Ivanova L. V. Somalis in the Soviet Union: unrevealed history
Lyubov V. Ivanova
Institute of World History at the Russian Academy of Sciences
ABSTRACT. The first students from Somalia came to the Soviet Union in the early 1960s. It was the time of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and the Somali Republic. Thus, the failures and successes of Somali students indicated their own efforts as well as compromises and misunderstandings between the countries on the governmental level. The political environment influenced a lot the relations between the Soviets and foreigners and tested advantages and disadvantages of the Soviet educational model. The first students from the Somali Republic had an inadequate image of the Soviet reality being under the influence of propaganda, which exaggerated things in different ways. The Soviets, for their part, had a limited experience in dealing with foreigners in face-to-face communication. Different interpretations of conflicts were well documented in the Soviet archives and in Western media. It must be noted that diplomatic letters and official reports are written in a dry and brief manner, while handwritten letters are full of emotions, personal remarks and details. A student from the Somali Republic, who studied in Kyiv geological college and had a dream to become a propagandist of Communist ideas, wrote one of such series of documents.
KEYWORDS: Somalia, Somalis, socialism, cultural interactions, foreign students, Soviet
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