Everybody must have a set of their own stereotypes and personal boundaries of world perception. I would like to tell about two cliches which Crimea helped me overcome. Firstly, although I feel ashamed now to confess in this, the military have always been just a dull olive drab mass for me. And I thought their proverbial dignity was a myth. Now I can see how wrong I was! Our Crimea-based servicemen’s valor and loyalty to the oath impress and fill me with grateful pride. What I saw as a faceless army is now a host of Personalities.
It pleases me that I managed to drop this cliche, but the price of this saddens me. The other stereotype was about Crimean Tatars. My friends and I used to go backpacking in Crimea for six years in a row. But not even once did I identify the Crimeans with the stunning monuments of their culture. For me, there seemed to be two varieties of Crimean Tatars – contemporary and historical. Luckily, thanks to my friends, I befriended and even stayed for some time with a big Crimean family. It took me a few hours of mingling with these wonderful people to get rid of my shamefully “two-pronged” idea of them. And the attitude of Crimean Tatars to the current events in Ukraine adds boundless gratitude to my affection. For this very reason, no matter what the “Big Villain Brother” may say, Crimea will always remain for me a Ukrainian item of value, a value that smashes stereotypes and has no boundaries.