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Lamazhaa Ch. K. National Character of the Turkic-speaking Peoples of Central Asia

The paper reviews the literature on the national character of Central Asia peoples.

The term ‘Central Asia’ refers to the area of nomadic farming (in Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Inner Mongolia of China, in Russian republics of Altai, Tuva, Khakassia, Buryatia, partly in Irkutsk and Chita regions). This area has created many cattle-breeding cultures (including nomadic and semi-nomadic cultures) that has a number of similarities in social structure and economic complexes — Turkic-speaking and Mongol-speaking.

The national character of a particular nation appears to us as a complete image of typical characteristics that members of a people admit as their own (the ‘inside’ national character). This image may not coincide with the image that other peoples have about this very society. Moreover, it is possible to distinguish the opinions of those who live in the autochthonous cultural environment since birth or for a long time, and those who have come to the region for a particular purpose and have a certain stereotype about the society (‘outside’ national character).

This article deals with the questions on the national character of Turkic peoples of the region: the Kazakhs, the Altaians, the Tuvans, the Khakass. It is noted that there are no clearly defined range of sources on the subject. Kazakh literature is the most rich and diverse (a long tradition of written culture, relatively more advanced level of scientific knowledge, as well as the status of the titular people in a sovereign state). Literature on Altai, Tuva and Khakassia has a more ethnographic character.

Keywords: national character, Central Asia, the Kazakhs, the Altaians, the Tuvans, theKhakass.

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