Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Udmurt Scholar’s Self-Immolation Horrifies Other Non-Russians Prompting Them to Take New Actions in Defense of Their Languages

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 13 – While Moscow media either passed over the self-immolation of Albert Razin or described it as the misguided action of a confused old man (see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/09/tishkov-continues-his-campaign-against.html), non-Russians not only have been horrified but energized to take actions to defend their languages.

            Among the non-Russians most touched were the Circassians. Not only did they send a message of sympathy regarding Razin’s self-immolation (circassianprogress-rus.blogspot.com/2019/09/blog-post_11.html), but Circassian Progress has now issued a  new action program to defend their  language (circassianprogress-rus.blogspot.com/2019/09/blog-post_11.html).

            This program consists f three main parts. The first is t demand that the study of Circassian become again obligatory for all children of Adygey nationality “as it was in Soviet times and at the time of the establishment of the republic” and that they master it to the pint that they can read literature and write without difficulty.

            Second, the group demands that this study of the language must be accompanied by an expansion in its use in the media, government offices and society. “Why study a language if you aren’t going to use it?” And third, Circassians must update the language, including new terms, so that those who speak it will not be forced to use Russian when talking about new things.

            In Adygeya, the group pints uot, the obligatory study of Circassian ended eight years ago – far earlier than in the rest of Russia -- and now, according to official figures, half of Adygey children do not study it – and many of them in fact now identify not as Circassians but as Russians. 

            “We have entered int a difficult period to put it mildly in which our people must devote greater efforts to preserve their language, ethnic identity, and mentality. Therefore, we appeal to Circassians everywhere to take three steps:

·         First, Adygey parents who do not have their children study Circassian must be viewed as people who by that action are “refusing to be Adygs” and must be shamed int changing their ways.

·         Second, Adygs “must use Circassian everywhere and use Russian only where that is absolutely necessary.”

·         And third, Adyg scholars and linguists must be encouraged to actively develop contemporary terms and introduce them into the language.

These things must not remain just appeals but guides to immediate action, the group says. If we surrender now, Circassian Progress concludes, we will have very little left to defend in the future.

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