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Nikitina E. V. Similarities and Differences in the Mentality of the Peoples of the Volga Region and Cisurals

This article states that the mentality similarities of the peoples of the Volga and the Ural regions are due not so much to the genetic relatedness and similar natural and geographical conditions as to common historical destiny, socio-political and economic factors. The specificity of Chuvash, Tatar, Bashkir, Mari, Mordvin and Udmurt ethnic mentalities is revealed through a comparative analysis of some of their collective ideas about the world and themselves, traditional values, moral principles and behaviour.

It is noted that changes in mentality of the peoples of the Volga and the Ural regions are primarily associated with the suppression of their ethnic religion (with Islamization and Christianization in the past), as well as with the lowest political and economic status within Russia. The 18th and 19th centuries are marked by foreigners’ russification. During this period, the non-Russian peoples developed a new way of thinking and a new survival instinct – without maximalism and extremism, based on hard and fanatical creation against destruction and violence on the part of the enemy, i.e. foreigner mentality, almost unified for the whole of the Russian Empire.

The author points out that the 20th century brought about a lot of positive and negative in the mentality of the Russian peoples. Social reality and politics of post-Soviet states introduced damaging changes in the rhythm of traditional social, family, gender and ethnic relations. Uncontrolled information flow coming from the media and the Internet washes out the general and the special in the ethnic mentality of all indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation.

Keywords: ethnic mentality, mentality of the peoples of the Volga and the Ural regions, the Tatars, the Chuvash people, the Bashkirs, the Mordvins, the Udmurts, the Mari, foreigner mentality.

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