I recently came upon an interesting Youtube video of the former Soviet Union’s national anthem. The music was set to a clip of Soviet propaganda, which was also interesting to watch. There was a lot of emphasis on heavy industry, for instance, a peculiar obsession of communist countries that still lingers in places such as China.
In the middle of the video, however, something very surprising occurred. Take a look at 0:48, 1:44, and 1:52.
These scenes show what look unmistakably to be individuals whom we in the United States label as “Asian.”
Who are these people?
There are several possibilities. Perhaps they are Chinese, North Korean, or from another East Asian communist country. The video might have been showing Soviet assistance to its allies. This is the less likely explanation, however; why aren’t there Cubans or Africans (from communist nations in Africa) in the video then?
Or perhaps these people are citizens of the Soviet Union.
When most people think of a Soviet Union citizen, they imagine a person with features that Americans associate with “white” people. There is reason for this: people of Russian ethnicity – who fit under the definition of white – composed the majority of the country’s population. They dominated the Soviet Union’s elite; all of its leaders were “white.”
Most of Central Asia, however, also was a part of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union bordered China and Mongolia for thousands of miles.
It is very difficult to classify the “race” of the people in these areas; it is a region most people (including, admittedly, me) do not pay attention to. Yet one imagines that if a place borders Mongolia or China, the people in that place will appear somewhat similar to people living in Mongolia or China.
When looking at the “Asians” in this video, one is strikingly reminded of the way African-Americans are portrayed in American commercials and movies. There is always at least one African-American in a commercial. But they are never the majority. The same phenomenon seems to be happening here, except with Asians instead of blacks.
Perhaps the Soviet Union had token minorities of its own.