Date of Degree

9-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Mehdi Bozorgmehr

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Victory Day on May 9th is known by Russians as “the holiday with a tear in one’s eye.” But in south Brooklyn, many miles away from their “motherland,” confers the Russian Jewish immigrants a freedom to express allegiance on their own terms, choosing their own set of songs, emblems, and activities by blending premigration symbolism from the Soviet era with adaptations to American society. This study demonstrates that in the post-Soviet era, Victory Day remains an important yet contentious holiday commemorating the end of fascism and World War II. My methodology includes the use of secondary data, textual analysis and non-participant observation. I draw upon four Victory Day events which I attended as a non-participant observer to explore how the emphasis on Victory has shifted in the local parades and social events in south Brooklyn, where those who celebrate it publicly express an ethnicity and identity that is distinctive to their shared past as Russian-speaking Jews from the former Soviet Union.

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