Скачать pdf
Key words
chastushka, Russian folklore of the Karelians, national identity, lexical borrowings, Tver Region
About the Author
E-mail: Tel.: +7 (495) 690-50-30
DSc in Philology, Leading Researcher, A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Tel.: +7 (495) 951-31-48 33-1,
Sadovnicheskaya str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation
DSc in Philology, Professor, Department of General and Slavonic Art, Institute of Slavonic Culture, А. N. Kosygin Russian State University
Date of publication

The Tver region has been a place of the Karelians’ habitation since XVII century. Therefore, the problem of national contacts between the Russians and the Karelians is topical for this territory. Usually these contacts are described as devoid of any conflict, and the cultural exchange as intensive and fruitful, but in reality there has always been some xenophobia on the part of the Russians, which had been growing all through the XX century’s industrialization period, when the Karelians began moving to urban areas. In chastushkas we see the reflection of “mild” xenophobia, of irony directed at the alien culture. Throughout the XX century the level of Karelian national identity had been decreasing. The Karelians do not conceal their nationality, but they do not manifest it openly, as well, and even the population of the Likhoslavl district define themselves as “Karelian-speaking” and not as the Karelians. As the result of the Karelians’ cultural assimilation a large volume of Karelian folk material in the Russian language was recorded — the Russian folklore of the Tver Region Karelians. In this situation, the texts bearing the indices of national identity are of special importance. When a Karelian folk singer says, “These are our Russian vistas”, she means not national, but administrative and civil identity. We can define three types of Karelian-Russian cultural interference. The first type is the thematic one:  in chastushcas the image of a Karelian is either compared to that of a Russian, or is described as a thing in itself, while there still exists some implied outside point of view. Another type of cultural interference is connected with the language: the Russian chastushkas bear Karelian inclusions, while the Karelian ones have inclusions in the Russian language. The third type of the cultural interference deals with the background, and embraces either Karelian translations of the Russian folk songs, or creation of original Karelian songs similar to their Russian analogues with the same plot (“There flies a bird” / “Oh, my green, green orchard” and “In the field there grows a birchtree” / “In the field there was a birch-tree”). The article gives a detailed analysis of the first two types of Karelian-Russian cultural interference.


Vinokurova I. Ju. (2006) Zhivotnyye v traditsionnom mirovozzrenii vepsov (opyt rekonstruktsii) [Animals in the traditional Vepsian worldview (reconstruction experience)]. Petrozavodsk. In Russian.

Vinokurova I. Ju. (2007) Zhivotnyye v   traditsionnom mirovozzrenii vepsov (Opyt rekonstruktsii): Avtoref. dokt. ist. nauk [Animals in the traditional Vepsian worldview (reconstruction experience): Abstract doct. of historical sciences]. St. Peterburg. In Russian.

Makhotina I. Ju. (2010) Frazeologiya i malyye zhanry fol’klora russkikh tsygan [Phraseology and small genres of folklore of Russian gypsies]. In: Fol’klor v sovremennoy kul’ture: Materialy nauchno-prakticheskoy konferentsii [Folklore in modern culture: Materials of a scientific and practical conference]. Ed. by S. A. Sitnikov. Tver’. Pp. 126–129. In Russian.

Mironova V. P. (2014) Elementy zaimstvova- niya russkoy liriki v karel’skoy traditsii: k postanovke voprosa [Elements of the borrowing of Russian lyrics in the Karelian tradition: to the question]. In: Slavyanskaya traditsionnaya kul’tura i sovremennyy mir. Vyp. 17: Fol’klornyye traditsii v polikul’turnykh zonakh Rossii: Sbornik nauch. statey [Slavic traditional culture and the modern world. Vol. 17: Folk traditions in the multicultural zones of Russia: Collection of scientific articles]. Ed. by V. E. Dobrovol’skaya and other. Moscow. Pp. 328–341. In Russian.

Mikhaylova N. E. (2014) Otrazheniye vzaimodeystviya karel’skogo i russkogo naseleniya v kul’turnoy traditsii Ves’yegonskogo rayona Tverskoy oblasti [Reflection of the interaction of the Karelian and Russian population in the cultural tradition of Vesyegonsky district of the Tver region]. In: Slavyanskaya traditsionnaya kul’tura i sovremennyy mir. Vyp. 16: Mul’tifol’klornoye prostranstvo Povolzh’ya: Sbornik nauchnyy statey [Slavic traditional culture and the modern world. Vol. 17: Multifolk space of the Volga region: Collection of scientific articles]. Ed. by V. E. Dobrovol’skaja and other. Moscow. Pp. 207–216. In Russian.

Slovar’ karel’skogo yazyka^ (Tverskiye govory) [Dictionary of the Karelian language (Tver dialects)] (1994) / Comp. A. V. Punzhina. Petrozavodsk. In Russian.

Tverskaya fol’kloristika: Materialy k bibliografii [Tver Folkloristics: Materials for Bibliography] (2018) / Comp. N. L. Volkova, A. V. Kobyzskaya, I. Ju. Makhotina, L. V. Pazyuk, N. V. Romanova, E. N. Flegontova. In: Tverskoye fol’klornoye pole: Materialy nauchno-prakticheskikh konferentsiy 2013–2015 godov: Sbornik nauch. statey. Vyp. 6. [Tver Folk’s Chlorine Field: Proceedings of the 2013–2015 th Scientific and Practical Conferences: a collection of scientific articles. Vol. 6.] Ed. M. V.  Stroganov.Tver’. Pp. 300–316. In Russian.

For citation

Stroganov M.V. The image of the Karelian in Russian humorous folk rhymes (chastushkas) of the Karelians to the problem of Karelian-Russian cultural interference. Traditional culture. 2019. Vol. 20. No. 5. Pp. 53−64. In Russian.