The transition from the USSR to capitalism hasn’t been easy in the newly independent transitional countries either. For example, in Kosovo more than 60% of the population is under 25 old without hope for the future. Xheraldina Cernobregu reports, “While few years back we would say that there is hope, currently we are witnessing fatigue with youth. The perception of closed opportunities and not many prospects for their individual development is having a great impact to the attitude.”
“I would like to create more job opportunities for the villagers so that they earn to eat.” Alexander, 15, m, Romania
I think that Czechs are pessimistic because they still want more and everything is wrong I would say. We were a communistic country till 1989. Now, we are pretty fast growing democratic country, but most of the people are not happy with what they wanted and got (freedom of speech, freedom of traveling, democratic election of parliament, foreign investments and a lot of other benefits and new opportunities); they still want more and they still complain about our politics, schools, health care… but they already forgot that it was way worse and that it needs time. I’m proud to be Czech and I hope I’m not the only one. Robert, 17, m, Czech Republic
In America you cannot do anything without the car, you cannot get anywhere you want. What I liked as a high school exchange student was that people were usually nicer to each other than here. In European cities, people do not care about each other. Mishka, 17, f, Slovakia
In the Ukrainian uprising against the corrupt government of President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, few women appeared in leadership roles although they’re more educated than men on average. The exception was former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Under Soviet rule quotas established a third women in parliament, but the former president refused to debate with Tymoshenko in 2010 because women’s place is in the kitchen. Women guarded barricades, provided medical care and food, and formed self-defense units. Estimates are they were almost half of the protesters.[i] They created a Facebook page called “Half the Maidan: Women’s Voice of Protest” and a YouTube video where a young female student named Yulia Marushevska explains why the uprising occurred, generating over eight million hits.[ii] She asks viewers to share the video to support their quest for freedom.
[i] Palash Ghosh, “Women Playing Crucial Roles in Euro-Maidan protests,” HistoriaViivens, February 28, 2014.