[lg policy] Development of Azerbaijani humanitarian sphere under Soviet power

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Sat Apr 28 10:31:35 EDT 2018

 Development of Azerbaijani humanitarian sphere under Soviet power
27 Apr in 17:41 By Vestnik Kavkaza
[image: Development of Azerbaijani humanitarian sphere under Soviet power]

*2018 in Azerbaijan was declared the Year of the Azerbaijan Democratic
Republic (ADR), in connection with which international conferences,
exhibitions are held and books are published. The first major event outside
of Azerbaijan dedicated to the centenary of the ADR was held at the History
Faculty of the Moscow State University. It was a scientific and
practical plenary session titled 'Russian Revolution and History of the
Azerbaijan Democratic Republic: a look back a century later', whose
participants discussed, in particular, the influence of the Russian
Revolution on the development of Azerbaijani culture.*

Associate professor of the Department of History of the CIS countries of
the Faculty of History of the Moscow State University Perikhanum Ragimova,
speaking about the activities of the ADR aimed at the revival of the
Azerbaijani statehood, said: "To realize the task, it was necessary to form
a new generation in the spirit of preservation or development of national
identity. Realization of all these tasks required the  educational reform.
All schools on the territory of Azerbaijan were nationalized.
Nationalization included the introduction of the Azerbaijani language in
national schools. Nevertheless, there were Russian schools, Armenian
schools, and German schools on the territory of the ADR. They received the
same attention, they were funded by the Azerbaijani government. But they
had funding and staff problems. In a relatively short period, universities
were opened, the Azerbaijani government adopted a resolution on the opening
of the Pedagogical University, on the opening of the Baku University."

Along with the changes in the sphere of education, there have been changes
in the sphere of culture. "The repertoire of the Azerbaijani theaters has
been changed, which was aimed at reviving the Azerbaijani identity. The
troupes were created in the theaters, which consisted only of Muslims. The
ADR existed until April 1920, but in a short period of its existence it was
not directed towards nationalism, as in addition to the national
Azerbaijani schools there were schools of national minorities in
Azerbaijan, teaching in which was conducted in the Turkic as the language
of instruction," the historian noted.

Meanwhile, according to Ragimova, when the Soviet power was established on
the territory of Azerbaijan, the language policy was changed, Russian as
the language of instruction was introduced in schools.

Later, the development of Azerbaijani culture continued - in the 1940s the
film 'Arshin Mal Alan' was released, and in the 1970s and 1980s there was a
rise of Azerbaijani cinema. Polad Bulbul oglu  and Muslim Magomayev became
widely known. "Magomayev made a great contribution to the development of
the musical art of both Soviet Azerbaijan and post-Soviet Azerbaijan.
Therefore, he was extremely popular. His first performance in Moscow was in
1963. He treated his country with piety," Ragimova said.

Soviet power, despite the excesses in the sphere of national policy,
leveling of linguistic and national borders, had provided valuable
inputs to Azerbaijan's humanitarian sphere. "A lot of attention was paid to
science as well. In 1934, a branch of the Academy of Sciences was opened in
Azerbaijan. Literacy was raised, universities were built, theaters were
opened," the historian said.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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