February 23

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Feb 23, 2020 14:21
February 23 celebrated as the Men Day in Russia and a few other states of the former USSR. Actually, it is the Defender of the Fatherland Day.
Thing is that in the USSR all men served in the army, so all boys would come to be defenders. Boys were celebrated as defenders in credit. In schools it was a part of sexual education. The tradition was keeping at schools and became general: girls gave compliment and gifts to boys on February 23 celebrating them as future men and boys did that to girls on March 8 celebrating them as future women.
In 80s and 90s as sign of the state crisis military service became something scaring. There were many rumors of disturbances and violation in the army. Young men tried to elude from joining to army (старались «откосить» от армии). Recruitment Commissions became one of the most corrupted state institutes. I was frightened with the army and when I was dispensed from service, I breathed a sigh of relief. My brother wasn’t dispensed, but he never got in army because the state collapsed. A few friends of mine served and it had turned that it wasn't so dreadful (не так страшен чёрт, как его малюют - Russin proverb). It’s fanny, by the way, I heard that today in some states like Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where military expense is little, some young men offer to corruption to join the army – men who wasn’t serving in army aren’t accepted to state service like police.
The tradition to give present to men exist till today even hardly half of men were defenders. The gifts are usually not expensive (something like a pare socks). I saw a joke in a social network: March 8 (gifts given to women on March 8) is the revenge for February 23 (for gifts given by women on February 23).
As I said in the beginning, some former Soviet Republic keep this tradition, other don’t. Little children in Kazakhstan don’t know what their fathers celebrated this day. On the other hand, not only men can be celebrated as defenders. In this day last year, I was on border control and all men who crossed the border gave congratulations with the Day to the woman was a border control officer.