RUSSIA BARS MEXICAN FANS FROM STAGING PARADE OF 'DEAD' ON RED SQUARE
MOSCOW - Objections from a Russian communist party have forced Mexico's soccer fans to call off plans to celebrate their team's advance in the World Cup tournament with a parade in Moscow's Red Square.
The Mexican fans had planned to stage a Day of the Dead-themed parade on June 29 -- with fans parading in the famed square in skeleton make-up and costumes -- similar to the celebrations Mexicans engage in every year at home to honor their dead loved ones. The plan was made as the streets of Moscow and other cities in normally straight-laced Russia have taken on a carnival atmosphere as the World Cup tournament enters its second week, with thousands of fans -- including many Russians -- gathering to watch games in outdoor fan zones and celebrate wildly afterwards when their team wins.
But members of the Communists of Russia party objected to the Mexicans performing what they saw as such as macabre ritual so close to where the body of communist revolutionary and Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin and other Russian heroes are entombed in marble. Party spokesman Sergei Malinkovich said his party, which is separate from the much larger Communist Party, considers the square to be "hallowed" ground and many ordinary Russians would also have been offended. "Crowds of Mexican louts would have passed by the necropolis of the country's best people wearing costumes of smiling skeletons, jumping, dancing, tooting horns, ringing bells, flirting, and playing love games," Malinkovich told AFP...