyful and funny. Stories that are sad and heart-wrenching. All inspire and invite reflection.

Stories take place in the schoolyard, homes and communities, and on the international scene, documenting Canada’s role in development and diplomacy.

The online book website links to a blog (for comments) and 17 story categories (shown here in alphabetical order):
  1. ADR/ Restorative Justice/ Mediation
  2. Business/ Private Sector
  3. Children and Youth
  4. Education
  5. Environment
  6. Family/ Relationship
  7. French/ Francais
  8. Heath/ Medical
  9. Indigenous/ First Nations
  10. Innovation/ Cutting Edge
  11. International/ Development Assistance
  12. NGO's/ Civil Society/ Co-op/ Unions
  13. Protest/ Activism
  14. Spirituality/ Inner Peace/ Reflections
  15. The Arts
  16. United Nations/ Peacekeeping/ Governance
  17. Women in Peace
The 3 organizers (listed below) believe that ALL stories of peace are important and have chosen to make them ALL available for free viewing on 150canadianpeacestories.com.

Submission of stories is not closed. Readers are invited to submit their stories which could be added to the website.

The book can be purchased at Amazon.com, in paperback and e-book, or by contacting the organizers in Ottawa at 150peacestories@gmail.com. Images available upon request.

Project Organizers
More Information

Monday, 13 November 2017

Remember peace and nuclear disarmament on ‘Remembrance Day’

Peace and nuclear disarmament was the theme of a Remembrance Day meeting at The Canadian Tribute to Human Rights (Human Rights Memorial) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on 11 November 2017.

Morgan Gay, Pacifi organizer, speaks at The Canadian Tribute to Human Rights.
About 25 people observed two minutes of silence to remember all victims of all wars around the world, current and past; and to learn from the past, work for peace and tackle the causes of war. The event was organized by Pacifi17 photos of this event.


Our ‘peace’ group was miniscule compared to the thousands who were at the ‘official’ event at the National War Memorial near Parliament Hill, 600 metres north of us on the same street.

After gathering at the monument, we walked 2 blocks south to the Fox & Feather Pub and Grill to relax and hear historian Dr. David Thompson, University of Ottawa, explain the origins of Remembrance Day and efforts by veterans to promote peace. He listed five lessons from the anti-war vets:
  1. The importance of veterans in peace making.
  2. Postwar experience matters.
  3. Respecting veteran intelligence in discerning the causes of war by colonialism and 20th century capitalism is useful.
  4. There is recognition that one can be anti-war, but not pacifist.
  5. The battle is for peace, freedom and economic equality.
A rich discussion followed. These are some of the many noteworthy comments.
  • The white poppies that the activists wore symbolized all soldiers and civilians, as compared to the red poppies which generally relate to the military dead. White poppies have been around since 1933.
  • A Moslem fellow from Somalia asked: ‘What is peace? By the gun, or Gandhian peace?”
  • J. S. Woodsworth was cited as a hero for peace because he had the courage to stand up in the Canadian House of Commons in 1939 to oppose Canada going into war.
  • ‘What is freedom and democracy?” Is it freedom to starve?
  • A Quaker from out of town suggested that war is ‘counterproductive’; that in today’s world, it threatens our ability to deal with climate change and the future of our civilization.
  • A prominent Canadian poet Henry Beissel said that peace is complicated. Economic corporate interests rule the world including hijacking the mainstream media, and making us consumers of extreme capitalism. ‘I despise Remembrance Day because it glorifies wars, resulting in perpetual indoctrination of our youth for wars….What freedoms are we protecting? Canada has not been attacked for 200 years….We are closer to war today than in 1948. I am not sure what to do?’ More than ever before, said Dr. Beissel, we need more cooperation to deal with issues of equality, injustice, and local services. To achieve this, we have a huge opportunity if we decide to stop wars and divert resources to urgent human needs.
  • Perhaps a backlash to President Donald Trump will lead us away from emphasis on violence and wars?
  • A Pakistani man: ‘If we survive, it will be through sheer luck.’
  • It was noticed that Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has reneged on his promise to follow through with voting reforms resulting in a loss of democracy. Does this mean that all politicians are vulnerable to lying when pressured by corporate interests which fund the particular party?
  • ‘I’m not cynical, not pessimistic, but believe that humans have the intelligence to survive.’
  • ‘Who is the real hero: the soldier or the peacemaker?’
  • The annual anti-militaristic demonstration at CANSEC near the Ottawa International Airport has been successful in holding up cars for several kilometres and getting the message out that disarmament is the way of the future. Pacifi organizers invite activists to continue this action in May 2018.
Following the 1.5 hour afternoon session, Thompson said that ‘this was the best Remembrance Day’ that he experienced in his life. I was impressed, too.

I wanted to title this story with ‘Armistice Day’ because I prefer the original historic name, but most people have forgotten it. In my opinion as a Doukhobor, the meaning of the holiday was changed with the new name. I do not want to remember war with red poppies, rather to remember peace symbolized with white poppies, meaning no more wars.

More

By Tarasoff:
Green, Roedy. Six reasons why I despise Remembrance Day, Canadian Mind Products.

Moorghen, Sandra, "Should we still wear the poppy?", Opinion, Issuu, 11 November 2013, page 11.

Gary G. Kohls, MD, ‘Changing the “War No More” Sentiment of Armistice Day to the War-Glorifying Propaganda of Veterans Day’. 13 November 2017, in Transcend Media Service.

War With Russia: Two Great American Myths. 11 November 2017, in Saker.

Peace Pledge Union. 'Alternative Remembrance Sunday Ceremony hears from people suffering in current wars'. 11 November 2017.

Mairead Maguire, Peace Laureate. 'Prospects for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament'. Presentation to the International Symposium on Nuclear Weapons at the Vatican, Rome, 10-11 Nov 2017: The Peace Process in Northern Ireland. Posted in Global Research, November 14, 2017.

David Swanson. 'A New Armistice Day'. November 8, 2017.

Jay Janson. 'Buried History: 27 Million Died in Russia Because Wall Street Built Up Hitler's Wehrmacht to Knock Out Soviet Union'. Posted in The Greenville Post, August 8, 2017.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Huge Doukhobor Book Collection for Sale

A total of about 266 books about Doukhobors of the highest quality are for sale in Vancouver, B.C. as a lot. You may never see a Doukhobor book collection like this again.


For 24 years I have built it under the guidance of the B.C. Doukhobor community including the Russian program at the Castlegar school.

In my travels to sell books to the schools in the Kootenay region of B.C. I have met many Doukhobor people and I came to deeply admire their ideological commitments.

These items are for sale for the regular market price which is over $100 for some books. As a collection it is clearly worth much more, but if an institution or university or individual wants to buy the entire collection (with multiple copies of each book) the price of each item will remain the same.

Buying the collection or even just one copy of each will save a huge amount of acquisitions time and the huge payroll costs of purchasing each title individually.

The government now has the funds for support now of our wonderful Canadian Doukhobor culture and history. But you will need to hire the right grant writer.

I do not have the time to make or provide a list of these books. I want the buyer to visit and see the great quality of this collection.

The collection can be viewed at 1818 Quebec street (near Main St.), Vancouver, B.C.

David Ellis, bookseller
Text: 604 916 6081 — davidellis@lightspeed.ca
News

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Q80: Two Streams of Doukhobors?

Are there two Streams of Doukhobors? 
Apostolic and Inclusivist?

Bill Kanigan of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and his son Kim Kanigan, Queensland, Australia, posted a paper in The Dove April 2017, pages 5-15, 'The Two Streams of Doukhobor Faith'.

They describe two streams: Apostolic and Inclusivist.

Generally, the 'Apostolic Doukhobors' are grounded in a central belief in Jesus Christ including the Christian belief in arising and being born again, in erasing sins, in the existence of god, and a belief in the creationalist myth.

'Inclusivist Doukhobors' reject much or most of organized churchism whether this is the bible, its rituals, and its mythology, and instead base most of their beliefs on the universal truths of love and god within.  

Does this categorization help the process of understanding Spirit Wrestlers / Doukhobors?


Answer by Koozma

The proposed dichotomy of 'two streams' of Doukhobors is too simplistic and encourages splintering. We are much more complex and diverse, as Doukhobors testified in Chapters 13-14, Traditional Doukhobor Folkways, 1977 (Revised 2017).

Though I support the effort to understand Doukhobor heritage (and Bill's and Kim's work is most welcomed and should continue), their dual categorization fails to recognize the real Doukhobor genius as a social movement in human development. I believe that describing Doukhobors in terms of these two streams leads to fake news and divisions which discourage understanding of what Doukhobors really stand for.

The best description of contemporary Doukhobors (in my assessment) are those who have long dropped their chains of churchism in favour of a new paradigm of morality based on love and compassion for life. They tend to be ahead of the curve of human progress by rejecting the mythology of organized religions. Their nonkilling ethic is a call for nonviolence and a world without wars.

Readers should know that Bill's wife is Roman Catholic, which provides him with the opportunity to better understand the Orthodox and Protestant faiths.  Also know that my wife, Kristina, is Orthodox, which has not changed my Doukhobor beliefs from before we got married.

More by K.J. Tarasoff

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Books and Videos about Russia

While writing my Book Review: Romanov, Introduction to Canadian Studies, I wished that such a book existed about Russia that was as interesting and fair as Dr. Romanov had written about Canada. So we began searching for such a book. In the meantime the Oliver Stone documentary about Putin appeared.

My recommendations for books and videos about Russia

Russia: A Reading Guide', Center on Global Interests (CGI), August 30, 2016
— 12 experts share the 50 books that shaped their understanding of Russia. Only one book is mentioned by two people.

Richardson, Paul E. & Mikhail Mondasov. The Spine of Russia, July 2016, 200 pages.
— In the Fall of 2015, a Russian and American journalist travelled 6,000 kilometers from Russia’s northwestern corner in the Arctic to Sochi, in the tropical climes of the Black Sea. The group tells the stories of Russians whose life and work is taking the country forward, and what they feel patriotic about, what is important to them.

Stone, Oliver. (book) The Putin Interviews: Oliver Stone Interviews Vladimir Putin, Skyhorse Publishing Inc, June 16, 2017, 288 pages. — Transcripts of all 20 hours from video.

Stone, Oliver. (video) ‘The Putin Interviews’, (4 hours total video) Showtime cable TV, June 12-15, 2017.

More books about Russia

To be fair to my list of books above, I include lists below recommended by journalists. I feel that many (not all) of these books are biased, because they seem to be limited in scope, often stuck in a paradigm of one ‘super policeman state’ rather than respecting wider regional players.

Basulto, Dominic. 'The 7 Best Books of Summer 2016 for the Avid Russia Watcher', Medium, June 16, 2016. — Former columnist for The Washington Post’s “Innovations”

Begley, Sarah. '9 Books That Can Help You Understand Russia Right Now', Time magazine, February 15, 2017.

Elkin, Dimitri. 'Top 10 books on Russia in 2016', Russia Direct, December 30, 2016. — The best books of 2016 include those that take a closer look at U.S.-Russia relations during the Cold War and perestroika, enabling readers to better understand the current Putin era.

Honig, Michael. 'Top 10 books on Vladimir Putin's Russia', The Guardian, April 20, 2016.

Lebedev, Sergei. '10 Books That Explain Russia Today', Publishers Weekly, February 19, 2016 — Lebedev, who was born in Moscow in 1981, picks 10 books that explain Russia's complicated past and present.

Weafer, Chris. 'Six ‘must-read’ books on Russia from last 25 years', Johnson's Russia List, September 10, 2015.

'The Top 10 Summer Books for Russia Watchers', The Moscow Times, July 2, 2015.


Readers:  Enter your recommendations in Comments, below.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Russia Trip 2017 by US Citizen Group

'Grass root' Citizen Diplomacy

Since 1984, the Center for Citizen Initiatives has built 1000s of person-to-person bridges between Russia and the USA. Here's what they did this year.

In May 2017 a volunteer delegation of 30 American citizens flew to Moscow to meet Russian citizens. They divided into groups for meetings in 10 locations — Moscow, Volgograd, Kazan (Tatarstan), Krasnodar, Novosibirsk (Siberia), Yekaterinburg; the Crimean cities Simferopol, Yalta and Sevastopol; and gathered in St. Petersburg before returning home.

Link to map

Observations and Facts
  • Western sanctions have hurt sectors of Russia’s economy but encouraged agricultural production.
  • Some Russian oligarchs are making major infrastructure investments.
  • There has been a resurgence of [state] religion in Russia. 
  • Russia increasingly looks east. [to China]
  • Russia is a capitalist country with a strong state sector.
  • There is some nostalgia for the former Soviet Union with its communist ideals.
  • There is a range of media supporting both government and opposition parties.
  • Public transportation is impressive.
  • President Putin is popular.
Russians and Americans meet in Yekaterinburg, June 2015

Current Political Tension
  • [Skepticism] about Russian “meddling” in the U.S. election.
  • There is a strong desire to improve relations with the U.S.
  • Western media reports about Crimea are hugely distorted.
  • Russians know and fear war.
  • Russians see themselves being threatened.
  • Russians want to de-escalate international tensions. [Met with Gorbachev]
Original article
More

Monday, 29 May 2017

Q79: Different Doukhobor groups?

Jack Tarasoff, Calgary AB writes:

Our family is having a family re-union, and I was asked to make a short presentation about the different groups of Doukhobors, i.e. their titles, major beliefs and positions. J.J. Verigin has offered some help, but I feel I need a little more for the family.

Jack was former chairman of the Council of Doukhobors in Canada.


Answer by Koozma

Doukhobor groups and personal identities and affiliations varied by time, place, environment and individuals. People could form new groups, intermarry, and join and leave groups. Our social evolution since 1886 (death of Luker'ia Kalmykova) has evolved in many directions — primarily from Russian heterodox to a multi-faceted religious and social movement.

However, the 1895 arms burning and the dropping of sectarian roots towards a nonkilling social movement ethic has remained stable as the defining element of Doukhoborism in the 21st Century. This evolution has incapsulated Lev N. Tolstoy's attempt at a real reformation in the formal church as well as a strong message to the military industrial complex to get rid of wars once and for all.

Here are some useful references:
The category 'Sons of Freedom' is omitted because historically they opted out of the Doukhobor movement, but some have returned, more so in recent years.

All of this should help you designing your talk on the Doukhobors.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

GREETINGS: 70th USCC Youth Festival

“Celebrating 70 Years ~ A Journey for Peace ~ Past, Present Future”
Grand Forks and Castlegar, British Columbia
May 19-22, 2017 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Spirit —

Congratulations to the USCC, volunteers and visitors who made the annual Doukhobor Youth Festivals happen!

70 years is a lifetime for many people.
Well done our pioneering and younger friends!
In these many years, there have been many achievements:
  • You have shown that cooperation is possible in a world of run-away capitalism and that the road to a ‘win-win’ scenario is important for the sustainability of human life on Earth.
  • By bringing people together, you have achieved a unity of spirit and built bridges of understanding between the East and the West. You have reminded us that we are living in One World where ‘respect’ is a golden word.
  • By bringing together songs from the heart you have made the wider world more beautiful.
  • Finally, and most important, you remind us of the mission statement of our ancestors who sought to develop a world without wars. Burning weapons in 1895 is another way of saying that today we need to work actively to drastically reduce our military industrial complex, get rid of NATO, and encourage the development of an architecture for peace — such as setting up a Department of Peace in Canada’s parliament.
You have made us Doukhobors and non-Doukhobors proud by celebrating our unity of spirit and friendship, the beauty of song, the sound of joy, the sharing of wisdom for a nonkilling society, and the hope for a world at peace.

— Koozma J. Tarasoff and Kristina Kristova, Ottawa, Canada.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

New Russian Thesis on Doukhobor Singing

Anastasia Vladimirovna Zernina
Зернина Анастасия Владимировна
'Singing Tradition of the Doukhobors in Rostov province: Denominational and Regional Aspects', is the translated title of a fresh doctoral thesis by Anastasia V. Zernina, 2017. Rostov, Russian Federation.

She did her field work and research in 2012-2016 among Doukhobor and Molokan villages in Tselinsky district, Rostov province, Russian Federation.

Her work focuses on Doukhobor oral traditions of burial, marriage, beliefs (ideology), calendar events, and singing (religious, worldly), with many references to neighboring Molokane. The phrase "Doukhobors and Molokans" appears about 26 times in the text.

The Russian title: 'Певческая Традиция Духоборов Ростовской Области: Конфессиональный и Региональный аспекты' is online in PDF, and abstract in a separate PDF. It was submitted in 2017 to the C.V. Rakhmanninov State Conservatory, Rostov-na-donu («Ростовская государственная консерватория им. С. В. Рахманинова»).

Table 1 (page 74), 'Singing repertoire of Rostov Dukhobors', summarizes her categorization of all songs, shown below translated.

Click on chart to ENLARGE

Half of the thesis pages (129 to 251) are Bibliography (231 references, 15 Canadian) and Appendixes. Missing in Bibliography are:
Dr. O'Brien-Rothe's analysis is similar to Zernina's in that both report the origin of Spiritual Christian religious song melodies are evolved adaptations of Orthodox church chants and old Russian folk music. Solemn drawn-out (protyazhennaya) singing of religious hymns, like Oche nash, was developed to comply with the Russian law against "infecting" heterodox faiths, to sound non-sensible to an Orthodox who might hear the very slow singing. Doukhobors and Molokane only sing spiritual verses during Sunday service, but Pryguny and Dukh-i-zhizniki added melodies from faster folk song genres, especially for ecstatic spiritual jumping. Zealous Dukh-i-zhizniki in the U.S.A. and Australia scorn singing Russian folk song lyrics for entertainment, though they adapted folk song melodies to their own spiritual words.

A long 24-page chart (pages 164-187) lists 380 songs logged for her study — 157 (41%) religious, and 223 (59%) worldly folk songs. The chart has columns for Song number, Title (first words), Variants, Source (religious) or Author (folk songs), Recording location, and Notes. Below is a summary count of each category in this chart.

Religious chants (157)
  • Psalms (35)
  • Spiritual verses (15)
  • Stishki (spiritual songs) (105)
  • Prayers (2)
Folk songs (223)
  • Lyrical - slow (115)
  • Lyrical - fast (32)
  • Romance (58)
  • Lullabies (10)
  • Chastushki (7)

2 stishki are borrowed from Molokane (page 173, numbers 81 and 91, Dukh-i-zhzinik Sionskii pesennik 64 and 129)

32 examples (including 2 variants) of musically notated songs with lyrics are shown (pages 189 to 244). Maybe a talented reader will record this sheet music for those of us who cannot read music to help create the first notated songbook with audio.

At the end (pages 245+), 91 informants interviewed from 1930 through 2012 are listed alphabetically by 8 villages (82 count) and 1 city (9 count), with the year and location of birth shown for 85 people, not the year interviewed. One man, Vasilii P. Lisichkin, was born among Molokane.

Though many high quality maps of Russia exist online, Zernina reports that she cannot use them because they are not "officially published", per rules for theses in Russia. She apologizes for the inaccurate, approximate Soviet era map on page 163, which was the only map she could use. Here's a list of better maps:

More

Monday, 1 May 2017

150 Canadian Stories of Peace

Many Canadians reading this have dedicated all or part of their lives for peace, in many ways. For Canada 150 we invite you to submit your stories about building peace in yourself, your home, community and/or beyond. Website: 150 Canadian Stories of Peace.


150 submitted stories will be published this year in a book. The remaining stories may be published in future editions.

Suggestions
  • Share a time when you chose peace over hatred, love over fear, nonviolence over violence, non-killing over killing.
  • Did you build bridges across people of differing ideologies and beliefs?
  • Do you have a story from your culture that inspires actions of peace?
  • Do your beliefs help you or others be at peace even when surrounded by war?
  • How did you stop a bully?

Guidelines
  • No age limit.
  • Language: English or French.
  • Submission deadline: August 31, 2017. 
  • Focus on stories by Canadians at home or abroad.
  • Everything to be on one-side of one letter-size page.
  • Photos and illustrations may be published, no guarantee.
  • Your story must be true. Don’t be afraid to speak from the heart.
  • You may use a pen name (fictitious), but must reveal your real name to us.
  • Additional information (video, YouTube, and written) might be used for publicity, not the book.
  • About 1page, maximum 3,650 characters counting spaces, Times New Roman 12 font, including story title, author’s name/pen name, and 1-line bio info (latter if desired by the author).

More information
Send submissions (one page) and questions to

Contacts
  • Ms. Evelyn Voigt, evelyn_voigt@yahoo.ca (613) 721-9829 OR
  • Ms. Mony Dojeiji, mdojeiji@gmail.com (613) 793-1633

Organizers

Monday, 24 April 2017

Doukhobor Heritage Days, 15-16 July 2017

By Elder Mae Popoff, librarian(retired), Saskatoon, SK.
'Proud to be a choir member'.

Doukhobor Heritage Days is a celebration of Canada's 150th birthday and the 100-year history of the Doukhobor Prayer Home at the National Doukhobor Heritage Village (NDHV) in Verigin (Veregin), Saskatchewan.

The celebration will be held at NDHV on the weekend of 15-16 July 2017. See photos from the 2007 Festival.

The Saskatchewan Doukhobor Choir will participate at Heritage Days during the program, entertainment and the Doukhobor Prayer Service. The Doukhobor brothers and sisters combine voices in spiritual community and song, accented by food supplies and friendliness.

Saskatchewan Doukhobor Choir

Front Row: left to right Sonia Tarasoff, Mae Popoff, Gloria Stushnoff, Eileen Konkin, Lucille Dergosoff and her sister Melvina, Linda Osachoff, Verna Thompson.

Back Row: left to right Lydia Cherkas, Dorothy Ozeroff, Verna Negraeff, Bill Kalmakoff, Lorne Negraeff, Harvey Kazakoff Fred Konkin, Bill Kanigan

Mitch Ozeroff, choir director, was unable to attend.

Since choir members reside across a 250 mile range, in Saskatoon, Langham, Canora, Kamsack, Pelly, Veregin, Blaine Lake; we meet about half way at Watson, a central location for singing practices.


More

Friday, 21 April 2017

END WARS —
      ‘Canada Should Get Out of NATO’

Submitted by Ingrid Style, Quebec

The case against war in a nutshell was posted in this 2015 Scientific American blog by John Horgan. The collateral killing of kids and civilians exceeds perceived enemy deaths, and the financial cost is enormous, robbing society of food, shelter and life.

Those ‘glorious’ ‘justified’ wars my generation was brought up on, celebrated by Kipling, and Buchan, were represented as men fighting ‘for love of king and country’. At the time of the first world war, the death of children wasn’t even considered. The thing was pictured a bit like a sporting event. Two armies bravely duking it out on the battlefield.


By Alexey Talimonov, Russia. 

This changed with the 1940s bombing of Dresden and London. But the violence was still romanticised by Hemingway and Mailer and Hollywood.

Today, children are victims not only of bombings, but forced to take part in the carnage. Countless more will die from malnutrition and disease.

And that doesn’t take into account the healthcare, nutrition and education they are deprived of because of $16 million bombs being tossed around like confetti.

We all know this. Why don’t we act?

Rather than pay more money to the American war machine, Canada should get out of NATO.

This evil game must end....it CAN be done!
World Beyond War.org


Related stories on Spirit-Wrestlers.com

2006 Sep 4 — Toward a Culture of Peace. Quaker Murray Thomson reaches out to Doukhobors.
2008 Mar 12 — On Poverty, War and Peace — A call to action.
2008 Oct 24— Traditional Peace Groups Explore Withdrawal from NATO, by Murray Thomson.
2009 Dec 3 — Doukhobor-Quaker Connections.
2012 Jan 20 — Why Glorify War?
2012 Jan 20 — Do U.S. Bases Threaten World Peace?
2012 Apr 8 — Guns, Fighter Jets and Democracy in Canada.
2012 Jul 23 — Canada: a Warrior or Peaceful Nation?
2013 May 3 — Book Review — Editorial: The End of War.
2013 Mar 29 — War — The Slavery of Our Times.
2014 Jan 18 — 1963, A Glimmer of Peace Turns into a Perpetual War, by Ken Bilsky Billings.
2014 Mar 26 — Demonize War Not People!
2014 Jun 9 — Avoiding Another Cold War.
2015 Jun 15 — Profits From Continuous Wars Threaten Civilization.
2015 Dec 4 — War in Ukraine and NATO.
2016 May 30 — Peace Protestors at CANSEC 2016.
2016 Jun 16 — Canada — Stop Aggression Abroad!
2016 Jul 2 — Appeal: No to War. No to NATO.
2016 Jul 10 — Systemic War, NATO and Racial Violence in USA.
2016 Aug 6 — No More Hiroshimas, No More Wars!
2017 Jan 25 — NATO is Obsolete.

Monday, 17 April 2017

'Canadian Doukhobor Culture'
   Presented at Russian Conference

Dr. Anosova, Ottawa, 2010.
Phenomenology of the culture of modern Canadian Doukhobors is the title of a paper presented by Dr. Irina A. Anosova at the 6th Canadian Conference held at the University of St. Petersburg, Russia, on April 7, 2017.

Click for her abstract in Russian and English.

She is a professor in the Department of Philosophy, Culture and Arts, St. Petersburg University, Russian Federation.

'The conference was attended by scientists from the universities of many Russian cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Volgograd, Saratov, Tambov, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk), as well as from Canada and Estonia. ... various historical, social, legal and economic aspects of the development of Canada and its society were discussed.' ('Научный сотрудник Эконома выступил на VI Канадских чтениях', Institute News, Plekhanov Socioeconomic Institute, Saratov. Requires Russian fonts to be installed in your browser.)

This major event is held every 5 years for all researchers of history, politics, economy and culture of Canada. Scientists from more than 10 cities of Russia and Canada submitted [24] reports on the history, politics, domestic development and its role in contemporary international relations. (Делегация историко-филологического факультета посетила VI Канадские чтения в Санкт-Петербурге, Faculty News, Chelyabinsk State University.)

Dr. I. M. Nokhrin, Dean of Political Science and International Relations, Chelyabinsk State
University, describes the Canadian national identity and political system in the colonial era.

'150 Years of the Canadian Federation: From a British Dominion to a Global Player' was the theme of this year's 2-day international conference held April 7-8, 2017. See conference program in Russian and English.

The event was co-sponsored by the Institute for US and Canadian Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; the Russian Association for Canadian Studies; and the 'Moscow-Quebec' Educational and Scientific Center Russian State University for the Humanities.

Dr. Anosova first encountered Doukhobors while researching Lev. N. Tolstoy for her PhD thesis. Her focus on Doukhobors began in 1989, and has not stopped. In 2010, many Canadian Doukhobors met and hosted her North American field research tour. 2010 photo album.

Some of her work published on Spirit-Wrestlers.com

2006Canada is the Second Motherland of the Doukhobors: The Philosophy of Love as the Way for Cultural Integration

2009Three Canadian Scholars Presented at Russian Conference: Donskov, Glagoleva, Tarasoff

2010Doukhobors of Western Canada 2010: Field Research for "The Canadian Doukhobors Present Lifestyle as the Synthesis of Russian and Canadian Cultural Traditions"

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Doukhobor Singer Peter N. Voykin Dies

An outstanding Western Canadian Doukhobor singer, Peter N. Voykin (1931 - 2017), died in early April 2017 at his home in Castlegar, British Columbia.

He was 86 years old.

For the funeral service April 13th, at the Brilliant Cultural Centre in Castlegar, BC, Koozma J. Tarasoff and Kristina Kristova prepared the following letter:



To:   Lucy Voykin and daughter Catherine Markin
        Castlegar, British Columbia

With much sadness I and my wife Kristina Kristova heard about the passing of our dear friend Peter N. Voykin, Doukhobor activist and stalwart singer. Peter was an outgoing, friendly and jovial person with a deep voice who appeared to be singing all of his life.

For over 45 years he helped preserve the traditional mode of Doukhobor singing. People liked him very much. When he and wife Lucy held a series of Choir Workshops on the Canadian prairies in 1991 and 1992, one of the participants wrote: ‘They set up our societies into high gear in how to sing. And they inspired us how to sing from the heart.’

Peter Voykin was an ambassador of peace for his ancestors. In 1995 he directed the Voices for Peace Choir that toured across Canada, the United Nations in New York, and Russia. The Choir stopped in Ottawa and performed at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. With Kristina we were honoured when they visited our home. With over 100 people present, Peter led the choir to several songs. It was a memorable moment for all of us, our children, our neighbours and friends.

On his tour around the world, Peter and the Doukhobors in the choir proclaimed a new world order with Love, Non-violence, Equality and Brotherhood.

In mid-January 1996 Peter was again in Ottawa with Lucy, and with their dear friends John J. and Laura Verigin. As a quartet, they performed at the very impressive opening of the Spirit Wrestlers exhibition in the Canadian Museum of Civilization. They concluded with three songs in Russian, English and French. The audience of almost 1,000 gave them a standing applause.

Peter N. Voykin has made his mark as an outstanding person, Doukhobor activist, singer and supporter of peace. He walked his talk and will be missed and remembered by all!

May he rest in peace….
Koozma and Kristina


More in biography of Peter N. Voykin, from my book Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living (2002): pages 84-85, 89.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Kamsack dom sold for yoga


184 Queen Elizabeth Blvd.

The Independent Doukhobor dom (meeting hall) in Kamsack, Saskatchewan is being sold this month, March 2017, which is about 62 years since it was constructed. Satellite map.

The sale was expected to be final this week, said Fred Konkin of Pelly, chair of the society.

Val Ritchie from Yorkton is buying the building where she will be holding her yoga classes in Kamsack.
Konkin cited an aging congregation, now numbering fewer than 20, and the rising costs of maintaining such a building. He said the building had been kept up through membership fees and donations.

'The Kamsack Society of Independent Doukhobors will continue, much like they do in Benito and Pelly, we just won’t have a building,' he said, adding that members will be using other Doukhobor meeting halls, most likely the one in Veregin for services, at the National Doukhobor Heritage Village, 8 miles west.

Konkin explained that the building has been emptied of its effects, such as pictures, and were moved to Veregin. 'It’s sad,' said Lydia Cherkas, a member. 'Our forefathers were active and Doukhobor families spread all over Canada. The belief remains, but the numbers are dwindling.'

A 60th anniversary was celebrated here on December 13, 2015, when Mike Chutskoff of Kamsack, the only living member of the society who had volunteered time during the construction of the building, had the honour of cutting an anniversary cake.

'The Society of Doukhobors of Kamsack and District opened its new [meeting hall], valued at $15,000 in an impressive but brief opening ceremony on June 22, 1955,' said an item in the Kamsack Times. The ceremonies climaxed more than 11 months of toil by volunteer labourers and a final rush week of putting the finishing touches to a project which had been conceived 42 months earlier, it said. The opening began with a ... service led by N.W. Cazakoff and emcee for the event had been William Chutskoff, chair of the building committee.


Edited from: Kamsack Doukhobor Society sells its prayer home, Kamsack Times, March 20, 2017.

I object to the word 'prayer' used 7 times in this article. Q44: 'Community Centre' or 'Prayer House'? Do Doukhobors meet in a 'Community/ Cultural Centre' or 'Prayer House'?

Friday, 23 December 2016

Year-end Newsletter 2016

From Koozma J Tarasoff and Kristina Kristova

Dear Friends,

Pearls Before Swine, by Stephan Pastis, GoComics, Dec. 25, 2016.

The year 2016 has passed by quickly. Both Kristina and I are well and keep busy on our respective activities.

This summer Kristina spent a month in her homeland Bulgaria visiting friends and relatives whom she misses a lot. Her brother Dmitar, long retired, continues to live in Burgas, while son Orlin resides in Bozensi and Sofia while working as composer musician. Kristina’s daughter Milena lives and works as a music teacher in Ottawa.

With the International Languages Program (IL Elementary Program), Ottawa Catholic School Board Continuing and Community Education Department, Kristina continues her Saturday morning work as Site Administrator looking after 240 students. In July she did the same with a full month of work in the Summer School.

On June 3rd, Koozma’s brother John died at the age of 88 in Saskatoon and Koozma joined John’s children in the city celebrating John’s life as ‘a Canadian pioneering hero’. We all miss him dearly ‘a memorable brother, a friend, a father to Lorne, Kerry and Wendy — an example of a hard working man to all of us, our children and our grandchildren’.

As in many previous years, Koozma was busy as a peace activist, peace journalist, and photographer. He appeared as Peace Elder with Bill Bhaneja on Rogers TV in May. He supported the protest against CANSEC with its annual international arms trade show in Ottawa in the same month. His biggest challenge was the Ottawa Peace Festival 2016 where his illustrated Tarasoff Briefs highlighted the 11-day event celebrating peace and environment activities in Canada’s capital city.

Koozma has continued to host the Spirit-Wrestlers Website and Blog with webmaster Andrei Conovaloff in Arizona, focusing on Doukhobors and relevant issues. We often simultaneously co-edit my drafts using Google Hangouts (similar to Skype), and share news and ideas. Our ongoing projects involve false material about Doukhobors in print and on the Internet.

Koozma is behind schedule on his first eBook: Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers and Their Friends, with 35 contributors. Sorry, I get interrupted, often carried away, with important current peace stories.

Koozma’s son Lev continues to teach physics at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, commuting from Guelph, Ontario. Dr. Tarasov manages glacial research with local and international collaborators. His wife Dorothee Bienzle manages a laboratory studying retroviruses, at the University of Guelph. Son Jaspar studies at Queen's University in Kingston in a dual BSc in Kinesiology and physics; he will have an overseas semester in Auckland, New Zealand this spring (fall in New Zealand); and he was the 2016 Frosh Week coordinator for his college. Daughter Katya will finish high school and will spend February to May travelling around the world before returning for soccer season.

Koozma’s daughter Tamara continues to work for Parks Canada. Her recent trip to the Western Arctic was a highlight for the year. Her husband John continues to work for Heritage Canada. Their son Nicholas began his first year of studies in Mechanical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal, while daughter Elena goes to Filamen Wright School in Gatineau, Quebec. Both children are top students in school and are active in sports.

Keeping healthy and fit has been a preoccupation for all of us. Koozma’s children and families have been active in outdoor sports such as canoeing, hiking, and skiing. Koozma does his morning and evening exercises and takes outdoor walks on a regular basis. To keep their balance and remain in shape, Koozma and Kristina have joined an aerobic dance class for seniors.

As the year comes to a close, we wish our dear friends around the world the best of good health, creativity, joy, love and happiness in 2017.

Koozma J. Tarasoff and Kristina Kristova, 882 Walkley Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1V 6R5, Canada. Emails: kjtarasoff@gmail.com, k.kristova1@gmail.com.
Website: www.spirit-wrestlers.com.


Previous year-end reports 
     2015  2014 — 2013 — 2012 — 2011 — 2010 — 2009

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Doukhobors and Tolstoy Inspire Novel

Prattis  book.jpeg
Book review of a "futuristic novel"
New Planet, New World
by Ian Prattis, 2016. 288 pages.

How can we build a sustainable community from scratch on a new planet? Dr. Prattis shows 'the demise of modern civilization' via climate change, violence, inequality, and wars on earth, and attempts to provide an innovative architecture for its resurrection on another planet.

This is Prattis’ third book of a trilogy titled:
Chronicles of Awakening
  • Book One: Redemption
  • Book Two: Trailing Sky Six Feathers
  • Book Three: New Planet, New World
Ian Prattis is a friend and retired Professor of Anthropology and Religion from Carleton University in Ottawa, Buddhist teacher, and author. His fictional novel New Planet New World was partially inspired with my help by the teachings of Lev N. Tolstoy and the Doukhobors. It offers hopeful solutions for our addiction to fossil fuels.

We got to know each other working on the annual Ottawa Peace Festivals for 10 years. Prattis, through his organization Friends of Peace hosted the largest gathering of musical performances at City Hall. I am glad he asked me about the Doukhobor Movement and Tolstoy and integrated the wisdom into his book.

In the book, the teachings of Doukhobors and Tolstoy relate to the central value of love, the willingness to cooperate and share, as well as compassion for humanity — values of gentleness, nonkilling and respect which provide hope for the creation of a society without wars.

In short, Earth is destroyed and rebuilt from scratch by '... protagonists ... from different centuries and cultures.' The hero Sian the Celtic seer works with Catriona, blood sisters, Four Hopi Sacred Keepers, Doukhobors, Tolstoy, and others. The survivors conquer the problems of individualism and greed that destroyed Earth, connect as human beings, reject self-centeredness and self-absorption, and take care of Nature.

After two stages of space flight, Prime 3 on Jupiter One Station had a change of crew of Americans replaced by a Chinese and Russian co-pilot from their respective Space Agencies. The Russian co-pilot was Nikolai Chutskov, with wife Elena and son Igor. In the attempted landing on a new planet there was an explosion and the parents were separated from their children, and some pioneers were killed. Two children Andrew and George who lost their parents were adopted by the Chutskovs.

At a meeting of the new settlement, Elk Village, Nikolai addressed the pioneers including Igor and his adopted children, saying they were descendants of the Russian Doukhobors who 'followed a path of peace' (pages 215-216):
The Doukhobors created a movement for peace ethics and community in nineteenth century Russia. They rejected both state militarism and the clergy. In 1895 they sent a strong message of protest by burning three piles of government-issued guns and swords to emphasize their ethics of non-killing and community. This immediately brought state persecution and exile. An initial migration of seven thousand five hundred Doukhobors to Canada soon followed with the help of Tolstoy....
Elena picked up the story. 'Tolstoy was an incredible philosopher and is regarded to this day as the conscience of humanity. He articulated the beliefs of the Doukhobor Movement in his prolific writings, referring to them as "people of the twenty fifth century," which is quite a statement about how they were ahead of their times. They had ethics, values, education and community-living bound up in a new paradigm that re-visits us today with the establishment of Oasis and the the two new settlements to be created at Crossroads and Black Elk Village. We are just hearing about them....'
Elena continued. 'Our ancestors did not migrate to Canada. They settled with other communities in Georgia and at the same time stayed true to their Doukhobor beliefs. This was passed down from generation to generation and came to rest with Nikolai and me. We chose to make a career as astronauts [cosmoauts] with the Russian Space Program rather than serve in the military....The Wisdom of the Elders fits the creed we were born into love, caring, ecology, community and peace....'
Prattis explained his inclusion of Tolstoy:
Ethical settlements grow as a mirror for Tolstoy's vision of 'people of the 25th century' – ahead of their time. ...The inclusiveness of science combines with Tolstoy's vision, ... The underlying message is from Tolstoy, the 'Conscience of Humanity.' He described humanity's bottom line as the cultivation of love, the mainspring for authentic and responsible living. I do not present this as idealism, rather as down to earth wisdom.
The narration is well-crafted, technologically knowledgeable, fast-paced, with twists and turns suitable for a movie. The characters are historically international. The problems to be solved are real — poverty, rape, jihadists, PTSD, hate, revenge, youth involvement, and more.

Mysticism combines with hi-tech. The power of extra sensory perception, dreams and creative breathing are explained. The previous 2 books provide Guidelines for organization, work, ceremony for people to mature, protocols for justice and relations with other people and all creatures and the land are discussed by Rising Moon, mother of Trailing Sky and others.

This is a book for our times which addresses Climate Change, violence, and mass murder wars; and is really about love.

Get it as a gift for your children whose future will depend upon how we handle our problems wisely in the spirit of knowledgeable and friendly humanity. Order from Amazon for Hardcover, Paperback or Kindle E-book editions. Soft cover $25 Canadian, plus S&H. If you order directly from Prattis you will receive a FREE copy of Redemption and Trailing Sky Six Feathers with your purchase!

Thank you Ian Prattis for writing your muse. I was glad to share my knowledge of Doukhobors and Tolstoy with you. My ancestors are honoured you heeded their wisdom.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Q75: 1899 Doukhoboer Baseball Team?

From: Dmitri Fofonoff, Grand Forks, British Columbia (November 19, 2016)

Although we haven't seen each other for years, we did meet a long time ago. While I have lived in Vancouver for a long time, I grew up in Grand Forks, and attended UBC. I continue to read your contributions to Iskra, and sense your interest in Doukhobor history.

I have run across an old reference to Doukhobors in a Toronto paper, and thought you might be interested, and might be able to solve a bit of a mystery.

First, some background. I lived in Toronto (1975-1985) and while there was a member of the Royal Canadian Curling Club. The club recently celebrated its 125th anniversary and decided to look into its history. It started as an athletic club and a bicycle club before transforming into a skating club, and finally a curling club in the 50's. The members also participated in other sports over the years, including baseball. ...

... In the summer of 1899, the Royal Canadian Athletic Club entered two baseball teams into a local amateur league. The names of the teams were the Lobsters and the Doukhoboers (sic). ... original newspaper clipping ...

R. C. B. C. Notes (August 3, 1899)
A baseball match was played on the ball grounds Saturday afternoon between the Lobsters and the Doukhoborers, all members of the Royal Canadian Bicycle Club. The playing on both sides was fierce, many brilliant stops and wild throws being executed. The features were the heavy hitting of the Douks and the poor fielding of the Lobsters. The following composed the teams : Doukhoboers—Messers. L. Saulter, H. Penguilly, W. Vennels, C. Walton, Geo. Cooper, R. Pringles, W. Fortescue, D. Logan, C. Lancaster, B. Leslie, and H. Salisbury. Lobsters—Messers. F. Prouting, W. Crocker, W. Booth, W. Cross, W. Hewlett, H. Lowman, T. Johnson, H. Thompson, J. Grieves, G. Abbott, and W. Simpson. The Douks won by 48 runs to 27. Messers. Pengilly and Pringle served up the snakes [pitched] for the winners, while Messers. Crocker, Booth and Johnson twirled [pitched] for the losers. A good afternoon's sport was the result and the boys will line up again on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Can Play "De Game."
It is quite evident members of the Royal Canadian Bicycle Club can occasionally play baseball. On Saturday afternoon the baseball team of the club journeyed to East Toronto Village where the engaged the attention of the G. T. R. team of that hamlet. A few words will suffice to tell the story of the battle : score—R. C. B. C., 21 ; G. T. R. , 3. Pringle did the twirling [pitching] and Abbot caught for the victorious Royals.

I don't know what to make of this reference. It's possible that the names were just fanciful, Lobsters being ocean creatures far from any ocean, or just ball players who "lobbed" the ball rather than throwing it hard. And Doukhoboers may have been a mis-spelled name picked out of the news, of a strange group of new immigrants to central Canada, or even a mixed reference with the Boers of South Africa since the Boer War was ongoing at the time. Or it could be something entirely different.

I doubt there is much of historical value here, but it is curious. I wonder if you have any interest in this, and whether you can shed any light on this oddity.


Answer

Glad to renew our acquaintance from many years back. Your story from 1899 is indeed interesting.

Why would a local amateur baseball team in Toronto call itself Doukhoboers? None of the players appear to be Doukhobors. That was the year that 7,500 Russian Doukhobors arrived in Canada, and the mainstream media published the story across the country and the world.

Perhaps someone heard about the group and out of a whim said 'that sounds like a good name for a baseball team'. Of course this is speculation.

A Google search for the spelling finds it in a 1903 book for teachers of blind students: The Association Review, Volume 5, American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf, 1903, page 116 : 'Doukhoboers—A peculiar Russian religious sect'.

If any readers can help, please comment below.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Q76: Correct Spelling of borshch?

From: Annie B. Barnes, Sundre, Alberta (November 23, 2016)

I do enjoy reading your blogs, even if I don't always comment on them. My question today is this:

What is the correct spelling of borshch; I believe this is the correct spelling, and I am forever trying to convince my fellow Doukhobors there is no 't' on our borshch. Can you please clarify for our Facebook and other readers? Thank you.

Vlad's food cart — Non-sequitur, 24 May 2017

Answer

In Russian and Ukrainian it is spelled one way — борщ. Also in Belarus — боршч. All pronounced the same. No 't' at the end.

In English, I use and recommend the phonetic spelling — borshch — to my readers, because it follows the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) from Russian to English. For years I have tried to persuade the public to use this spelling. Thank you for asking.

The Yiddish German spelling borscht is probably more common due to their huge population in the mid-1800s around New York, where the word likely first appeared in popular print. See Etymology and History.

People can be confused when this term is phonetically transcribed to English from different languages — barščiai, barŝĉo, barszcz, borŝĉo, borş, borsch, borščs, borscht, borshch, borsjt, borsht, bortsch ... —; and misspelled — brosch, ...   For comparison also see: Q78: How Many Spellings of "Doukhobors"?

Photo by William (Uncle Bill) Anatooskin

Recipes

More confusing to outsiders is the many recipes. There are about 30 types of Ukrainian borsch. In Canada, each Eastern European immigrant group, sub-group, and clan has their own terminology and soup recipes.

Canadian Doukhobor borshch is a vegetarian soup made of cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, carrots, beets, dill, peppers, butter, and seasoning. More than 100 recipes can be found on the Internet.

Other versions include meat and/or lots of beets. Some add sour cream.

Here is my favorite recipe, from my mother Anastasia Tarasoff.

Borshch (for 10 to 15 people)

A large frying pan
⅓ cup butter
½ small beet, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 cups tomatoes (canned or fresh)
½ medium-sized cabbage shredded
Melt butter in pan.
Add onion and cook at low heat for 5 minutes.
Add beets and tomatoes.
Cook at moderate heat for about 20 minutes.
Stir to prevent burning and browning.
Add cabbage and continue for short time.

A 6 quart pot
3 quarts water
2 tbs. salt
6 potatoes cubed
1 large carrot cubed
Meanwhile, bring salted water to a boil.
Add potatoes and carrots, simmer gently ‘til potatoes are cooked.
Remove half of the potatoes and mash them.
Put mashed potatoes in frying pan.
Turn off heat.
½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
3 green onions chopped
1 chopped green pepper
1 stick chopped celery leaves
Add frying pan mixture and these ingredients to the large pot.*
Bring to a gentle boil. Serve hot.
* Option: Simmer in butter 1 cup finely shredded beets.
Add when you combine mixture before the final boil.

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