On January 18, next session of the Sunday University was held. However it can hardly be compared with previous ones. The project “Sunday University” has been working over two years, and now it needs changes to continue its existence. Since if there is no development, there is no life.

This session became the first on the way to project reform. The lecture format was replaced by interactive dialogue, discussion and hot debates. The content of the session was changed as well. As usual, participants were talking about historical events, but they were considered through the prism of our time, perhaps in even somewhat subjective way because of emotions and beliefs brought by the guests, which were based more on faith than on facts.
Actually, that was the idea. Controversial issues of history and discussion points that divide society were discussed and all those present tried to reach a common denominator. In this way, the theme “Lenin: Bright Past and Totalitarianism” was formulated quite rightly.

The subject of the Leninist era is very painful for Ukrainians and the session of the Sunday University proved this fact. Listeners (although it would be more correct to say active panelists) willingly shared their thoughts about “bright past” and its impact on our current life.
Unfortunately, Lenin is still alive in the minds of many Ukrainians. There were not many of such Ukrainians in our auditorium, but their addressed were quite demonstrational. For example: “What’s wrong with the Leninist ideology that you are struggling with it?”, “I don’t want to “eradicate Lenin from my mind!”, “Lenin worked for the common good”, etc. Equally impressive was the story of perhaps the oldest participant of the session, whose father was repressed in 1951, and she still continues to defend communism today. These people do not identify their political views as communist and protest when they are called communists. Nevertheless, the way of their thinking and life is not far away from the “Soviet”: memories of “cheap sausage” and ephemeral stability overshadow the deficit of aforementioned sausage and lack of prospects.
Speaking of most members of the Communist Party of Dnipropetrovsk – they didn’t respond to the invitation to attend the session and participate in the discussions.
In general the audience this time was more diverse – from advocates of communism to students, teachers, professors, representatives of religious organizations. On the one hand, it was possible to hear different points of view. On the other, perhaps the expectations of professional historians were somewhat unjustified.
The debate was preceded by a lecture of the moderator Dr. Igor Shchupak. Together with participants he formulated questions interested for listeners, and during session talked about raised issues disclosing new ones.
When ruin old things, what do we offer instead? This is the question that confuses not only pro-Soviet minded citizens. Actually, it’s not even the protection of “Leninist” values. This is healthy desire to determine the prospects, to look in tomorrow; this is an anxiety about the future. Igor Shchupak provides an answer to this question – we offer universal values that can even be compared with those of communist time. The state for the people, and not people for the state. The state is the people, but not the power. So we can participate in the creation of the state, as we see it, and not to wait till the ruling elite changes something.
Many of the proposed issues have not been discussed for lack of time. However, it was suggested to continue the discussion in the next session, which is to be held on February 15. Topic of the meeting is “The Nation, Nationalism, and Patriotism: between Ukrainians and Jews?”