The cultural diversity and ethnic map of Russia have been formed for many centuries.

Within the framework of the meeting of the International Discussion Club “VISION 3000”, the agenda of which was devoted to the topic “Living traditions of the peoples of Russia”, the First Deputy Director of the Moscow State Budgetary Institution “Moscow House of Nationalities”, a member of the jury of the International Photo Contest “Mother and children in national costumes, a member of the jury of the International Festival “Hands of a Woman”, Candidate PhD in Economics – Safaralieva Dilyara Gadzhimetovna.

Dilara Gadzhimetovna told:

“Cultural diversity and the ethnic map of Russia have been shaped for many centuries under the influence of a number of factors: economic activity, migrations, conquests, as well as government policies aimed at strengthening and expanding borders. These actions resulted not only in territorial acquisitions, but also in an increase in the population with its diverse ethnic composition.

For centuries, the principle has remained unchanged that one of the most important mechanisms for managing the sphere of interethnic relations in such a large state as the Russian Federation is the dissemination of complete and reliable knowledge about the culture, customs and traditions of the peoples inhabiting it. This knowledge helps to overcome xenophobia and negative ethnic stereotypes, forms attitudes towards interethnic harmony and cooperation, personal contacts and cultural interaction. In order to understand the peculiarities of the modern development of the peoples of our country, you need to be familiar with the history of their origin and ethnic culture.

A large multinational country is rich in its traditions. Many return to their roots, recall the ancient rituals and customs of their people.

For centuries, different peoples of Russia have developed their own special traditions. Beautiful and so different, the peoples of Russia still cherish their epic and revive crafts.

I would like to dedicate my speech to the activities of one of the most prominent ethnographers of Russian science, laureate of the State Prize (1899-1985) Sergey Tokarev. Russian Russian Ethnography, which was first published in 1966 and became a bibliographic rarity, the book completed a long period of study of Russian ethnology, stretching from the “Tale of Bygone Years” to the October Revolution.

Discussing the time of the earliest ethnographic descriptions in the sources, he wrote: “The first monuments of Russian writing already contain ethnographic material. Moreover, these first monuments of writing reveal an interest in ethnographic facts, conscious attention to peoples, to their relationships, to the peculiarities of their way of life, to differences from each other, even to the question of their origin. Such attention was most strikingly reflected in the earliest of the major works of Russian writing – in the Kiev Chronicle, including in its most important part – The Tale of Bygone Years. The extraordinary wealth of ethnographic material in the “Tale of Bygone Years” is striking – hardly any chronicle in another country can compare with it in this.

In his fundamental work, Tokarev tried to summarize a large amount of information on the development of Russian pre-revolutionary ethnographic science. The task, I must say, is not easy. However, the scientist managed to trace the milestones of the development of Russian science over several centuries.

Tokarev highlighted important areas of study of the way of life and traditions of the peoples of our country:

  • The study of social and family life;
  • The study of folk beliefs and folk knowledge;
  • The study of oral folk art;
  • The study of folk music.

Tokarev rightly notes that the achievements of Russian ethnography at the beginning of the XX century. In many ways, they surpassed what was being done in this area in most foreign countries. He attached particular importance to the popularization of ethnographic knowledge.

From time immemorial, Russia has been experiencing a continuous process of population migration, cross-cultural exchange, and, as a result, the mutual influence of traditions and customs of different peoples living on the same territory.

Ethnogenesis and a brief ethnic history; traditional clothing; national cuisine; traditional occupations and way of life, folk and folklore festivals, as well as spiritual culture – these and many other things form our fundamental knowledge about our neighbors and that we have much more in common than we think. The polyethnicity of our country is its main wealth, strength and uniqueness.

The preservation of folk traditions and customs, the study and dissemination of knowledge about the ethno-cultural traditions of the peoples of Russia, including state support for various educational and scientific projects are the key to the stability and prosperity of our country. And in solving these problems, it is certainly very important to study the classics of Russian science, because their works contain comprehensive information about the history and development of cultures and traditions of peoples living in Russia.”

We express our gratitude to Dilara Gadzhimetovna for participating in the meeting.

We express our gratitude to the staff of GBU “Moscow House of Nationalities” and personally Dilara Gadzhimetovna for her help in holding a meeting of the International Discussion Club “VISION 3000”.

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