Video Inspires Anti-Putin Twitter Trend

May 30, 2012 — 23:00

Video Inspires Anti-Putin Twitter Trend

May 30, 2012 — 23:00

An anti-Putin Twitter message started trending worldwide after opposition activists posted a hashtag inspired by a pre-revolutionary Azerbaijani musical tradition, a type of freestyle rap performed in time to a rhythmic beat.

The Russian-language hashtag "Putin, who are you? Come on, get out of here" (#путинтыктотакойдавайдосвидания) began spreading Tuesday evening after coordinator of the Moscow branch of the Auto Owners Federation Andrei Filin wrote on Twitter, "Tomorrow I will hang a sign on my car: 'Putin, who are you? Come on, get out of here.' I will make people smile."

The phrase refers to a video that went viral last week showing a group of men performing in the style of the traditional Azerbaijani Meyxana, a literary and folk tradition similar to rap. Several men pass around a microphone singing improvised lyrics that rhyme with the main refrain of the song, "Who are you? Come on, get out of here." A room full of several dozen men wearing dark colors applaud the performers.

The video was shot in the Astara region in the southern tip of Azerbaijan on the border with Iran, where Talysh, a Persian language related to Iranian, is spoken. The men sing in a mix of Russian, Talysh and Azeri. The video had more than half a million views by Wednesday afternoon.

In October, the hashtag with the words "Thanks to Putin for that" (#СПАСИБОПУТИНУЗАЭТО) became the first Russian-language tweet to make worldwide trends, with Twitter bloggers posting rhyming phrases with the hashtag to ironically thank then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on his birthday. The tweet played on a Soviet rhyme that ridiculed the abundant praise for the Communist Party by using traditional folk poetry.

Between Russia and Japan: Life on the Kuril Islands

The Moscow Times takes a look at life on the disputed island chain known to Russians as the Southern Kurils, but referred to in Japan ...

see more

Why Russia's Opposition Now Takes Pride in 'Brilliant Green' Attacks

The battle against Russia’s political opposition is being waged with a bright green liquid that comes in a tiny glass bottle.

Moscow: News and Openings

From a glamorous karaoke to a cheap coffeeshop at a ...

Why Russia's Opposition Now Takes Pride in 'Brilliant Green' Attacks

The battle against Russia’s political opposition is being waged with a bright green liquid that comes in a ...