Научная статья на тему 'Value and normative basis of North Caucasian people’s culture'

Value and normative basis of North Caucasian people’s culture Текст научной статьи по специальности «Философия, этика, религиоведение»

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Аннотация научной статьи по философии, этике, религиоведению, автор научной работы — Cherkasova Marina Alexandrovna, Shumenko Marina Anatolievna

Russian modern polyethnic society goes through the comprehensive transformation period, being under the influence of various social factors. Population migrations, increased for the last decades, including ethnical one appears to be one of the most important factors among them. In connection with it the problem research of migrators cultures penetrations and culture of the society accepting them, appears to be topical. It is appropriate to refer to consideration of the North Caucasian structure axiological-normative bases to characterize the North Caucasian culture, and also for more fundamental understanding of modern ethnocultural processes in the South of Russia.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Value and normative basis of North Caucasian people’s culture»

UDC 314


M.A. Cherkasova

Don state technical university. Rostov-on-Don, Russia

M.A. Shumenko

Southern federal university. Rostov-on-Don, Russia science-almanac@mail.ru

Russian modern polyethnic society goes through the comprehensive transformation period, being under the influence of various social factors. Population migrations, increased for the last decades, including ethnical one appears to be one of the most important factors among them. In connection with it the problem research of migrators cultures penetrations and culture of the society accepting them, appears to be topical. It is appropriate to refer to consideration of the North Caucasian structure axiological-normative bases to characterize the North Caucasian culture, and also for more fundamental understanding of modern ethnocultural processes in the South of Russia.

Key words: regional culture, ethnical distinctness, axiological-normative bases of the North Caucasian culture, national self-consciousness.

The North Caucasian region has a unique culture. Unique character manifests, on the one hand, in the existence of any cultural territory processes itself, for which self-cognition, self-culture, self-preservation and translation are peculiar features. On the other hand, unique character has a brightly expressed regional peculiarities: geographical, economical, historical, social and etc. Regional structure can be defined as "specific entirety, integrating substantive characteristics: anthropological, material, social, cultural being, time, space, ethnical peculiarity, regional cultural identity" [14, p. 11].

There are different points of view according to the North Caucasus cultural entirety. Thus, politologist V.A. Avksentyev confirms that discussions about "Caucasian civilization" existence are groundless: Caucasus appears to be "an areal of constant cross-cultural interaction". V.V. Chernous writes about "Caucasian highland civilization". R.G. Abdullatipov supposes that there is unite "Caucasian civilization", which outstanding characteristic is intensive interaction of various unique cultures and world religions. R. Abdullatipov defines Caucasian civilization as the most complex original entirety of socially-political and socioeconomic relations of cultures and people [1; 2].

E.D. Isayev enters a new concept as "Caucasian cultural-historical type" into scientific turnover, fixing its integral content, including historical, civilizational, cultural and spiritual values of the Caucasus people, and also the North Caucasus [7, p. 12]. Caucasiologists O.N. Damenia, Kh.G. Tkhagapsoev and A.Yu. Shadzhe prove Caucasus sociocultural value ontology, on the basis of joint residence duration in mountain and piedmont conditions of Caucasian people, historical destinies community, ethnogenetical connection of many people and etc. [16; 17]. A.A. Anikeev observes a positive moment in the idea of the North Caucasian civilization, as civilizational approach allows "analyzing the past in various conceptually-theoretical systems, and building alternative versions and models of separate countries and people historical developments with the help of it, and determining national and panhuman tendencies of the development". The North Caucasian civilization should be understood as realized organization of the human social life. The North Caucasian civiliza-

tion as social organization of people vital activity is based on common principles (law, duty, credit, money and etc.) [4, p. 27].

The North Caucasian ethnical community was formed in the result of long-term interaction in the context of similar natural and climatic factors, under the influence of successively alternating external factors (conquest waves). All of this generated a row of general for all people of the North Caucasus ideal behavior models, principles and norms, admitting to speak about community of a row of features. Traditional economic, trade relations with neighbors, hunt, blood-related, marital connections, contributed to borrowing and cross-fertilization of the best traditions of one ethnos by the other one. The North Caucasian culture possesses stable nucleus, which elaborates certain ideas about moral responsibilities, right and wrong, welfare and conscience, honor and duty. "The general basis"- origin community, religion, systems of values has a significant importance in the process of people joining. Ethnical cultures of the North Caucasian people are oriented to tradition.

Axiological-normative basis of the North Caucasian culture emerged in such soci-ocultural institutes, as an institute of fathers, institute of hospitality, fosterage. Though, these institutes (first of all fosterage and twinning) do not already play such determinative role as in former times, however, in situation of spiritually-moral crises, which has taken Russia, they again obtain actuality. Under the epoch of socioeconomic commotions, moral objectives devaluation, it is very important for a person to find "support", which can help to withstand in difficult times. Today the institute of fathers acts as an important sociocultural phenomenon. Morally-axiological attitudes of mountaineers were expressed in such phenomenon, as gerontocracy - veneration and respect of the old men, senior people, presupposing the strict hierarchy "elder-younger", delegation to senior of all possible authorities.

The institute of hospitality has the high significant value of communicative forms in the North Caucasus. The hospitality custom was contained in responsibility to accept a newcomer independent from ethnical and religious affiliation, place of his permanent residence (even from the enemy country). Hospitality - is a soul expression of the Caucasians, their historical etiquette and humanity, which gives pleasurable sensation of spiritual communication not only to the hosts, but also to guests. The main point of fosterage consisted in delivering of children to the other family for upbringing. Among Cossacks it was accepted to give children for upbringing from Cossack villages to mountain villages, and vice versa that gave them knowledge of other language, reading and writing (Russian, Arabic) customs and etc.

Kunachestvo (twinning) is a system of constant economical, family- household connections, realized with the help of mutual visits according to various reasons and circumstances. In ancient times such customs as blood fraternization, fraternization of joint drinks from a glass, exchange of weapon, sacrifice and etc. were widespread.

The named universities for centuries were the main regulators in social order maintaining. They are closely connected with traditional culture. Ethnical behavior is in interaction with culture and history of ethnical culture. As V.D. Popov writes: "Every nation has its own special spiritual inner world, reflecting its social psychology geographical, ethnical, language and other peculiarities. The soul of nation - is its social psychology, in other words including such common substantiations of spiritual life of every person, which form its national character, traditions, customs, manners, habits. And the better is nation psychological health, the stronger it is in spirit" [11, p. 33].

It is worth mentioning that from the end of 80-s of the former century in connection with national consciousness growth in the republics of the North Caucasus the interest of the Caucasian people became strained to their history, religion, customs, traditions. Thus, ethical selfconsciousness of Circassians has been formed over a period of all centuries-long history of this nation. It was concentrated in such concept as Adyghe and found its expression in the way of life, ethnoetiquette, customs, language, folklore. "Adyghe" and adyghe etiquette, appearing to be its component part acted as mighty social regulator of the Circas-

sians life. Moreover, different ideas, elements of other cultures, customs and rituals of the world religions were included into the Circassians traditional culture, rethought from the point of view of the basic principles of Adyghe, and this in its turn defined sociocultural existence of a person in the space and time [9, p. 24].

Conceptually-axiological nucleus of the North Caucasian culture appears to be morally-ethical codes (for instance, of the Circassians -"adygage", is in other words adyg ethics). Morally-ethical code is a significant factor of the style and way of life, regulator of individual and group behavior, basis of ethnical identification, communication factor. For instance, such concepts as humanity, respect, intelligence, courage and honor are included into the nucleus structure [12, p. 53].

In relation to the North Caucasian people it is important to mention that in the majority of cases natives of the North Caucasus confess Islam (excepting the part of the Osse-tians, Mountain Jews, Georgians). Thus, Islam plays a defining role of the majority of people, the ancestors of which occupied the North Caucasian region. Religious syncretism is considered to be the peculiarity of the North Caucasian people religious culture. Interpenetration of pre-Islamic (pagan) believes and a strict following to Islamic establishments (adats and Shariat) is peculiar for traditional spiritual culture.

Under the culture significant features emphasizing the accent is made on person behavior models, social interactions regulators, through which originality of behavioral culture is manifested. According to G.Nodia, "Caucasianinty" is intuitively identified with ancient traditions of hospitality, highly-ritualistic behavior, cult of warlike manhood. Caucasian culture is rather static in comparison with dynamic European culture. It can be explained by the fact that ethnicity has a big value in Caucasian culture. In the North Caucasus category "ethnicity" is identified with such axiological concepts, as truth and honor, justice and wisdom. Social and economical factors insignificantly influence on ethnicity informative components. Under the modern conditions in the Caucasian culture ethnicity has not even changed; only with its help one can explain psychological and philosopho-culturological universals of the Caucasian people.

Nowadays ethnocultural processes in the South of Russia are characterized by variability, interaction contradictory of traditional, fundamental, and modernizational alternatives. The "North Caucasus" is not just a regional concept - "is territory of historically formed community of people, peculiar laboratory where collaboration models are tested, their ability to survive in extreme conditions of moral and social commotions is examined" [17, p. 73]. From the point of view of sociologists G.S. Denisova and M.R. Radovel in a spiritually-moral relation three potential models of relations development of Russian and the autochthonous North Caucasian people are possible:

1) inter-isolation of differently civilizational ethnoses, their complete estrangement and recession from Russians;

2) accelerated inclusion of local ethnoses to (Russian) culture with elements of compulsion;

3) equal cultural collaboration, original dialogue between ethnoses with perspectives open to the future [6, p. 144].

Analysing ethnonational structure of post-Soviet period, M.D. Rosin and S.Ya. Su-schii emphasize a row of important tendencies in ethnocultural dynamics of the North Caucasian cities [13, p. 86]:

1. Absolute (quantitative) and specific (percentage) decrease of Russian and Russian-language population. Iintensity of migrational outflow depends on the degree of interethnic tension and level of local nationalism rise, and also on the depth and duration of socioeconomic crises.

2. Fast grow of titular nation, which is, on one hand, determined by an increased index of natural reproduction, and from the other - by increased inflow of native ethnicity to the cities of rural inhabitants.

3. Decrease, and in separate cases disappearance of small urban ethnical groups (for instance, in Rostov-on-Don, they are the Poles, the Germans, the Greeks) among which were also communities of Caucasian origin, some of them for the given republic.

Thus, from the end of 80-s of XX century ethnonational structure of the South of Russia underwent significant changes: the row of ethnical groups significantly decreased their representatives, but on the contrary a row of ethnos increased their presence. A part of Russians in the North Caucasian republics has decreased and as a consequence Russian culture loses its earlier dominant position.

For the last two decades the intensive flow of migrators as representatives of the North Caucasian ethnos from their native territories to the other regions (these are predominantly Rostov region, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territory) is observed in the South of Russia. They deal with sociocultural adaptation problems in the traditionally Russian regions of the South of Russia. Philosophic-cultural meaning of ethnical migrators adaptation consists in "survival supporting of a person by means of its sociocultural activity traditional forms preservation, corresponding to innovative alterations" [19].

Tradition acts as one of the most important structural forms of the sociocultural adaptation: the North Caucasian people refer to the values of traditional culture. On the back of urbanization, industrialization, and democratization migration influences on organization, modes of production, preservation, and translation of ethnical culture. At that one should mention that one of the basic contradictions of ethnos development is contradiction between tradition and innovation, as between two main mechanisms of culture development. The positive development of ethnos depends on the fact what traditions are preserved, transformed and what implemented norms contribute to progressive changes in the life of people. Industrial society, requiring standardization and internationalization of life, quickly leads to fundamental changes in the system of social relations, consciousness, and hierarchy of value systems.

Traditional cultures have a rich variation of adaptive strategies. In the context of cultural universalism tendencies, emerged first of all in mass culture elements spread, each of the ethnical cultures forms own unique type of cultural transformation. Ethnical culture in significant degree influences on the character of ethnical communities adaptation to constantly changeable conditions. Under the conditions of Russia crises a significant part of the North Caucasus population strives to return to the values of its traditional cultures. In critical moments of historical development traditional values obtain a new meaning, become a moral support in advance movement. T.G. Basangova came to the conclusion that traditional ethical cultures are vital, and can adjust to existence in modern conditions, including global-ism [5, p. 28]. The character of sociocultural situation in the republics moves to the first plan such strategic priorities, as preservation of unite cultural space for people, inhabiting the North Caucasus, and also integration of migrators cultures to generally-cultural space of the region.


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March, 16, 2016

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