Preservation and revival of cultural identity of suvaro-chuvash in the conditions of globalization

Scientific research of the SCO countries - English Reports - Februry 11-12 - Part 2International Conference “Scientific research of the SCO countries: synergy and integration”

Part 2: Participants’ reports in English

February 11-12, 2019. Beijing, PRC

Almantay Vladimir Nikolaevich

Candidate of Cultural Studies, Deputy Director

Foundation of Historical and Cultural Studies named after K.V Ivanova, Russia, Cheboksary

Petrova Galina Dmitrievna

Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, Professor I. Yakovlev Chuvash State Pedagogical University Cheboksary, Russia

Annotation. The article is devoted to the preservation and revival of the cultural identity of the Suvaro-Chuvash in the conditions of the modern globalizing world. In globalization processes, reliance on traditional culture allows the Suvaro-Chuvash to preserve their identity, restrain the risks of destruction of ethnocultural values and ensure the conditions for their sustainable development as an ethnic group in terms of communication with other cultures.

Keywords. Cultural identity, traditional culture, revival, identification, Suva- ro-Chuvash, globalization.

In the conditions of the modem globalizing world, when the ethnocultural borders are being destroyed, a heightened interest in the basics of folk culture is manifested in Russian society. This is precisely the reason for the relevance of studying the problem of the cultural identity of a nation, ethnic group, and ethnos. Modern reality is such that ethnic groups often face a difficult choice: either to gradually abandon their authenticity, or to adapt to the ongoing transformations. Quite often, modernization processes are becoming a serious test for carriers of traditional culture.

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Historically, the world being in time and space was conceived in the categories of causality, universal conditionality, harmony of multiplicity as a result of organizing and commensurate common beginning. For a person who is “inside the Tradition”, “all things are traditional in nature, since they are always considered in their direct connection with the basic principles,” wrote R. Guenon [1, 198].

However, in modern society, which has reached a high stage of informational and technological development, the transformation of traditional value orientations necessary for cultural identification becomes inevitable, respectively, and the level of instability, anxiety, and cultural entropy increases. In the process of major social transformations, there are always sooner or later conflicts of values, opposition of cultures and communities, as in this process the destruction of old forms of identity and the often painful formation of new ones takes place. For most Suvaro- Chuvash, the key identification marker is the traditional culture, which underwent significant changes in the XX - XXI centuries, as a result of which the “cultural core” of representatives of a given people is destroyed, gradually fading away.

The modern period of history for the Suvaro-Chuvash is a turning point in the life of the people, as it is associated with the search for a new vector of development of traditional culture: restoration and renewal of cultural identity, taking into account many factors, including the constitutional and regulatory factor of the common cultural space of Russia. Conducting a research of the state and characteristics of this turning cultural period will make it possible to outline and reveal in detail the problems of the loss and rebirth of identity, to discover their causes, to classify and streamline cultural identification processes and mechanisms. Therefore, at the present stage, the need for regional studies of traditional culture, primarily related to the study of the cultural identity of the Suvaro-Chuvash, has increased many times.

It should be noted that the Order of the Head of the Federal State Statistics Service of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation No. 74, dated January 27, 2010, included the nationality of Suvars (code 1191).

In the Russian Federation, the Chuvash are the fifth largest nationality and identify themselves with the ancient Suvars, but to this day the Suvarian heritage of the modern Chuvash has not been studied and analyzed to the proper extent.

Against the background of the processes taking place in the globalization space, cultural identity is one of the main themes for both science and everyday life of society, it requires in-depth study. In this regard, modern Russian cultural policy should be aimed at an organic combination of the following imperatives: modernization and at the same time preserving the national identities of all the peoples of Russia, taking into account the cultural continuity and unity of the socio-cultural space. The traditional culture of the Suvaro-Chuvash is a part of the multinational culture of Russia; therefore, its analysis and the search for development vectors are an urgent problem of modern culturology, whose tasks include the preservation and actualization of the cultural heritage of Russia.

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The task of cultural memory in the conditions of an impending global society, erasing ethnic and cultural features and unifying the “picture of the world”, is not easy to solve. Therefore, the analysis of the ethnicity’s entry mechanisms into an innovative society while preserving sociocultural codes identifying one or another ethnicity is an important value-semantic component of the culture of any nation, including Suvaro-Chuvash.

The speed and internal inconsistency of globalization processes carry axiological risks that negatively affect the preservation of the cultural identity of the Suvaro- Chuvash. However, cultural identity, based on historically established and symbolically imperatives, is able to create and maintain dominant vectors of their own sustainable development even under the conditions of unifying pressure of globalization, using the means and opportunities provided by globalization itself. Thus, the traditional culture in the aspect of identification can act as a tool for the selfpreservation of the ethnic group and an effective strategy for cultural development.

The formation of new values in society is not only expressed in sociocultural changes, but also in rebuilding contextual areas of memorial culture. In this aspect, the historical-culturological research of the identity of the Suvaro-Chuvash, the search for a special vector of development of their traditional culture, take a key place. On the one hand, it is necessary to revive lost traditions. On the other hand, to master the new formats for the promotion and development of the traditional cultural heritage, which contributes to the assertion of the identity of the people and its positioning in the all-Russian cultural polyphony.

Analyzing cultural identity, it is necessary to clarify once again how globalization processes influence it, directed to the total integration of the world society, during which universalization and standardization of cultures and peoples take place. As A.V Ryazanov noted, “the processes of globalization have given rise to their antipode — processes of concentration, i.e. localization, which refers to the return to its origins, roots; history, language, ethnicity and regional values ”[9, 263].

Globalization is responsible for the growth of national identity and self-determination of peoples. In an unstable, rapidly changing world, this responsibility is a condition for the preservation and renewal of the identity of peoples.

Thus, considering the traditional costume of the Suvaro-Chuvash, which symbolizes the colossal way of the oldest cultural tradition of the Suvaro-Chuvash people, the main historical milestones in the development of the folk costume are revealed, its ensemble fully developed in the 17th century. Already in the 18th century, Suva- ro-Chuvash costume and ornamentation began to flourish. At the same time, from the 19th century, in connection with the intensification of social and trade relations, a significant Russian influence on Suvaro-Chuvash clothing appears. Gradually, the entire old neck and chest complex is taken out of use: теветъ, ама, майса, шулкеме, etc., and belt decorations. From the middle of the 20th century, the old appearance of outer clothing has been intensively replaced by coats, jackets, etc. urban type.

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The traditional costume of the Suvaro-Chuvash, as a constant marker and an important element of the material culture of the Suvaro-Chuvashs, objectively recorded cultural values and moral imperatives of the ethnos. Analyzing the symbolism of the national costume, which in antiquity accompanied Suvaro-Chuvash from birth to death, connecting man with nature and the entire universe, it is necessary to note the interrelation of traditional clothing with successive levels of materialization of the picture of the world, inextricably linked with each other. At the same time, proving that the Suvaro-Chuvash traditional costume is an artifact that has an active influence on modern culture, acting as a sociocultural marker of the identity of the Suvaro-Chuvash people.

The unique folk festival Akatui, like the traditional costume, clearly demonstrates how diverse the cultural texts of the Suvaro-Chuvash people are in artistic style. Understanding the holiday, followed by MM Bakhtin, the primary form of culture, the authors consider this phenomenon as a kind of model, reflecting the attitude of man to the universe, to the essence of being and the value system of his people. Holidays with deep roots serve as a basis for uniting people into a single nation, here the main meaning and complex structure of the Akatui national holiday is revealed. Literally translated from the Suvaro-Chuvash language as a “sowing wedding,” this holiday reflects the love of the native land. In it, the ancient Suvaro-Bulgars positioned and asserted themselves, their ethno-cultural integrity and showed their difference from other ethnic groups [1; 3].

So, not all nations, especially those associated with a nomadic way of life, had a celebration of the first furrow. In Suvar-Chuvash, where farming was the main occupation, the beginning of arable work was marked by the Akatui holiday, which was held in each community and was associated with this sacred ritual. Preparing for the celebration of Akatui in advance: bathed in a bath, put on clean white festive clothes, then after ritual actions, prayers and ceremonies started to work [4; 7].

Speaking as a cultural marker reflecting the collective self-consciousness of the Suvaro-Chuvash, Akatui becomes at the same time one of the defense mechanisms of the cultural identity of the Suvaro-Chuvash and the advancement of the Suvaro-Chuvash in the all-Russian cultural space.

In globalization processes, reliance on traditional culture allows the Suvaro- Chuvash to preserve their identity, restrain the risks of destruction of ethno-cultural values and ensure the conditions for their sustainable development as an ethnic group in terms of communication with other cultures [1; four].

Consequently, globalization processes, representing the enormous potential for expanding the space of functioning and interaction of national cultures, are at the same time a powerful test for the cultural identity of ethnic groups. This process in relation to the Suvar-Chuvash was manifested in the fact that the Suvaro-Chuvash,

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as representatives of the Russian nation, were able to engage in the modernization processes launched by the global economy, on the other hand, they maintained their cultural identity through the respect for traditional culture. Intergenerational continuity of values and inter-ethnic cultural dialogue were the forms of preserving identity for the Suvaro-Chuvash. The concept of cultural-oriented modernization and the multivariate self-development of an ethnos is adequate to explain this process.

Information technology creates space for the preservation and development of cultural identity. As applied to the Suvaro-Chuvash ethnos, they manifest their specificity in regional branding, in the creation of diverse informational content and the application of various methods, including digitization of heritage in the fields of education, science and culture.

The Suvaro-Chuvash sites are, above all, image platforms of republican mass media, institutions of science and education, culture and press, as well as personal pages of representatives of science, culture and arts, containing historical, ethnographic, ethno-demographic and sociolinguistic references, scientific publications and educational manuals, information about cultural events and creative projects.

Thanks to such information resources as the site “ Сувары.рф” and others, it is possible with the help of semiotic codes of traditional culture to exhaustively display the “polyphony” of the cultural picture of the world of Suvaro-Chuvash, to promote the development of intergenerational relations of representatives of this people, to expand the arsenal of means aimed at strengthening cultural identity of the ethnos, including in the limitless Internet space [1; 4; eight].

Among the variety of means for preserving cultural identity of Suvaro-Chu- vash relevant is regional cultural policy. In most regions, it is being rebuilt from a model of assimilation to a multicultural one, while the traditional culture of ethnic groups becomes an effective tool for socialization. Modern Suvar-Chuvash become one of the key subjects of the cultural policy of the Chuvash Republic, which, in turn, opens the way to the strengthening and development of the cultural identity of the Suvaro-Chuvash in a multinational state, which is the Russian Federation [1; 7; 8].

Currently, the most enterprising participants in cyber communication are educational structures that have their own websites and equipment for digitizing printed documents. At the same time, the understanding of the inevitability of the presentation of linguistic diversity among the creators of Chuvash Internet resources is growing. In order to preserve the language of the Suvaro-Chuvash, to maintain the authority of the owners of a unique language and culture, there is a need for a targeted regional information and cultural policy.

Globalization with its informative potential maximally expands the space and accelerates the interacting processes of national cultures, but it in no way destroys them meaningfully, since it does not contain a program of discrimination against


their originality. By virtue of the informative potential of globalization, it became possible to communicate without difficulty with the Chuvash diasporas of other regions of a multimillion country and abroad, and cultural borders were expanded. The cultural heritage of the Suvaro-Chuvash has enormous reserves. Thanks to modern technologies, it is possible to strengthen branding, expand the arsenal of tools for working with the cultural heritage of the Suvaro-Chuvash.

The analysis proved that each subsequent historical stage of development of the cultural identity of the Suvaro-Chuvash did not abolish, but partially transformed, adapted, and continued the process of synthesizing the essential facets of traditional identification bases and innovations. Modern Chuvash, being descendants of the Suvaro-Bulgars, on their long historical path they preserved the ancestral traditions of their ancestors, avoiding the fate of being absorbed by other cultures. The potential of the traditional culture of this ethnos can be successfully realized at the present stage.


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