9th August is the day assigned by the United Nations to draw attention to the multitude of world’s unique local cultures.
Currently, indigenous peoples live on 22% of the world’s territory. According to various calculations, there are about 370 to 500 million indigenous persons in the world, which constitutes the majority of global cultural diversity. Indigenous peoples also speak the majority of the world’s 7,000 languages. Many indigenous individuals today face marginalization, poverty, and human rights abuses.
“Speaking about low-numbered indigenous peoples, this category includes those who are less than 50 thousand people in total,” explains Professor Tatiana Titova (Department of Anthropology and Ethnography, Kazan Federal University). “In Russia, most of those peoples inhabit Siberia and the Far East. If there are no efforts to support them, preserve their cultures, such ethnic groups can disappear through assimilation.”
Of course, there are also non-low-numbered indigenous peoples, such as Finno-Ugric ethnic groups of the Volga Region. “Such peoples determine the trends of interethnic developments. It’s important to find a balance between supporting the majority and protecting the minorities,” says Titova.
In the end, the goal is to create a comfortable environment for all ethnic groups in the world. It’s important to mitigate risks and regulate conflicts stemming from ethnic issues.
“Of course, ethnic groups are different, and their access to goods and development peculiarities are different. But societies and governments must provide equal opportunities for living, prevent discrimination, and stimulate cultural and linguistic development,” concludes Titova.
Source text: Alina Iskanderova
Translation: Yury Nurmeev