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INTERFERENCE of ETHNOCULTURAL AND ETHNOPOLITICAL PROCESSES IN RUSSIA the 1990th (on the example of Vseburyatsky association of cultural development)

marina of BALDANO


(on the example of Vseburyatsky association of cultural development)

In article the institutional aspect of a problem of interference of ethnocultural and etnopopitichesky processes, the 1990th, characteristic of Russia, on the example of Vseburyatsky association of cultural development is considered.

The article is devoted to the institutional aspect of the problem of two-way influence of ethno-cultural and ethno-political processes, which characterizes Russia in 1990s on the example of All-Buryat Association for the Development of Culture.

national and cultural revival, Vseburyatsky association of cultural development, consolidation, ethnocultural and etnopopitichesky processes; national-cultural revival, All-Buryat Association for the Development of Culture, consolidation, ethnocultural and ethno-political processes.

Post-Soviet history of the 1990th passed under the sign of rough activity of ethnic minorities ("parade of sovereignties", "national and cultural revival", etc.). In updating of ethnicity two main sides are distinctly traced: political (race for power, resources) and cultural (language, traditions, history). How did they correspond with each other? were autonomous and independent from each other or indissoluble?

In Buryatia in the 1990th the processes of national and cultural revival went violently, relying on rich intellectual traditions of the end of XIX — the beginning of the 20th century when Buryatia chose the path of modernization. For justification of political tasks the modified ideas of a pan-mongolism were started. As A. Elayev considers, "the social thought of ideologists of the Buryat revival was turned mainly into the past... In it one of the absence reasons in the begun process of revival of the perspective ideas of ethnic development of the Buryat people is. After some activization, without having gained due development, process declined" 1.

If to glance in history, then one is obvious — the movement went on a sinusoid: splash — recession — again splash. Now recession is observed, but it does not mean that it disappeared absolutely. Under new circumstances it can be updated. Therefore the local situation in Buryatia serves as the wonderful platform for studying these processes not only in Russia, but also in the world.

Since the end of the 1980th problems of language, culture, historical myths designed to prove in a new way sources of origin of the Buryat people, to raise value in the history the Buryat - the Mongolian heritage (the empire and Genghis Khan's role), to interpret problems of modern history of the people were updated. Studying history brought to Ts. Zhamtsarano, B. Baradin, etc. to kulturtragers, and it inevitably brings to a political component. So, the essence of the political doctrine of a pan-mongolism, according to Ts. Zhamtsarano, was that "reunification of Mongolia with the Inner Mongolia, Buryatia, Kalmykia, with Mongols of Xinjiang and Tuva will allow to restore the historical region of residence mongo-

1 A.A. Elayev. Buryat people: formation, development, self-determination. — M, 2000, page 309.

EALDANO Marina Namzhilovna — of nominative, professor; head of department of history, ethnology and sociology of ILBT Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science

fishing and to turn the new country into really independent, sovereign state" 1.

Among leaders of the pan-Mongolian movement there were several unifying projects. One more project in which the author with ease approached such most difficult questions as resettlement of the whole people, creation of the states belonged to E. - D. Rinchino.

In the early nineties projects of panmongolist were studied and discussed in various circles of the Buryat intellectuals, and in Russia there was a formation of new statehood. B. Yeltsin's appeal in August, 1990 to autonomies "to swallow" so much sovereignty how many they will be able, stimulated powerful political processes, including and on an ethnic basis.

In Buryatia, as well as in all former Soviet Union, the problem of sovereignty of the nation was key, and is more often in her ethnic, but not civil understanding. From here directly the question of the status of statehood of Buryatia and/or the state status of the Buryat people followed. Among a part of adherents of "ethnonation" ideas that it cannot were strong and should not be limited to a framework of the existing frontiers. In fight around the Constitution, sovereignization, places of Buryatia in the country and the world, its political system and the power took part as authorities, and the formed opposition parties and movements. In 1990 the Buryat Mongolsky People's Party (BMPP) — the political organization which emergence caused the most ambiguous reaction in society — from furious attacks to enthusiastic greetings was created. Creation of the natsionalnooriyentirovanny organization caused the greatest concern in authorities. Power structures, having tried to transfer the ethnopolitical movement to ethnocultural, acted as organizers of the I Vseburyatsky congress (on February 22 — 24, 1991). In spite of the fact that its preparation and carrying out were authorized by party bodies, it became possible only in the conditions of the begun democratization

1 Sh.B. Chimitdorzhiyev. The pan-Mongolian movement is the all-Mongolian national movement//Mongolovednye of a research. Issue III. - Ulan-Ude, 2000, page 15-16.

societies. Creation of similar public organization of the ethnocultural orientation which was not representing active opposition to a system was quite conscious purpose of the power at this conjuncture.

A keynote of performances at a congress was the fact that the Buryat culture and position of the Buryat people are in critical condition and that urgent measures for their revival are required. Despite attempts to hold a conversation about the nation within discussion only of national and cultural questions, the congress discussed also a political question about the illegal section Buryat Mongolsky the ASSR in 1937 and reunion. That is, both a cultural, and political component took place.

The problems of national policy, history, the Buryat culture and language which collected for many decades were for the first time collectively discussed. The congress showed, the ethnic group differing earlier in the obshchinnost as extent of its atomization is deep as the changes which happened for years of the Soviet power are clear how strongly changed. At a congress the Vseburyatsky Association of Cultural Development (VACD) for realization in practice of the principles of national and cultural autonomy in the conditions of separation, exterritoriality and disperse accommodation the Buryat in Russia was created.

At this time, up to adoption of the Constitution of 1994, social and political life of the republic passed around discussion and adoption of projects of national-state reorganization, need of institutionalization of the ideas, the rights and freedoms both the Buryat people, and all population of the republic. After the collapse of the USSR in December, 1991 the issue of national-state, national and federal construction gained a bigger value for national regions of the Russian Federation. In Buryatia the main ideological collisions were developed around sensitive ethnopolitical affairs: about sovereignty of the republic and its attitude towards sovereignty of Russia, about rule of laws of the republic concerning its maintaining, etc.

In 1992 there was a social and political organization - the Movement of national unity of Negedel (DAY

Negedel). In 1993 at the World forum of Mongols in Ulaanbaatar the leader of the movement V. Hamutayev suggested to consider a question of every possible deepening of integration of the Central Asian people: "Economically all of us in Central Asia objectively go and have to go to the confederative union, the commonwealth. Altai, Khakassia, Buryat Mongolia, Mongolia, ARVM, East Turkestan, Irkutiya, Chitiniya can summarize the resources, reserves, potentials, to create the uniform economical legal framework. That is, from humanitarian cooperation of Mongols it is necessary to go further, to support of market and democratic transformations in Russia, in Central Asia, then to integration, and wide and deep, on all questions of arrangement of life, i.e. to the confederative union, the community united on common interests of the world and stabilization in Central Asia. Having united our interests and pluses, having cast away our disagreements, prejudices, borders" 1. Giving an assessment to this performance in 2000, A. Elayev noted: "... the social movement of national orientation and radical sense - Negedel ("Unification") which began to support an exit of Buryatia (with sawn-off areas) from Russia, consolidation of the mongoloyazychny people and creation of Central Asian confederation which, except Buryatia and Mongolia, had to include Tyva, Kalmykia and two autonomous regions of the People's Republic of China" 2 is created. Later, in 2005, V. Hamutayev will write: ".ideya gradual integration of the closely related people, the adjoining subjects, and with Russian-speaking Irkutsk and Chita regions... mistakenly understood by A.A. Elayev as attempt of secession" 3.

By 1996 VARK became the collective member of the Organization of the Unrepresented People (OUP) at the UN, representing a considerable resource. Traditional politicians and outcasts from some parties made advances to it. On the general platform, both realists, and radicals communicated. In

1 V.A. Hamutayev. Buryat Mongolsky question. History, policy, right. Part 1. — Ulan-Ude, 2000, page 59.
2 A.A. Elayev. Decree. soch., page 271.
3 V.A. Hamutayev. Buryat national movement. 1980 — 2000 — Ulan-Ude, 2005, page 257.

discussions both cultural, and political problems came to light there are problems of language, its status, etc. The range of interaction of VARK with authorities was rather wide: participation in development of laws of the Republic of Buryatia in the field of culture, holding elective campaigns, the organization of large international forums, associations, support of shenekhensky diaspora.

In March, 1996 the Second Vseburyatsky congress at which the report of VARK was heard took place and elections of its management are held. In speeches of delegates of a congress the dissatisfaction with processes of ethnocultural consolidation of the Buryat people and activity of VARK in this direction sounded. The activity of Council of VARK limited to development of mainly applied and folklore forms of the Buryat art and culture underwent criticism. Weak influence of VARK on ethnocultural and social and political processes was noted. Besides, the personnel policy of the president of Buryatia L.V. Potapov for existence of ethnic motives in staff recruitment in a state machinery was subjected to sharp criticism. A radical part of participants of a congress made the attempt which was not making success to transform VARK to the political organization.

Deterioration in an economic situation and the continuing crisis led to the fact that activity of the Buryat book publishing house was actually paralyzed, due to the lack of normal financing the children's magazine "Lastochka-Haraasgay" ceased to appear, on the verge of closing there was a Baikal magazine popular at the time, the only republican newspaper in the Buryat language "Buryaad Unen" fell into the most difficult state. The crisis strip which captured the republican creative Writers' Unions, composers, artists and architects led to their split. The unhealthy situation developed in staff of the Academic opera and ballet theater. Representatives of the art intellectuals looked for and found support in Association of cultural development. On behalf of VARK letters to power structures were formed, with its help funds were dug up, it acted as the arbitrator in the solution of complex problems.

the Population of the republic in general positively perceived the actions connected with promotion of the Buryat national culture, language, traditions and customs of the Buryat people that was confirmed by the conducted social researches. But in the conditions of growth of national consciousness of ethnic communities of the republic not always the question of potential opportunities of national cultures, their interaction among themselves and, first of all, with the Russian culture which is objectively dominating and became to Buryatia, general for all ethnic groups, correctly was understood. It sometimes led to their unreasonable opposition and value judgment.

Creation of "The Russian community" coincided with establishment of the Congress of the Buryat People (CBP). As a main goal KBN defined "protection of the rights and the interests of the Buryat people, consolidation and combination of efforts of all organizations for the solution of its pressing problems, strengthening of the international relations and friendship of the people, participation in work of authorities and development of international relations" 1. The famous social activists and representatives of public authorities and local government of the republic and districts were a part of Council of the Congress. The Congress paid special attention to a section BMASSR problem in 1937, restoration of the republic in former borders and returns to its old name — Buryat Mongolia. The act of 1937 was condemned by the Supreme Council of Buryatia and the all-Buryat congresses, but did not receive the practical decision. The issue was actively discussed at joint meetings of KBN and VARK. It remains one of current problems of the Buryat people to this day and from time to time promotes radicalization of the Buryat nationalism.

In 1996 at the initiative of National Hural of the Republic of Buryatia work on the draft of the republican Concept of national policy was begun. Versions of the project were published for discussion in the republican newspaper Buryatia. The project was discussed at parliamentary hearings in National Hural with participation of representatives public

1 E.M. Egorov. About the congress of the Buryat people//Modern position of the Buryat people and the prospect of its development. Issue 2. — Ulan-Ude, 1996, page 19.

organizations, VARK and other national cultural centers, KBN, "Russian community". This discussion became some kind of indicator of public opinion in the relation to ethnopolitical problems both from the population, and from the ethnofocused associations (Congress of the Buryat people, "The Russian community"). Their representatives were opponents of group of developers of the project and defended opposite views on the questions infringing on the interests of the Buryat and Russian part of the population. Certainly, their position receiving reflection in media anyway made impact on the international relations in the republic.

It was necessary to take an accurate position in this situation of VARK not to become the tool in political struggle. This position allowed it to continue the activity. The authorities of the republic financed actions of association, VARK carried out a lot of work on identification, study and maintaining national traditions and customs, revival of language, Buddhist painting, development of contacts with the mongoloyazychny people.

By the end of the 1990th the political problems in the republic were in many respects solved.

Still there were meetings, round tables on problems of consolidation of the Buryat people, but mainstream went by VARK. However when association of Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Area with the Irkutsk region began, again there was a political activization, the ethnopolitical situation in the republic and districts was stirred up, and VARK did not stand aside. In 2003 in Ust-Orde there took place the extraordinary Vseburyatsky congress called by some government officials "illegitimate". When association took place and this problem consigned to the past, VARK fell back into the shadow again.

Whether national revival consigned to the past? And what prospects of the political party of a phenomenon? Lessons VARK, persistently asserting the right to cultural, non-political character, speak about illusiveness of hopes for a possibility of separate existence and development of ethnocultural and ethnopolitical processes.

Jerry Stephens
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