Why are Khanty shamans still active? What are the folklore collectives of Komi? Why are the rituals of Udmurts performed at cultural festivals? In their insightful ethnographic study Anna-Leena Siikala and Oleg Ulyashev attempt to answer such questions by analysing the recreation of religious traditions, myths, and songs in public and private performances. Their work is based on long term fieldwork undertaken during the 1990s and 2000s in three different places, the Northern Ob region in North West Siberia and in the Komi and Udmurt Republics. It sheds light on how different traditions are favoured and transformed in multicultural Russia today. Siikala and Ulyashev examine rituals, songs, and festivals that emphasize specificity and create feelings of belonging between members of families, kin groups, villages, ethnic groups, and nations, and interpret them from a perspective of area, state, and cultural policies. A closer look at post-Soviet Khanty, Komi and Udmurts shows that opportunities to perform ethnic culture vary significantly among Russian minorities with different histories and administrative organisation. Within this variation the dialogue between local and administrative needs is decisive.Book Details
Modernisation has been a constant theme in Russian history at least since Peter the Great launched a series of initiatives aimed at closing the economic, technical and cultural gap between Russia and the more ‘advanced’ countries of Europe. All of the leaders of the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia have been intensely aware of this gap, and have pursued a number of strategies, some more successful than others, in order to modernise the country. But it would be wrong to view modernisation as a unilinear process which was the exclusive preserve of the state. Modernisation has had profound effects on Russian society, and the attitudes of different social groups have been crucial to the success and failure of modernisation.
This volume examines the broad theme of modernisation in late imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet Russia both through general overviews of particular topics, and specific case studies of modernisation projects and their impact. Modernisation is seen not just as an economic policy, but as a cultural and social phenomenon reflected through such diverse themes as ideology, welfare, education, gender relations, transport, political reform, and the Internet. The result is the most up to date and comprehensive survey of modernisation in Russia available, which highlights both one of the perennial problems and the challenges and prospects for contemporary Russia.Book Details