Big ethnographic dictation
"Big ethnographic dictation" will be held on November 3 in all regions of Russia, as well as in more than 11 countries of the near and far abroad. "Its idea was born in Udmurtia, Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs implemented it and made it all-Russian. Last year, two countries, Turkey and Switzerland, joined this initiative. It helped to raise interest in our history, traditions, customs of peoples that historically lived and live on the territory of our country," head of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs of Russia, Igor Barinov, said.
This year, dictation will be held in all 85 regions of Russia and 11 countries of the near abroad, including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia. "This list is not final, we're still receiving applications from other countries. Yesterday we received applications from France and Belgium," Igor Barinov said. According to him, dictation will begin at 10:00 Moscow time, with the exception of the Siberian and Far Eastern Federal Districts, where it will kick off at other time. All places where it will be held will open at nine o'clock, you have to come in advance in order to receive instructions and get all the necessary forms. Dictation will last 45 minutes.
This dictation is designed to test how much its participants know about the history, customs, traditions, culture of the peoples of Russia. "It's task is to raise interest of people to this topic, desire to study history of their land, their families, their traditions, traditions of their ancestors, to learn more about peoples that live and historically lived side by side. Knowledge is the basis for mutual respect between people of different nationalities and different faiths. The more you know about a person of different nationality, the less concerned you are about him, the less fears you have. You become more interested in him," Barinov said. In his opinion, this event has already outgrown the framework of ethnographic dictation: "It's an event of friendship and unity of the entire Russian world."
Deputy Chief of the Government Staff, Andrei Loginov, explained that the knowledge that are required to answer questions in this dictation can't be acquired from school textbooks, only from life itself, from interests of each person, from how he feels about the place he lives in. "The 20th century was a time when two illusions collapsed. In our country, in the framework of Marxist-Leninist science, the formation of a new historical community, Soviet people, was called inevitable. It replaced historical typology of social groups: tribe, nationality, nation. Soviet people replaced all of that, and then there were supposed to be classless, irreligious societies... At the same time, the idea of "melting pot", which implied that there's no need for people to group according to some characteristics, be it class, nationalily or ethnicity, collapsed in America. Today's American society has an extremely segmented structure. It's divided into various racial, religious, cultural, subcultural groups," Loginov said.
Speaking about the USSR, he noted that socialist internationalism had completely pushed the topic of nationality to the background, which led to a huge disappointment among people that resulted in a number of events, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the events in Central Asia with Meskhetian Turks, which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. "Ignoring these national, ethnic, religious features of the peoples inhabiting our country is extremely dangerous, and this was demonstrated by the events of a very recent past... The idea of holding this dictation is extremely promising and will bring good results, since it will help each person to analyze his life experience and raise interest in fantastically interesting, colorful world of different peoples and ethnic cultures of our country."
Head of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, said that dictation in his republic will be organized in tower complexes, monuments of medieval Ingush architecture and on the site of "School of Ingush Adat" in the Sunzhensky district of the republic. "In addition, our diasporas that live in Kazakhstan, Belgium and Europe will also participate in this project ... We're glad that the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affaist has included Ingushetia, questions on the history of Ingushetia as one of the topics of dictation," he said.
"I was asked once, what would you say to those who will write about Ingushetia. I wish they write about what Ingushetia is, and who don't know what it is can look it up on the internet... When we started the "Caucasian Games" project - today it's a festival of culture and sport of the Caucasus peoples - they set up national villages, and then residents visited each other. You can learn so many new things about your neighbors, who lived with you for centuries - about their kitchen, their traditions... Yes, the idea of "united Soviet nation" failed, but the idea of "united Russian nation" should come true. Our country is huge, it's multinational, multi-confessional, but our common national idea should always prevail. Only then we can achieve huge successes, keep what we have already achieved. Dictations like this help older generation and especially young people."