Cultural identity and the people of the North Caucasus
Pressley, Brandon Alan
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During Soviet Russia, there was an active policy of forced assimilation of minorities into one cultural identity: Russian. This loss of cultural identity came in many forms of resettlement, deportation, discriminatory language policies and economic practices. All of these policies and actions led to large groups of people from the North Caucasus giving up their unique cultural identity and adopting the Russian cultural identity. Many of the policies and actions of the Soviet Union reflected the actions of the United States during the forced assimilation process of the Native Americans. Throughout this process of losing their cultural identity, the people of the North Caucasus could have maintained their unique cultural identity at home or in the local school system, but chose not to for various reasons. This choice to shed their own cultural identity and adopt the Russian identity has had detrimental effect s on the region and some cultures are on the brink of extinction. Not all the people of the North Caucasus willingly assimilated and accepted the Russian way of life; the Chechens have fought the Russians since their first excursion into the North Caucasus and continue to fight to this day for independence and freedom.