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Article

Караимы Крыма. Путевые заметки к вопросу об идентичности

Идеи и идеалы. 2019. Т. 11. № вып 2, часть 1. С. 209-232.

The problem of self-identification of small ethnic groups are becoming more threatening because of the importance of globalization processes. All small ethnic groups are now subject of the ethnic identity assimilation destructive processes. Karaites occupy an important place in this, because their language and religion disputes about the origin of the people many years. This uncertainty of self-identification was the cause of our field research. There are some results of the preliminary analysis.

I have carried out a case study of ethnic self-identification of the Crimean Karaites. 15 expert interviews with the Karaites in Feodosia, Simferopol, Evpatoria, and 48 focused interviews with residents of 12 cities and rural areas were conducted. Information from experts and ordinary residents of Crimea proves the ambiguity and uncertainty of a significant identity of the Karaites, as well as poor awareness of non-Karaites inhabitants about Karaites neighbors. Experts which claim about their Karaite origin, deny kinship with the Jews. They see themselves as ethnic Turks on the basis of language, which none of the respondent does not own the required extent. They believe Karaism independent religion. Experts who speak Hebrew and Karaite, in contrast to other, recognize such links. We note the significant socio-political diversification and atomization formal public activity the Karaites throughout in the Crimea. Karaites public NGO-organizations compete for budget funds and for the expected state support. Their social activity is not include the Karaites countryside in any way. Our survey of residents in the streets showed that many of them are not aware of the Karaites as a people, or have no idea of them all. Only those who is a neighbor, or a kinship with Karaites know about them.

Crimean Karaites have by now almost completely assimilated ethnos. although many Karaites are still an ethnically pure. The socio-political, cultural and religious activities of active representatives Karaites people are not conducive to any ethnic consolidation, preservation, and revival of a small ethnos.