19 March 2010, Friday, 11:44

“MER KANASH” discusses the experience of Mari national-cultural autonomy in Bashkortostan

author: Marina Shumilova

The field widened meeting of the all-Mari Russian Council “MER KANASH” is held in Izhevsk these days. The meeting is dated to the 20th anniversary of the public organization “The Union of Udmurtia Mari” and the main aim of the plenum is accumulation of the experience of the Mari public organization on preservation of Mari national language and culture in Russian regions.

The meeting’s agenda includes such questions as “The national state of health of one of the aboriginal nations in Udmurtia-Mari”, “The role of the state in harmonization of international relations: the Mari factor in Udmurtia”, “Mari language at schools and in the streets” etc. The experience of the national-cultural Mari autonomy “ERVEL MARI” of Bashkortostan as a new form in realization of the national and cultural needs is also widely discussed at this national forum.

According to the population census-2002 about 106 thousand Mari live in Bashkortostan and their settlements are the most numerous in Mishkinsky, Kaltasinsky, Birsky, Sharansky, Baltachevsky and Nurimanovsky regions. There are more than 240 Mari villages in our Republic. Mari language as the native language is studied at 200 Republican schools and by this index Bashkortostan exceeds even Republic of Mari-Al, where this language is studied at 163 schools. At that more than 80% of the teachers of Mari language and literature have higher education. More than 50 Mari artistic collectives work in the Republic. Bashkortostan’s Mari people have their own Republican newspaper “CHOLMAN”. The friendship and cooperation agreement between Bashkortostan and Mari-Al, signed in 1998, contributes to successful development of the bilateral relations between our republics. The Mari historical-cultural center in the village Mishkino was established in June 2004 in accordance with the decree of the President RB. Many Mari villages in Mishkinsky region RB are more than 300 years old and every village keeps the legend of its birthday in the memory. At present time the village Mishkino is considered the capital of Bashkir Mari.