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Different views on “glossolalia”
Вохромеева Екатерина Владимировна, аспирант кафедры английской филологии.

Астраханский государственный университет
A number of studies on the phenomenon of “glossolalia” have recently been done. Many scientists tried to define the nature of this phenomenon whether it’s a human language, a product of ASC or it’s an acquirement.

The term “glossolalia” is derived from two Greek words: glхssai, which means "tongues" or "languages," and lalien which means "to speak." It is observed in some tribal religions and within some Christian denominations, notably Charismatics, Latter-day Saints (sometimes called Mormons) in the past, and Pentecostals[1]. Another source defines it as "a phenomenon of intense religious experience expressing itself in ecstatic speech"[3].

Eugene A. Nida made one of the first researches on this question. While studying this phenomenon he made a detailed list of reasons why glossolalia can’t be a real human language. He calls it a form of ecstatic speech which has nothing in common with human speech, judging by his experiment.

A professor of anthropology and linguistics at the University of Toronto, William Samarin made a thorough research. In his book “Tongues of Men and Angels” he says that "There is no mystery about glossolalia. Tape-recorded samples are easy to obtain and to analyze. They always turn out to be the same thing; strings of syllables, made up of sounds taken from among all those that the speaker knows, put together more or less haphazardly but which nevertheless emerge as word-like and sentence-like units because of realistic, language-like rhythm and melody. Glossolalia is indeed like language in some ways, but this is only because the speaker wants it to be like language. Yet in spite of superficial similarities, glossolalia is fundamentally not language. All specimens of glossolalia that have ever been studied have produced no features that would even suggest that they reflect some kind of communicative system." [4]. Samarin concludes that, in the hundreds of examples he studied, all lacked several essential elements of languages: vocabulary, grammar, syntax. Also he rejected the fact that glossolalia is xenoglossia (This is the ability to spontaneously speak a foreign language without first having learned it, or even been exposed to it. This term is also derived from two Greek words: Xenos, which means "foreign" or "foreigner", and glхssai, which means "tongues" or "languages."[1]).
Samarin defines the glossolalia as a “pseudo-language”, as "meaningless but phonologically structured human utter­ance believed by the speaker to be a real language but bearing no system­atic resemblance to any natural language, living or dead."[4].

But nevertheless there’re views that glossolalia’s an acquirement.

For example, Felicitas D. Goodman, a psychological anthropologist and linguist, concludes that "the association between trance and glossolalia is now accepted by many researchers as a correct assumption," and that glossolalia "is, actually, a learned behavior, learned either unawarely or, sometimes consciously."[2]

This conclusion was proved by many other scientists. Dutch Reformed minister Harold Bredesen, chairman of the board of the Blessed Trinity Society and one of the outspoken leaders in the tongues movement, advised the students at Yale University to adhere to the following guidelines:"(1) To think visually and concretely, rather than abstractly: for example to try to visualize Jesus as a person; (2) consciously to yield their voices and organs of speech to the Holy Spirit; (3) to repeat certain elementary sounds which he told them, such as ‘bah-bah bah’ or something similar”.[5]The Reverend Christensen, a Lutheran minister and a tongues speaker, advised the following: "In order to speak in tongues, you have to quit praying in English. You simply lapse into silence and resolve to speak not a syllable of any language you have ever learned. Your thoughts are focused on Christ, and then you simply lift up your voice and speak out confidently, in the faith that the Lord will take the sound you give him and shape it into a language. You take no thought of what you are saying: as far as you are concerned, it is just a series of sounds. The first sounds will sound strange and unnatural to your ear, and they may be halting and inarticulate”[5].

To sum it up, we should say that we are based on the investigation of Felicitas D. Goodman and sure that the phenomenon of speaking in tongues or glossolalia is an acquirement, which occurs due to your own expectation or under pressure of the religious group.

Information sources:

  1. John Farkas, "Speaking in Tongues and the Mormon Church," Berean Christian Ministries, at: http://www.frontiernet.net/~bcmmin/tongue1.htm

  2. Goodman F.D. Speaking in Tongues. A Cross – Cultural Study of Glossolalia. – University of Chicago Press, 1972.

  3. F. Jansen, "Glossolalia". One section in B.M. Metzger & M.D. Coogan, "The Oxford Companion to the Bible," Oxford University Press, New York, NY, (1993).

  4. Samarin W.J. Tongues of Men and Angels. The Religious Language of Pentecostalism. – McMillan, NY, 1972

  5. http://gospel -herald.com/noorbergen/glossolalia_book_1/glossolalia_index1.htm

American nation: real or just illusion
Добрянская Ольга, студентка

Астраханский государственный университет
If we want to see how people with different ethnic background live on the same territory, the best way is to make analysis of the American society. America is one of the best examples of polyethnic region. It is not just a country with a lot of different nations, which spend every day in a close connection, sharing their cultural traditions and ways of life. The history of this country from its foundation up to the present days is a story of immigrants, combination of different cultures and nations. It is a mixture of races, religions, ideologies, etc. Every nation has some characteristics, which show that people identify themselves with this nation. The inhabitants of a nation share a language, a religion and a history. This is not true of the USA that accommodates people from other nations, who keep their language and their religion, and who come from wildly different (and often conflicting) national histories. There is no culture, language, religion, etc that can be defined as "American". Since XIX century America had let in people from over 70 countries from all over the world, who brought their customs and traditions to the American land. If enough people like a feature (whether pizza, reggae or Buddhism), it will survive and reproduce. Then it will become a part of American culture. The population of America is about 250 million people. Among them:

Native Americans: 2 mln.

English ancestors: 32 mln.

Slave descendants: 30 mln.

German ancestors: 58 mln.

Irish ancestors: 39 mln.

Hispanics: 25 mln.

Asian Americans: 7.5 mln

Others: 56.5 mln.

You can also find almost all kinds of religion in the USA. There are about 260 different churches. 86 of them have more then 50 000 followers.

Such huge variety of different nations causes a lot of ethnic and national conflicts. All people from children to old men come across with such situations. More then a half of American pupils (58%) met with national or races conflicts at school or on job.

There is a table, which shows that between adults there are also difficult attitudes.

Americans’ attitudes to other nations (%)





Asians are cunning and

like to deceive





Hispanics give birth to

a lot of children but they

can't give them

enough food





Afro-Americans won't

make a success

even if they have

such an opportunity





In conclusion I would like to say that such politics in national question, which reasons are economical, because immigrants have always been convenient for American economy and some kinds of job, causes a lot of ethnic and national conflicts now and in future can make America a country of people of not European race. Now 40% of 20 year old Americans and more than half of children at the age of 6 are not European.

Russian marriage migration. A marriage with a foreigner –advantages and disadvantages. The conflicts of cultures in families
Левченко Елена Николаевна

Астраханский государственный университет

It is evident nowadays that there is a tendency in Russian and foreign society of global marriages of Russian women to foreigners with a following leaving Russia for other countries. This cultural phenomenon - female marriage migration appeared in the middle of 90th and was immediately called as a problem by researches. T he researches draw our attention to ethnical peculiarity of marriage migrations: “in the composition of floods there are more ethnical

Russians, that means the main population of the country. The age characteristics are the following: 60% of young women – marriage migrants are at the age of 20-30. From those there are 7% women who are younger than 20. 30% of women are from 30 till 40 years old. The average age of marriage migrants is 28. Education: “… marriage migrants have height enough level of education”. “More than half of women have higher education. It is high enough for such kind of migration in the world”. There are many scientific researches, that touch this problem and they are very important for studying the factors of its forming and development.

To our mind, the problem is in the fact that the national genofond emigrates from Russian and this weakens Russian ethnos and Russian super ethnos. So, as it is said about “brain drain” we can also say about “women drain” from our country.

According to information given by the USA justice ministry during last 12 years 75 thousand Russian women migrated into this country with bride visas.

In this article we’ll try to observe the development of marriage procedure nowadays and its factors, learning such sources of information as scientific researches, personal documents or letters, advertising booklets of international marriage agencies, mass media, reports on special web forums and others. It can be approved that to the beginning of the 21st century female marriage migration and the search of foreign marriage partners totally increased. What facts let us confirm that? Numerous sites of international acquaintances appeared and exist in the Internet. At the turn of the 20-21 centuries a lot of clubs of international acquaintances appeared and they have been successfully working for already 5-8 years (the first one is 15 years old). The number of such clubs has been increasing and their activity has enlarged. What facts prove the rising interest of Russian women to marriage with the foreigner? Hundreds and thousands of women declare their wish on the site of the club French Romance. In February 2002 6000 advertisements were registered on this site. Moscow agency on international acquaintances “Kananit” announces that for one advert from USA citizen put into Russian regional newspapers more than 5 hundred letters from Russia women were received.

What are the main directions of female marriage migration in the beginning of the 21st century? The main quantity of our citizens get marriage to Americans, Germans and Italians: just these representatives of these particular countries apply for brides in our acquaintance services.

In Australia Russian girls aren’t in popular demand but on the French “brides market” Russians are much in demand. There are also many Turkish-Russian families in Turkey.

Let’s analyze the factors of marriage migration. Researches Tjurjukanova and Tsalagove selected social, political and economical factors of this phenomenon in 1996/ Dissatisfaction of well educated women by working conditions, difficulties of combining work and house problems, lack of free time for upbringing of children, economical discrimination of women on the labor market are the most important of these factors.

We can also select some more factors of development of marriage migration. They are demographic, psychological national and cultural ones. So, undoubtedly, demographic problems of West Europe influence the mass forming of marriage of Russian women to foreigners and marriage migration from Russia. These problems are the following: the downfall of birth-rate, increase of average length of human life, reduction of actual number of aboriginal population.

One of the most important factors of female marriage migration is demographic problems of Russia in self. Absolute majority of Russian researches determine the demographic situation, existing in Russia of the turn of two centuries, as a deep demographic crisis.

To our opinion, the shortening of quantity and constantly growing disbalance of sexes conditioned by national and cultural peculiarity of our country. The most important of them is destruction of natural and human resources. Wars of the 20th century show this fact. Russia took part in all of them. First and second World Wars, the civil war, Afghanistan and Chechen wars, Stalin’s genocide took away hundreds of thousands and millions of human lives and it wasn’t perceived by the society as a disaster.

Thus, demographic situation and demographic situation and demographic problems of West Europe and Russia are the most important factor of female marriage migration from Russia conclusion of marriage contracts with foreigners.

We mark out psychological and nation-cultural factors. In the context of problem of female marriage migration the results of researches made by S. Barsukova are extremely significant. In public consciousness of post soviet society there were two attractive female images: the image of a businesswoman and the image of the wife of a “new Russian”. The image of a businesswoman was tore many women because it is very complicated to change your manners, behavior and character according to the aims. But the image of the wife of a “new Russia” became so tempting, that many women began to look for them abroad because there isn’t necessary quantity of “new Russians” in our country.

In context of problem of female marriage migration from Russia the results of cross-cultural research of stereotypes of female behavior in USA and Russia carried out by psychologists O. Mitinoy and B. Petrenko are extremely significant. They prove that Russian women prefer marriage with a man of higher social status more than marriage with a “simple” man, good master, living by “earth” problems. Women look for safety, stability, and guaranteed life level due to higher status of a husband or his ability to solve all these questions. Nowadays the main clients of capital international marriage agencies are successful women – professionals with a high social status. To our opinion this situation is explained by psychological, nation-cultural reasons. According to researches of a famous Moscow psychologist Naritsyn says, that private life of business ladies, who are successful in professional sphere, develops unhappily. It is very difficult for them to find a partner for marriage/

One of the factors of development of phenomenon of female marriage migration is a demand for Russian wives. There is an American proverb: “Paradise is an American salary, Russian wife, English house and Chinese food”. In foreign publications you can find an idea that Russian women attract foreigners not only with their appearance but with their modesty, unpretentiousness, plain tastes that let foreign husbands struck their Russian wives with average level of west life.

Now situation is changing. Economical aspect is important but it is not principal. The demand for Russian brides is explained by some other reasons. The specialists look for Russian women, oriented on families or women who want to be housewives. In such a way, it can be proved that cultural innovation – mass marriage of Russian women to foreigners and leaving Russia – is a determined by the whole complex of reasons: problems of Russian society (economic, social, demographic), Russian national and cultural features, demographic problems of the countries of West Europe, psychological and cultural requirements and needs of men ot west society and, at last, they are opportunities, that open society gives to people.

Having analyzed reports on forums of internet web pages, devoted to marriage to foreigners we determine advantages and disadvantages of them with representatives from different countries that there were marked by the women-visitors of these sites.

If you marry to German husband you get the famous “three K” – Kuche, Kinder, Kirche”. Germans are extremely conservative. German men are punctual, provident and sentimental. An important point of marriage is a marriage contract for them. Don’ t hope special generosity, choosing a German groom and wait for love to parents and children. Helpless old people in Germany are sent to live to old people houses, full-grown children move from parents’ houses at the age of 16-17. And at last you can get a citizenship only after you have lived for 3 years in the country. By divorce children are left with mother but if they have a German passport, father can take them away to abroad. Alimony are very high – woman can stay at home till the time when her children are 14.

Marriage to Japanese:

First, you are to remember, going out with Japanese: they are totally different. Japanese man isn’t accustomed to show real feelings; the idea of decency replaces the heart to him. You are to put up with the fact that your children will be Japanese. A person is like others there. Japan is a country of the only national, the only religion. Yang Japanese men are busy with study, work, career. They start money, status in the society. It usually happens when they are nearly 50. They take care of their wives, give pocket money but don’t notice a personality in them. They don’t make marriage contracts and in case of a divorce a wife don’t get anything even children. If you are married for 10 years you will be happy. According to statistics for every hundred of marriages there are 2% divorces.

Marriage to an African:

They are full of emotions, sing and dance well, play different special instruments. African men aren’t afraid to show their feelings, weakness, sincerely love their girlfriend, attached to them, adore children and respect old people. Where is a dirty trick? First, their emotions are unexpected. An African can’t calculate the strength of their anger or joy. Surprises of family life can be waited even 30 years. Till old age they remain children in soul. Except this an African groom has a bent for mysticism and it adds unusual features to his character. Marriage to an African will entail emigration to Europe, USA or Australia. In Russia the attitude to African marriages is preconceived. And we don’t advice you to leave for your husband’s homeland. In many African countries there are many military conflicts, problems shortage of food, water, medicine, technique. There is a high risk of dangerous infectious diseases. Without studying language, laws, traditions your marriage will break out in 2-3 years.

Marriage to Italian:

You will never be bored with an Italian husband. He has an explosive, Mediterranean temperament, rapid speed of communication, the tenderest romantic and creasy jealousy. Family for an Italian is a saint part of life. But now about the minus – don’t dream about the wealth. Italy – the poorest of European countries. While divorce a couple get 3 years to think about their decision and then a husband must maintain his wife until the next marriage. But you want be able to take your children away from the country. Men often bring up their children after the divorce. You will also have to work in Italy but not on prestigious work. Russian diplomas are not rated, but there is always a shortage of nurses, hospital attendants, chambermaids. At best you’ll find a place of a guide for Russian excursions. You shouldn’t forget about religion either – in catholic country in is agreed to visit church services and follow traditions and holidays. You’ll also have been tolerant to your husband’s hobbies – at best it will be football, politics, cars, at worst – Italian vodka and girls. Italian marriage means “a little logic, much love”.

A marriage to Arab:

Advantages – ability not to work till the end of life and many children. Feeding them are worries of your husband.

Disadvantages – absence to short skirts, swimming costumes and ability to deal with you time and yourself. Bridges of groom Moslems come to their wedding with piranhas. Women are beaten with stones for adultery and smoking and drinking alcohol wife is nonsense in Moslem families. Behavior, lifestyle, upbringing children – everything dictated by the law. A lot of women notice that Arab is the tenderest in Russia but at home he becomes an uncompromising tyrant. Gating marriage to Arab you get married to all his relatives till the end of time. If you dreamt about many relatives you will be satisfied. According to the Koran laws a husband can take the second, third wife and by divorce a wife doesn’t get anything even children.

A marriage to American:

It’s a case when you can take one guarantee - no guarantees. The advantage of an American marriage is in the fact that their policy works clearly and concretely. If your husband jeers at you, the problem will be solved at the nearest police station.

But in order to protect yourself from different unrespectable hardships or worries you should have a necessary sum for the return ticket on your credit card and become familiar with one of the handicrafts professions such as a barber or a confectioner. But best of all stay at home. The happiest marriages are with those Americans who come to Russia.

The French king Henry the I married to Ann, the daughter of Jaroslav Mudry, the Spain artist Salvador Dali – married to Elene Dyakonova and they were happy. Think yourself, decide yourself…
The role of international students’ exchange programmes in the life of young people.
Мусякаева Альфия Алямовна

Астраханский государственный университет
In an increasingly globalized world, governments and educators are becoming more and more aware of the need for students to gain an international perspective as an integral part of their education in order to improve individual and national competitiveness.

There are different international students exchange programmes. We have taken prone youngsters with better knowledge of other peoples’ cultures, lifestyles, mentality – their particular attitude part in two of them and we believe they contribute greatly to close co-operation between young people of different races, religions, languages and traditions. They also promote better understanding between them. They broaden their horizons, and way of thinking. Culture needs to be understood in two main senses. The first is culture in its most general meaning as the underlying set of shared understandings, beliefs, customs and rules of behavior that constitute a framework for the daily life of a people. It is often characterized as ‘a design for living’ or ‘the way we do things around here’. This is culture as it is learned in the course of everyday life. Experienced from birth, culture shapes an individual’s understanding of who she is, what she may expect, and how to treat others and behave in her own right. As a collective body of beliefs and lifestyles, culture is generated from social interaction through time. Cultures build up distinctive institutions of patterned behavior and expectation that are generally stable and long lasting, but the foundations of culture in social interaction also give rise to variations within cultures and to ongoing development and change. Significant differences between cultures stem from differences in language, religion and historical experiences of people in different parts of the world. Slavery, colonization, and struggles for national independence have had important effects on the cultures developed in different regions and countries. The second sense refers to culture as communicative arts, embodied in art, literature, performance, media and popular entertainment, traditional and folk arts and like forms of expression. Communicative arts have mimetic relations to the culture of daily living, in that communicative art forms draw from and play on culture as lived experience, while in turn reflecting back to their consumers’ ideological visions of life as it might be lived.

When I was in the 9th grade, I was a member of a large group of students from different Astrakhan’s schools who accepted young students from abroad. The students were from Germany, England, the United States of America, France, Australia, Austria, China and other foreign countries. We were interested in each other and talked a lot. While communicating with them we, the Russian students, learned more about the places they were from, about the life of youngsters in their countries (their studies, hobbies, fashions, interests, friends and friendship, their attitude to voluntary work and others). We also improved our knowledge and skills of foreign languages. We got to know each other better. Everybody wanted to be friends and live in peace and mutual understanding. And this is the main thing for both foreign and Russian students. It’s needless to say that was up to the interests and aspirations of all the participants of those meetings. It was great! I am sure every participant will remember those days for good. We also got to know that our foreign guests had been traveling to different countries. They were independent; they earned their living by doing part – time jobs in different countries. They lived in international camps and they did a lot of voluntary work. They helped elderly people, looked after little children, they taught children handicrafts they could do well. On the other hand it enriched their inner world. They became more tolerant, friendly, adaptable, so did we.

There is one more programme which gives you great opportunity to know the world and people better. American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS is an international non – profit organization working to advance education, research, and mutual understanding across the United States and the nations of Southeastern Europe, Eurasia, and South Asia. This programme helps students all over the world to know more about cultures, people. It helps to build bridges between different nations.

I have interviewed students from different countries when I was in the USA. I talked to boys and girls of my age and to their parents and relatives. I took part in discussion of different problems with my foreign teachers. I read American newspapers, magazines and watched American TV programmes. I also read their text books on History, Culture, Literature a lot. All this helped me to learn the Americans and their society better. That is why I am sure every boy and girl should meet as many foreigners as they can to know our world better in order to be a success to adapt to it.

Social components of interracial marriages in multicultural society

Нгуманова Румия

Астраханский государственный университет

Interracial marriages have always been frequent since the ancient times. The number of such unions increases every year all over the world, including Russia. Our women who decided to marry a representative of a different nation hardly imagine what is expecting them. After all, they will have to face a new way of life, learn a new language and make friends with new people. Of course, love makes the world go round. But minor problems or slight quarrels will entail difference in culture or education, national character, customs and national norms of behavior.

Social nature of interracial marriages lays in the national belonging of two married people to a different nation as a historically established group of people having common national features and mentality. Ethnic features are formed only in special conditions – territorial, natural, socio-economical or legal conditions. Difference between traditional national cultures, based on ethnic features and the way of life of a nation which a married couple belongs to, manifests itself very actively in a day-to-day life.

Ethnic self-consciousness of two married people is an important component of their relations. Thus, we can say, that interracial marriages represent unions which imply the overcoming of different kinds of prejudices and demands greater subjective assistance of their participants (husband and wife).

Going on speaking about the social nature of interracial marriages it is important to consider ethnic belonging as a basic component of a person’s identity. It plays a major role in an interracial marriage. National and cultural identity formed in the making of husband’s or wife’s personality changes after marriage in some way, according to personal features of married people, their identification to their own ethnic group and its values, customs, traditions. In that way, an interracial marriage influence on national and cultural principles of a couple, makes two married people compromise in order to solve the problem of ethnic identification.

Another no less important component of social nature of interracial marriages is religion. Manifestations of differences in the religious consciousness depend on a degree of religiousness of two people, how faithful they are. In some cases, religious aspect may play a crucial role and even prevent from marriage.

The problems of interracial marriages are very pressing in the Astrakhan region. For instance, they are wide-spread among Tatars. The representatives of native population marry the representatives of other nations very intensely. More than 42 percent of Tatar women are married to the representatives of other nationalities. Such fact has its pros and cons. On the one hand such marriages enrich and improve the genes of a nation. On the other hand, the originality and the unique features of a nation can be lost and it is very difficult to restore them afterwards. We have the right to choose what kind of marriage we would like to have, but we mustn’t forget about our national roots and cherish our heritage.

What is multiculturalism?
Киселева Евгения Евгеньевна

Астраханский государственный университет

Nowadays such phenomena as multiculturalism is becoming wide spread within the scientific world. But it is often misused and highly misunderstood. Since for many it is also a value-ladened concept, it has come under fire from diverse segments of the population, who due to their social position view the world differently. The fact that where you stand determines what you see is a reality in most situations, and it is especially true for the concept of multiculturalism.

The purpose of this article is to provide an operational definition of multiculturalism and its value for all groups as a basis for understanding the changes coming to our society.

Like most word “multiculturalism” needs to be understood from both historical and conceptual perspectives. Historically, “multiculturalism” came into wide public use in the West during the early 1980s in the form of public school curriculum reform. Specifically, the argument was made that the content of classes in history, literature and social studies and other areas reflected what came to be called a "Eurocentric" bias. Few if any women or people of color, or people from outside the Western European tradition, appeared prominently in the curriculums of schools in the United States. This material absence was also interpreted as a value judgment that reinforced unhealthy ethnocentric and even racist attitudes. Observers noted that teaching and administrative staffs in schools were also overwhelmingly white and/or male (whiteness being pervasive at the teaching level, maleness at the administrative level, reflecting the politics of gender and class as well as race in the educational system). Eventually parallel questions were raised about the ethnoracial or cultural biases of other institutions, such as legislatures, government agencies, corporations, religious groups, private clubs, etc. Each of these has in turn developed its own response and policies regarding multiculturalism.

The concept of multiculturalism embodies a new orientation toward the future. Unfortunately, in all the heated discussion around the term no clear definition of the concept has yet emerged. People are thus left to read into the term whatever their biases and self interests dictate. Let me put forth an operational definition of multiculturalism as a starting point to better clarify our

human interactions.

Multiculturalism is a system of beliefs and behaviors that recognizes and respects the presence of all diverse groups in an organization or society, acknowledges and values their socio-cultural differences, and encourages and enables their continued contribution within an inclusive cultural context which empowers all within the organization or society. Let's take it apart. There are the four pairs of action phrases that give substance to the definition: “beliefs and behaviors,” “recognizes and respects,” “acknowledges and values,” “encourages and enables,” and a fifth one, “empowers.” Multiculturalism is a “system,” a set of interrelated parts—in this case, beliefs and behaviors—which make up the whole of how humans experience today's world. It includes what people believe about others, their basic paradigms, and how these impact, and are impacted by, behavior. The outcome of this framework of beliefs/behaviors are seven important actions.

The first is recognition of the rich diversity in a given society or organization. For the longest time racial/ethnic minorities, the physically disabled, and women have not been given the same recognition as others. The one-sided approach to history and education has been a testimony to that fact. With recognition should also comes respect. Respect is the process whereby the Other is treated with deference, courtesy and compassion in an endeavor to safeguard the integrity, dignity, value and social worth of the individual. It means treating people the way they want to be treated. Respect and recognition are not the same, since recognizing the existence of a group does not necessarily elicit respect for the group.

Multiculturalism also entails acknowledging the validity of the cultural expressions and contributions of the various groups. This is not to imply that all cultural contributions are of equal value and social worth, or that all should be tolerated. Some cultural practices are better than others for the overall betterment of society. These cultural expressions and contributions that differ from those of the dominant group in society are usually only acknowledged when there is an economic market for them.

Multiculturalism means valuing what people have to offer, and not rejecting or belittling it simply because it differs from what the majority, or those in power, regard as important and of value.

Multiculturalism will also encourage and enable the contribution of the various groups to society or an organization. Women and persons of color, for example, often experience discouragement because what they bring to the “table” for discussion is often regarded as of little value or worth. Yet what people bring needs to be valued, for who knows from where the next great idea

may come—from a youth, from an elderly person, from an African American, from a single parent, from a lesbian, from a high school drop out, from a business executive, etc.? The word enable here is important, because what lies behind it is the concept of empowerment—the process of enabling people to be self-critical of their own biases so as to strengthen themselves and others to achieve and deploy their maximum potential. People's sense of self-worth, value and dignity is most often determined not only by the kind of support and encouragement they receive from others, but also from how willing they are to be self-examine negative behaviors in their own life and in their cultural group.

If I or my group is practicing self-destructive action, all the external help will go for naught.

The essence of multiculturalism, the undergirding concept of multicultural education, is the ability to celebrate with the other in a manner that transcends all barriers and brings about a unity in diversity. Multiculturalism enables us to look upon the Other, especially the Other that society has taught us.

And taking into consideration all the above mentioned can we call the Astrakhan region a multicultural one? The answer is surely negative in spite of its being originally “ a tolerance keeping region”, because we cant tell for sure that there is the diverse of all social groups ( not only ethnic). But it should pointed out that there is no “pure multiculturalism” in the world now. And there are some elements of it in the Astrakhan region.

So to sum it all up it cam be said that the term “multiculturalism can be defined as the system of beliefs respecting all the sociocultural groups.


1. Seda Bonilla, Eduardo. 1971. “Ethnic Studies and Cultural Pluralism,” in The

Rican, Fall, pp. 56-65.

2. M. Houston Multicultural Society. New York: W. W. Norton.

Wedding ceremony: from East to West
Тюрина Александра

Астраханский государственный университет
Today multiculturalism is a common thing in many regions. Astrakhan region is not an exception. Multiculturalism has always been the main peculiarity of Astrakhan. More than 150 nationalities and ethic groups are peacefully neighboring under Astrakhan sky.

Astrakhan was a large trade centre where Russia encountered the East: Indians, Persian and Armenian merchants erected their commercial town houses here. The town also attracted nomadic inhabitants of the steppes. One was amazed at the intricate interwoven sound ornament of different languages sounding in Astrakhan streets and markets. Emigrants from central Russia – streletses, craftsmen, merchants formed the basis of town population and brought to Astrakhan Orthodoxy. The descendants of Russian migrants constitute the bulk of Astrakhan population.

Needless to say, that every nation has its own customs and traditions. In my work I’d like to compare wedding ceremony of two numerous nations of our region: the Tatar and the Russians.

Wedding has always been looked at as one of the most important events in a life of every person. So that wedding traditions played a great role and were kept strongly in ancient times. Unfortunately, many traditions are forgotten nowadays. However, some elements of customs of our forefathers survive until now. All wedding customs can be divided into three groups: before wedding rites, the main wedding ceremony and after wedding customs.

Firstly, I’d like to speak about Russian wedding traditions.
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