Not so long ago, I’ve had a discussion (more of an argument) with an acquaintance of mine about whether or not someone who is Slavic or of Slavic descent should only “like” the Old Slavic tales, stories and sagas based on the Slavic Mythology and Slavic Medieval Folklore and “dislike” all other folklore and stories based on mythologies such as Celtic, Greek, Jewish, Egyptian, Germanic etc.

First of all, I wish to point out that it is and always was, in my opinion, absolutely impermissible to even think of making someone have to “like” or “dislike” something as it is and should be one’s own decision and the result of one’s own introspection.

His opinion was that “Slavic people” should only “like” and use, in references and story-telling, motifs from Slavic mythology and medieval Slavic folklore and should shunt all popular culture based on other mythologies, such as movies about Thor, who is inspired by a Germanic deity; or superheroes inspired by Egyptian historical-and-mythological figures; and avoid showing their children cartoons with characters inspired by Green mythology or Chinese and Japanese culture etc.

Even though I always try to respect other people’s opinions, even when I do not share them, this narrow view was pushing a bit too far, even for my taste and my forbearance had reached a limit. As you might expect, we’ve had an argument about this and ultimately, we were both too stubborn to defer and reach a common ground or a shared opinion. However, we at least agreed that we will not agree concerning this matter.

Regardless, I feel a need to write about my thoughts on this subject. Hence, this blog post.

As I have mentioned before, I respect other opinions, but I do not approve of anyone attempting to make someone else change their own opinions forcibly and especially because it is how the majority of “their people” share some opinion or what not. A group or a culture may be something one is born into, but it should not define them and should not impose ideas and biases toward any specific thing.

As for traditions carried from generation to generation and stories that originate from those traditions and mythologies (old and abandoned or still taught and practiced), I do not like to think of them belonging to any specific group of people, country or region. Instead, I believe that all those mythologies with their respective heroes and villains, and all those legends with their respective protagonists and adversaries all belong to one single heritage of all humans and the whole Human race.

Instead of shunting Thor because he belongs to “Germanic heritage” and denying screen time to Hercules because he belongs to “Greek heritage”, or trying to find alternatives to David and Goliath to tell the moral of their story, or avoiding to tell great stories shown through Anime and Manga with historical settings just because their magical characters are based on ancient Japanese and Shinto deities and heroes, I believe that we should embrace them all as or own heritage and draw inspiration from morals of their stories. We should teach our children about this plentiful, diverse and magnificent abundance of history that is our common heritage.

Indeed, Svarog, Baba Yaga, Marko Kraljević, fairies, king Krak, Miloš and others are great and their stories are equally interesting, full of positive morals and deep meanings. But, they are not all there. There are many more great examples that we can draw inspiration from. There is absolutely no reason that I grasp that would compel us to refrain from “liking” every story or at least from giving it a chance to show us what it is all about so that we can judge it and then conclude whether we “like” it  or not.

Hopefully, those of you who read this blog post agree with me. And if you do not, that is also fine. I respect that.