AZERBAIJANI MODEL OF MULTICULTURALISM IN CAUCASUS Текст научной статьи по специальности «Политологические науки»

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Ключевые слова
Caucasus / multiculturalism / national minority / religion / Кавказ / мультикультурализм / национальные меньшинства / религия
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Suleymanov G.

PhD in philosophy, senior researcher of the department «Philosophy and sociology of sustainable development»,

Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Baku



Keywords: Caucasus, multiculturalism, national minority, religion.

Ключевые слова: Кавказ, мультикультурализм, национальные меньшинства, религия.

The political events of the end of XX century led to the formation of new models of multiculturalism in the post-Soviet space, including the republics of the South Caucasus. However, a number of military-political and economic conditions upset the established balance of international relations in these regions.

First of all, multiculturalism is a democratic state strategy aimed at achieving a certain «quality» in the interaction of cultures in one region or country. It is a generally recognized principle of peaceful coexistence based on a tolerant attitude towards different cultures. Of course, it is natural for Azerbaijan to be tolerant of different views, customs and habits. The mentality of Azerbaijanis is characterized by a tolerant attitude towards the peculiarities of different peoples, nations and religions.

Azerbaijan is a multi-ethnic republic in Caucasus. Azerbaijanis and autochthonous national minorities such as talishs, lezgins, tats, udins, ingiloys, kryz, khinalugs, budukhs and other ethnic groups forms people of Azerbaijan. These peoples had no other homeland than Azerbaijan, and therefore, together with the Azerbaijanis, they have the right to be considered representatives of a single Azerbaijani nation. Besides them, russians, belarusians, ukrainians, kurds, jews, greeks, germans and tatars live in the republic. Each of these national minorities has a historical homeland, respectively, and belongs to the alloch-thonous peoples living in Azerbaijan. Only in Baku there are more than twenty different cultural societies. Among them are communities of russians, ukrainians, kurds, laks, lezgins, slavs, tats, tatars, georgians, ingiloys, talish, avars, European and Mountain (Caucasus) Jews, etc.

Representatives of different ethnic groups live compactly in the Republic of Azerbaijan, each of which has unique features that preserve its cultural values, language, history, mentality, ethnic self-consciousness and ethnopsychology. These settlements of Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan are Krasnaya Sloboda, the molokan village of Ivanovka, the udi village of Nij, the village of Khinalig, known for its language, unique customs and traditions, and dozens of other settlements inhabited by other national minorities. All of them are an integral part of the Azerbaijani society, in the right to use the cultural heritage in the country.

In areas densely populated by national minorities, the native language is taught in the primary school: curricula and textbooks, folklore and poetry collections, and fiction are published in these languages; newspapers and magazines are published, folk theaters and other cultural amateur groups operate.

Cultural symbiosis (coexistence) and various traditions existing in Azerbaijan are captured in the historical monuments of material and spiritual culture. Thus, as part of the protection of material cultural monuments, expositions reflecting the heritage and traditions of national minorities living in these regions are organized in the local history museums of Astara, Gakh, Guba, Zagatala and other regions.

The historical memory of the Azerbaijani people, who have gone through three religious periods - Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam, and imprinted them in their minds, plays an important role in building a balanced intercultural communication both within the country and in the international arena. Azerbaijan has created a special model of inter-religious dialogue and tolerance, which is an example for many multi-ethnic various regions of the world. Within the framework of the modern Azerbaijani model of state-religious relations, all religions received equal status before the law. In addition to ensuring the rights of Muslims, who make up the vast majority of the population, the state takes care of all the traditional religions that are widespread in the country.

Here is an example of various cultural and religious rights: after the break of communist ideology, the Church of St. Mary was opened in Baku. It should be noted that this church was built at the beginning of the XX century with the active support of the famous Baku philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev and restored at the beginning of the XXI century as a result of the efforts of another Azerbaijani philanthropist. During the 2002 visit of Pope John Paul II to Azerbaijan, there was a grand opening of a new Catholic church in Baku instead of the destroyed church in the 1930s. In Baku, back in Soviet times, a synagogue was restored and expanded, which survived the same destruction.

The main provisions of the national policy, which ensures the equality of all citizens, regardless of nationality and religion, are reflected in the Constitution of Azerbaijan. The concept of the national policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan is also based on the following international documents: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the UN, The European Convention on Human Rights, the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of National Minorities adopted by the CIS countries, etc. Also, the state document on the national policy of the Repub-

lic of Azerbaijan is the Decree of the President «Protection of the rights and freedoms of national minorities and ethnic groups living in Azerbaijan Republic, state concern for the development of language and culture». In other words, the protection of national minorities is one of the main directions of the policy pursued by Azerbaijan. Also, a special structure has been created in the Presidential Administration, headed by a state adviser on national policy. A similar structure exists in the Milli Majlis (Parliament). Using equal rights and opportunities provided by the Constitution and laws, representatives of different nationalities make a worthy contribution to the development of the country, working productively in various spheres of society. Thus, national minorities are represented in the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and other state structures. During the 2010 parliamentary elections, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Monitoring Commission showed that there were no problems with the participation of ethnic minorities living in Azerbaijan.

Thus, all possible conditions for the coexistence of different cultures have been created in the country. However, it should be noted once again that cultural diversity in the country is understood not only as a simple multi-ethnic situation, Azerbaijan is a favorable environment for the development of national solidarity. In other words, every citizen, regardless of ethnic, religious or other affiliation, is a multicultural asset of Azerbaijan.

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