Művelődés-, Tudomány- és Orvostörténeti Kiadó
Folyóirat: 2020/20
Cím: Kincses Láda politikája Hazafiság és a nemek a baskíriai Iskola-Múzeumokban

Title: Politics of Treasure Chests Patriotism and Gender in School-Museums in Bashkortostan
Szerző(k): Mácsai Boglárka - Pécsi Tudományegyetem Néprajz – Kulturális Antropológia Tanszék
Rovat: Kultúrtörténet neme
Kötet: 2013/7
DOI: 10.17107/KH.2013.7.85-99
hazafias nevelés, identitás, gender, Oroszország
museum, patriotic upbringing, identity, gender, Russia

Tanulmányom témája Baskortosztán – Oroszország köztársasága – egyik északi, udmurt- és tatár lakta járásában található iskolamúzeumok elemzése. A múzeumok kiállításai a faluban élő etnikum néprajzát, a helyi intézmények (kolhoz, iskola) történetét, az onnan elszármazó híres emberek életét valamint az oroszországi történelem szerves részét képező 20. századi háborúk helyi emlékezetét mutatják be. Az elemzés során az iskola-múzeumok kiállításait és az ott folyó krajevegyenyije szakkörök munkáját az oroszországi hazafias nevelés kontextusában tárgyalom. A kiállítások elemzésén keresztül feltárom a helyes állampolgári értékrend különböző formáit, feltérképezem az ahhoz tartozó identitás rétegeit és egymásba-ágyazottságát, valamint rámutatok a múzeumok és ezáltal a hazafias nevelés genderizált aspektusaira is.

A tárgyalt kérdéskör komplexitásnak a kifejezésére használom a lokális diskurzusokból kölcsönzött „Kis Haza” (Malaja Rogyina) fogalmát, amely egyrészt a különböző identitások lokális összességét jelöli, másrészt rész-egész viszonyra utaló kifejezésként önmagában hordozza a Hazához (értsd: Oroszországhoz) való tartozást, ahhoz való hűséget és patriotizmust is egyben.


To be a patriot means to serve the motherland, to work for the country’s benefit, to enhance its glory, and if necessary to sacrifice one’s personal wealth, prosperity, and, under extreme conditions (in a time of war) one’s life. This is a truth that is eternal. Now, in the first years of the twenty-first century, bringing up the kind of person who is a citizen and a patriot is the priority task of the system of education. Today, patriotism is identified with qualities of personality such as one’s love for one’s motherland as well as one’s home region, one’s readiness to fulfill one’s constitutional duty, and one’s sense of social tolerance, including national and religious tolerance. Present-day pedagogical science looks at patriotic upbringing as a component of the complex and comprehensive process of the shaping of the personality. (Ovchinnikova – Ul’yanovna 2010: 72-73)

The citation is from an article discussing results and shortages of the patriotic upbringing in the contemporary Russian countryside. This educational activity is framed in the federal program called Patriotic Upbringing of the Citizens of the Russian Federation, which has had three five-year programs in 2001-2005, 2006-2010 and 2011-2015. According to Ovchinnikova and Ul’yanovna (ibid: 73) patriotic upbringing of younger generations had a crisis during the 1990s, therefore the program has aimed at improving it by means of shaping historical consciousness and patriotism. The program provides an accurate interpretation of patriotism, in which patriotism is considered to be an all-encompassing value including “the inculcation of civic mindedness, love of labor, respect for human rights and freedoms, and love for the natural environment, the motherland, and the family.” (Ibid: 72-73)

The program is manifested in school-museums and kraevedenie-classes in rural schools. In the Russian Federation there are approximately six thousand school-museums, among them approximately six hundred sixty museums can be found in Bashkortostan (see picture 1.). These are registered museums possessing official certifications given by the republic or the state, but besides them there are as many “unofficial” school-museums as certificated ones.[1] Although the foundation of them is initiated and organized by local actors willingly, but since museums play very important role in the patriotic upbringing and their reputation bears significant prestige among teachers, more and more museums are established. In Tatyshly district,[2] where I carried out a three-month fieldwork in 2012, there are fifteen registered museums, which were founded from the 1970’s. I visited and studied eight of them – three Tatar and four Udmurt museums as well as the museum of the district-center –, which my analysis is based on. All of these museums are characterized by symbols of bright candle, a treasure chest or a warm corner of a house, the light of which shows proper ways for students and therefore they are worth cherishing. As can be read in an article of the local media: “The museum is a treasure chest for children, teachers and the whole society of school, it teaches the history of your people and your country and it is a luminous light for the people of the village.”[3]


1. Bashkortostan in the Russian Federation

Because the educational activity going on in school-museums is integral part of the patriotic upbringing, they reveal all criteria of patriotism in the Russian Federation. In this paper I am going to discuss these aspects through the analysis of exhibitions and provide an overview of general and gendered traits of the imagined proper citizen. On the other hand, I am going to interpret museums as complex symbols of identity, where national, ethnic and local identity are also reflected. The umbrella-term of these identities is the so-called Little Motherland, on history of which the exhibitions focus as local history and which expresses the belonging to the Great Motherland, too.

Treasure-Chests of Schools

One of the leaders of school-museums wrote in her report: “Museum is a place devoted to Muses, an institution of tangible and intangible culture and collection of natural history; it is a completion, guardian, study, exhibition and popularization of them.”[4] According to this approach, the museum is supposed to possess everything related to culture and the nature of locality. Five elemental parts can be differentiated, which appears almost in all museums. There is no official regulation regarding the content of exhibitions, however, Soviet politics of education in the past and present-day republican contests announced for museums have shaped their outlook in a large extent.

One of these main fields, the so-called “Peasant lifestyle” or “Peasant house” is manifested in a typified version of a furnished house-interior from the 19th century, but it is completed with folk costumes and traditional agricultural instruments as well. The next topic devoted to school tells the history of the institution and its building, it has lists of teachers and graduated students and it often includes an account of the local organizations of the pioneer movement. The history of kolkhoz focuses on the leaders and the achievements of brigades and different sections of labor. The next part, the memory of war heroes commemorates soldiers who participated and died in the Great Patriotic and Soviet- Afghan War. Finally, the last sections display biographies and personal things of famous writers, singers or painters born in that village. This structural ideal seems to be a general conception, compared to which each museum is created in accordance with their possibilities regarding space and the wealth of collections.

As for materials, especially ethnographical and military artifacts, they are collected mainly by students and teachers from old people living in the villages. Photographs of students, soldiers and kolkhoz-workers are provided by schools, centers of rural settlements and kolkhozes. Essays of students written on certain subjects (e.g.: family-tree research) are also displayed in school-museums, which emphasize student-work and the educational role of these institutions. Inscriptions and texts explaining the historical background of exhibitions are written by teachers and leaders of museums. These texts and inscriptions are written in Russian and sometimes they are completed with Bashkir translations as well. In the ethnically specified exhibitions, for instance in Udmurt and Tatar interiors, artifacts have Udmurt or Tatar title and we can see some original letters sent from the frontline written in Udmurt or Tatar in the exhibitions of Military Glory.

2. Udmurt Peasant House - Novye Tatyshly

The ethnographic part is contextualized in the combination of the legacy of the 19th century form of ethnic cultures and the framework of peasant lifestyle of prerevolutionary times. This combination constitutes the very essence of these exhibitions, because while they are supposed to display ethnic characteristics and features, they are all bound in the theme of peasantry. Although ethnic exhibitions are formed by ethnic groups being the majority in the given village, their collection is filled with similar objects and framed in the same way. Mainly traditional costumes and old agricultural tools are exhibited, which represent their ethnic characteristics as well, but these objects are put into a common denominator by using the notion of peasant lifestyle as a socio-historical background. During the Soviet times these exhibitions could be parts of the museums due to the internationalist ideology propagating the friendship of peoples and supporting ethnic folklore. Nowadays contemporary politics emphasizing multiethnicity as a value provide opportunities to cherish ethnic culture and represent it in many fields, for instance in school-museums.

In the next three exhibitions – history of school, memory of wars and history of kolkhoz – differences based on ethnic culture are less emphasized. Although there are a few war-letters written in native languages indicating the ethnic belonging of writers, these exhibitions aim at representing local identity based on territorial belonging, which representation is embedded deeply in the broader context of the discussion of the national history. All exhibitions are framed in the historical background of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation and focuses on these larger and smaller (local) processes. That is to say, the historical periodization is framed in the official Russian concept of history and local histories are sequenced in accordance with that. There are two basic turning points: the Great October Revolution (1917) and Great Patriotic War (1941-1945). The Great October Revolution divides the 20th century into two main periods: the prerevolutionary (dorevolyutsionnyi) and the Soviet (soviet) period. The latter is structured by the Great Patriotic War, thus, it has pre-war and post-war times.

3. Attributes of Pioneers - Nizhnie Baltachevo

The prerevolutionary period of the history of school is the time of the zemstvo-schools and the so-called medreses, the Muslim religious schools, both of which worked until the 1920s. In the 1930s the Soviet unification facilitated the foundation of schools throughout the union for all children regardless of their social-hierarchical, ethnic or religious belonging. The Soviet period is characterized in same way in all museums: texts discuss reforms of directors, the reconstructions of school-buildings, and the history of pioneer-organizations, which are illustrated with lists of graduated students, group-photos, Lenin-quotations and school-uniforms. Hard war-years of schools are represented in biographies and photos of teachers and students who went to the frontline, fought and died or came back with glorious victory. Most of the texts discuss the local aspects of following decades until the dissolution of the Soviet Union and add some information about the 1990s.

The exhibition of school gives place to the symbolic attributes of pioneer organizations like ties, flags or drums, pioneer uniforms and merits of the foremost pioneers. The ars poetica and the message of this movement are emphasized by such famous Leninian quotations like “Be prepared!”, “Always prepared!” or “Our task is to study”. Lenin, as the father of the pioneer movement, is often depicted in paintings or life-size (or even bigger) busts. His philosophy and ideology presented in the exhibitions support the contemporary pioneer movements and emphasize the importance of the labor of love.

The third section of school-museums is also drenched in certain ideologies. First and foremost heroic soldiers stand in the focus of the memory of wars and their deed and performed duties are interpreted in greater ideas.

The main mission of the Great Patriotic War was the defense of the Motherland. The famous Soviet propaganda poster “Motherland is calling!” can be found in almost all school-museums and the mention of Her in inscriptions and various kinds of texts is also very frequent. The participation in the war is interpreted as patriotic duty; therefore soldiers and veterans fought in the Great Patriotic War are named patriots in texts and everyday-life as well. Their biographies always culminate in their heroic and patriotic deed: participation in the war and dying for their Motherland.

The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan has a different ideological background. In this case soldiers are considered to be internationalists, who fought for the great idea of friendship of peoples in order to maintain the achievements of socialism and ensure the possibility to carry out its future goals in a fraternal socialist state. In neighboring districts there are some schools named after internationalists who were students of the schools and died in Afghanistan. These exhibitions especially emphasize the importance of internationalism, for which these students died. The essence of internationalism – peaceful cohabitation and cooperation of a number of ethnic groups – can be converted easily into the contemporary idea of multiethnicity considered to be one of the main values in the Russian Federation, which strengthens the place of all ethnic groups.

4. Memory of War Heroes - Verkhnie Tatyshly 

The memory of wars has to be passed on to younger generations continuously; therefore it is an integral part of the education and patriotic upbringing. It conveys not only its memory, but related ideas and values such as heroism, patriotism, internationalism, loyalty and the devotion to the Motherland. The aim of these exhibitions is completed with classes held by veterans and the annual march on the school-yard on the occasion of Victory Day on 9th of May. Through these lessons students learn not only about the Soviet past, but also about how to be a good citizen and patriot of their Motherland as well.

The kolkhoz-exhibitions also include value system. The economic indicators are supposed to present the constant growth of production and their curves are going up even if the production of the kolkhoz stagnated in consecutive years (see picture 5.). The progressive development is indispensable, which is ensured by the hard-working people. Accordingly, the biographies of merited workers emphasize the importance of the labor of love and diligence, which is honored and rewarded by the society.

5. Economic Indicators - Aksaitovo

As it can be seen, the three sections of the Soviet past encompass almost the whole 20. century till the 90’s. However, there is no outlook on the Soviet collapse at all, which collapse reshaped the agricultural and educational spheres. These exhibitions overarch the breakdown of the Soviet system and bind the two historical periods with its continuity. In this sense, the memory of wars plays an especial role, but I am going back to this question in the next chapter.

The memory of famous artists can be found in the last part of the museums. These people raise the fame of the village, the district and the ethnic groups as well. Their ethnic identity has got significance especially in the case of writers and singers, who use their own native-language in their art, thus, they contribute to its cherishing. Their local belonging is also relevant since museums and schools are named after them, thus they are considered to be an emblem of villages. Ethnicity and locality are intertwined in their memory, which reveal a new layer of identities: the ethno-local identity.

6. Angam Atnabaev, Bashkir Poet - Staryi Kurdym 

These layers of identity and their shaping as well as certain values and their transmission are combined in the so-called kraevedenie-classes, which focuses on the knowledge of rodnoi krai or Malaya Rodina. Kraevedenie is a field of study, which includes the research and the preservation of the local history and its transmission to younger generations. It is not reduced to the history of villages, but it implies the local knowledge of all spheres of life like geography, biology, archeology, ethno-history, history of the local economy, etc. This colorful content of kraevedenie has been shaped for centuries from the Russian Empire till nowadays and its history is intertwined constantly with educational aspects as well.

The word kraevedenie derives from the stem krai. It is difficult to give an accurate translation of krai, because it implies many synonyms of the meaning. First of all, it refers to geographical and relatively small (or smaller) territory like region, land, area with natural borders. Secondly, it can be meant the border itself or the edge of a given region, to which the name of Ukraina deriving from the expression of ‘u krayu’, at the borders, refers. Finally, ‘krai’ indicates administrative territories as well – from the end of XVIII. century up to the beginning of XX. century krai was an official or semi-official administrative unity including gubernias (provinces) like Kavkazskii or Turkestanskii Krai, while in the contemporary Russian Federation it denotes smaller administrative subjects like Altai Krai, Perm Krai or Kamchatka Krai.

Rodnoi krai is a more specific term – it is used for native land, where somebody was born, however, it does not include obvious borders of the territory. When I asked local people about the meaning of krai and rodnoi krai, they often mentioned their villages, their districts or Bashkiria itself. Seeing my incomprehension, one of them summed it with the expression of Malaya Rodina, Little Motherland. This comment and the multivocal meaning of these words highlight a very important aspect of them: the inclusion of a small part into the larger and larger whole growing gradually. As Little Motherland is embedded in the larger Motherland, the local contents of kraevedenie cannot be acquired without the knowledge of broader contexts, because each and every local history is embedded in a larger background. As one of the articles in local media says: “it is difficult to understand the life without the skill of connecting the little and great Motherland.”[5]

As it was pointed above, this is the basic concept of school-museums as well: local histories are embedded in the larger historical context. Thus, museums and kraevedenie cooperate and fusion together as educational tools in the patriotic upbringing and facilitate the love of little or great Motherland. Leaders of museums often emphasize this aspect in their reports:

[The museum] plays a crucial role in the education and helps to nurture students for love of their own krai, elder generations and the little and great Motherland as well. (…) School museum is a center of civic and patriotic upbringing of students in the school.[6]

Our work is based on the new federal education standards, according to which we have to teach about the village, people, Motherland and respect of family. Every child must be aware of that somebody can become a good person only if he appreciates his Motherland and knows the world around him.[7]

Little Motherland is the focal point of every people’s life. From his first days, the child soaks up the charm of his own home region with lullabies. (…)

Rodnik[spring] and Rodina [Motherland] have common stem. The little spring flows into great rivers and the knowledge of the history of our own Little Motherland serves the fundament of every people’s life.[8]

The school-museum provides the opportunity for students to consider history not as an abstract concept, but as a concrete fact. Nowadays the museum has a diverse palette, which facilitates the shaping of students’ historical consciousness and the development of creative work of research and arts. (…)

The proverb says that: “People, who do not know their past, do not have future.” We can say with firm conviction that we know the past of our grandmothers and grandfathers. And we cherish the memory of them.[9]

These thoughts can be found in the introductions of methodological brochures and handbooks published by republican institutions, which probably affect the teachers’ opinion about the importance of their own work to a large extent:

School-museums have prominent place in the system of education and additional trainings. They play crucial role in the formation of national consciousness of students, their patriotism and self-determination. The introduction to intangible and tangible culture of krai, its national traditions and origin constitutes the core of school-museums.[10]

School-museums reveal effectively their educational and creative potency not only within the school but in the village, town, district; and they become systemically important centers of educational work in these territories. This activity, which is carried out on the basis of school museums, allows the younger generation to understand important values ​​in life, such as memory and duty, morality and spirituality, the desire to be useful for their community, and therefore – to be worthy citizens of their Motherland.[11]

The brochures often emphasize that patriotism and national consciousness are all-encompassing values, which include additional values – as the last quoted text says – “such as memory and duty, morality and spirituality, the desire to be useful for their community”. Thus, through the attainment of historical knowledge students acquire moral attitudes and behaviors as well, which are the fundament of the ideal and proper citizen as the very first quotation of this paper also states. That is how school-museums become the centers of civic and patriotic upbringing.

Gendered Patriotic Patterns in the Museums

Patriotic attitude has gendered aspects, which can be observed in the memory of war heroes. Men usually are depicted as strong and brave soldiers with guns and weapons, who defend their Motherland. The word muzhestvo, which is often used in inscriptions and in the biographies of heroes, has two meanings: manhood and courage, thus the word itself already masculinizes the notion of courage.

7. Memory of War Heroes - Novye Tatyshly 

Women mostly appear in the images of workers of home front:

In the agricultural production an immense burden of work was lying on the women’s shoulders. They replaced their husbands, fathers and brothers. Women sit on tractors, combines and they worked with plow as well. (Staryi Kurdym)

Visitors can read biographies of those women, who worked during the war, lost their husband and nurture their children alone in post-war times. Many of these women were honored by the state and received merit “For Her Heroic Work in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945” or “Heroine Mother”. Their work and patriotism are considered to be crucial as much as men’s heroism:

What an immense burden was lying on the women’s shoulders! Medals for combat and medals for work are made of the same metal. It is impossible to overestimate the merits of the home front – it was a reliable support for the army. In war-time there was a motto: “There is no victorious front without a strong home front.” The real fight was on the labor front with its own victories and losses. (Novye Tatyshly)

According to these exhibitions, patriotism was manifested in different gender roles during the war. Nevertheless, there are some exceptional museums, where memory of woman-soldiers can be found as well. For instance, one of the school-museums of the neighboring district has placard of Zoya Kosmodem’yanskaya, the famous Heroine of the Soviet Union. The exceptional memory of her reveals the gendered aspect of patriotism, which were deeply affected by politics after the war.

The memory of Great Patriotic War has become a cornerstone of the patriotic upbringing and the nation-building as well. After the political transition in postsocialist states the reconsideration of socialist past played a crucial role in historical politics. The most unique peculiarity of Russian changes was the intention to create continuity between the Soviet and Russian past. While most of the postsocialist countries intended to distance themselves from their socialist past, create a tabula rasa for the new democratic states and bridge the gap caused by socialist regimes in civic development, the Russian Federation aimed at embedding the Soviet past into the wider historical context. This was essential, because the exclusion of the glorious peak of Soviet history, the great Victory in the World War II was unimaginable. (Gudkov 2005) First of all, the memory of the Great Patriotic War creates continuity not only between the Soviet and Russian past, but obscures ethnic and religious differences as well, because it delineates the boundaries of the community of Soviet/Russian peoples in opposition to the enemy. As Elizabeth E. Wood (2011: 175) explains “the suffering of the war can have an effect on each individual person, drawing them into a collective sense of belonging and redemption. (…) The nation is sacred in its suffering and rebirth, in its role as savior of Europe from the evils of the barbarian Nazis.” That is to say, the war is interpreted as a moral victory as well. Accordingly, the soldiers who participated in this victory are perceived as heroes by Russian society, but not victims like in other national memories.(Zhurzhenko 2012) The legacy of the memory of war heroes provides the concept of Russian patriotism: the proper citizen is loyal to the Motherland and willing to defend it and die for it – that is the way one can be included in the nation.

After the victory of the Great Patriotic War the most important pillars of the nation-building have been the memory of the war and the concept of Soviet/Russian motherland, which was personified as Motherland-Mother (Rodina-Mat’) during the war. The word rodina derives from the word rod, which means ʼclanʼ or ʼkinshipʼ, accordingly, rodina implies social and genealogical connotations. The gender of the word is feminine, as her visual manifestation, Motherland-Mother also shows. The complementary word of rodina is otechestvo, ʼfatherlandʼ, which has neutral aspect, but because of the stem otets, ʼfatherʼ, it contains connotations to masculinity. Otechestvo indicates one’s third name as well, which is given after one’s father, so as motherland, it also has genealogical aspects. Otechestvo is included in the Russian name of the Great Patriotic War: Velikaya Otechestvennaya Voyna. These expressions engender certain national symbols and project social roles onto categories related to the nation; while Motherland is a female who has to be protected, the war and the defense themselves are articulated in masculine aspects.

8. "Motherland is Calling!" – Urazgildy 

These strongly characterized gender roles appeared in politics as well; however, they changed constantly in accordance with political and social interests. The Marxist-Leninist ideology emphasized the equality of the sexes and stressed not only the liberation of oppressed classes, but also the elevation of women as equal citizens of the Soviet Union. (O’Brien 1982) As the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had stated:

“Women and men have equal rights in the USSR. Exercise of these rights is ensured by according women equal access with men to education and vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration, and promotion, and in social and political and cultural activity, and by special labor and health protective measures for women, by providing conditions enabling mothers to work.” (Constituion of USSR, Article 35. Quoted and translated by O’Brien 1982)

Due to this claim women played a very important role during the Great Patriotic War and Soviet Union was considered to be one of those societies, which employed females in its army. On the one hand, they could participate in the war and fight in the front-lines: approximately one million women were in combat as pilots and snipers and more than eight percent of the Soviet mobilized troops were women. Moreover, forty percent of the medical officers at the front were women. On the other hand women had a crucial part in the background as well; they carried the whole Soviet industry “on their backs”: from 1940 till 1945 approximately fifty percent of workers in Soviet industry were women. (Vajskop 2008)

Although Soviet women had many new opportunities to take part in the social life, the traditional attitudes of gender roles were modified less and the Soviet state urging women to be both productive workers and housewives had put a double burden on their shoulders. It resulted in a very serious depopulation in the Soviet Union, especially after the World War II, which made the image of the declining population-curve more drastic.(O’Brien 1982) Stalin’s intention was to force back women into their traditional space in order to increase the birthrate and he did everything in order to achieve this goal. He ensured financial supports given by the state for pregnant women and indicated the relevance of the issue symbolically as well:

“In July of 1944, the USSR Supreme Soviet issued a decree that state aid would be increased for pregnant women, mothers with many children, and unmarried mothers; that measures for the protection of mothers and children would be strengthened; the title of “Heroine Mother” would be established; and the order of “Motherhood Glory” would be instituted with the Motherhood Medal. Practically every woman was viewed as an actual or potential mother.” (Vajskop 2008: 27)

The image of combative woman was not reconcilable with the reinterpreted traditional role of Soviet women, therefore the memory of female combatants started to fade quickly. In order to hindrance this process, women, who were fighting during the war, attempted to insert themselves into popular memory by authoring war memoirs (Krylova 2011: 10), but the official reception and the memory of the war has remained very masculinized as it can be seen in school-museums as well.

Students are socialized into the patriotism through the memory of Great Patriotic War, so it is one of the basic “educational tool” in the shaping their behavior and way of thinking. The memory of wars – and not only World War II, but also the Soviet-Afghan or the Chechen War – and the strongly characterized gender roles can be appropriate for preparing boys for the army and the militant defense of the Russian Federation in the future. As one of the texts explains, “military duty is the moral principle of the military attitude. It is determined by the society, the state and the army. The real patriotism is manifested not only in words, but also in deeds, especially in the loyalty to the own constitution and military duty.” (Staryi Kurdym)


In my paper I have discussed how school-museums shape the identity of students and transmit a well-articulated patriotic values-system, which delineates the traits of a proper citizen. As for identity, the ethnographic collections represent the ethnic identity of the majority of inhabitants in the village, the Soviet sections connect local and national belonging, since local histories are embedded in the discussion of national history and the memory of famous artists shows the ethno-territorial layer of the identity. As for the value-system, the representation of the Soviet period has especial relevance. The history of school and pioneer-movement propagates the importance of studying, the message of the history of kolkhoz is the labor of love and the relevance of achievements, and the memory of war heroes symbolizes the real patriotic citizens, who is willing to defend his Motherland or fight in the home-front for her Motherland.

The differentiation between female and masculine patriotism in the memory of Great Patriotic War is a telling example of the strong ideological and political activity. It aims at affecting national and local historical perceptions in order to delineate certain gender roles in accordance with political interests. Thus, patriotic upbringing tries not only to create a common national identity for all people living in the Russian Federation, but it endeavors to shape woman and man behavior as well. Nevertheless, there are girls still nowadays, which study in military colleges and serve in the army, but they are in minority compared to men.

As it can be seen, school-museums and kraevedenie play crucial role in the patriotic upbringing in the Russian Federation. Kraevedenie is embedded in larger historical concepts as Little Motherland is also integral part of the Great Motherland. This mutual dependence of different levels is the basic concept of the nation in the Russian Federation: local societies are incorporated constantly into Russia, which unites them in the framework of patriotic citizenship.


GUDKOV, L: The Fetters of Victory. How the War Provides Russia with its Identity. Eurozine, on 28 May 2013

URL:  http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2005-05-03-gudkov-en.html

KRYLOVA, A: Soviet Women in Combat. A History of Violence on the Eastern Front. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011

O’BRIEN, M.L.: Women and the Soviet Military. Air University Review, on 27 November 2012.


OVCHINNIKOVA, N.P. – UL’YANOVNA, N.S.: Problems of the Patriotic Upbringing of Rural School Students.  Russian Education and Society 52, no. 3 (2010): 73-79

WOOD, E.A.: Performing Memory: Vladimir Putin and World War II in Russia. The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review 38, no. 2 (2011): 172-200

VAJSKOP, S.: Elena’s War: Russian Women in Combat. On 27 November 2012

URL: http://www.ashbrook.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2008-Vajskop.pdf

ZHURZHENKO, T.: Heroes into Victims. The Second World War in Post-Soviet Memory Politics. Eurozine, on 28 May 2013

URL: http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2012-10-31-zhurzhenko-en.html

List of illustrations

Photographs used in this paper taken by the author during her fieldworks in 2008 and 2012.

1. Map of the Russian Federation. Source: Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia, article: Bashkortostan; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashkortostan, on 21 May 2013

2. Udmurt Peasant House – school-museum in Novye Tatyshly

3. Attributes of Pioneers – school-museum in Nizhnie Baltachevo

4. Memory of War Heroes – museum in Verkhnie Tatyshly

5. Economic Indicators – school-museums in Aksaitovo

6. Angam Atnabaev, Bashkir Poet – school-museums in Staryi Kurdym

7. Memory of War Heroes – school-museum in Novye Tatyshly

8. "Motherland is Calling!" – school-museum in Urazgildy

Primary sources

Visited museums: Aksaitovo, Bigineevo, Nizhniy Baltachevo, Novye Tatyshly, Starochukorovo, Staryi Kurdym, Urazgildy, Verkhnie Tatyshly


• Nizhniy Baltachevo written by G. M. Samirzyanova

• Novye Tatyshly written by T. N. Shaybakova

Articles from the local media

• Khuziakhmetova, Irina. “Shkolalen zarni shykysez” (Школалэн зарни шыкысэз; Treasure Chest of School) Oshmes, 17-05-2012

• Timirshina, Venera. “Syusytyl pichi, pösez kuzhmo”. (Сюсьтыл пичи - пöсез кужмо; Little Candle, but Its Flame Is Strong) Oshmes, 16-02-2012

Methodological brochures

“Metodicheskie rekomendacii po provedeniyu ekskursiy v shkol’nykh muzeyakh” [Methodological Guideline of Guided Tours in School-Museums] published by National Children Recreational and Educational Center of Tourism, Kraevedenie and Excursion.

“Putevoditel’ po shkol’nym muzejam Respubliki Bashkortostan” [Guidebook of School-Museums of Republic of Bashkortostan] published by Ministry of Education Republic of Bashkortostan – National Children Recreational and Educational Center of Tourism, Kraevedenie and Excursion, Ufa, 2010.

[1]“Guidebook of School-Museums of Republic of Bashkortostan”, (Путеводитель по школьным музеям Республики Башкортостан; Putevoditel’ po shkol’nym muzejam Respubliki Bashkortostan), Ministry of Education Republic of Bashkortostan – National Children Recreational and Educational Center of Tourism, Kraevedenie and Excursion, Ufa 2010: 4.

[2]Tatyshly district is located on the northernmost part of Bashkortostan and it is the smallest one among fifty-four districts of the republic. Its territory is 1376 km², of which more than 54% is agricultural territory, so the living is based on agriculture primarily. There are seventy-eight villages in thirteen rural settlements of the district. The inhabitants are 23,873 and the population-density is 17 people per km². In the center approximately five thousand people dwell and the population of villages is around 300-500. It is difficult to define precisely the ethnic composition, because while according official data 70% of the population is Bashkir and 5,5% is Tatar, the people labeled by the ethnonym ‘Bashkir’ call themselves Tatars or Bashkirs speaking Tatar.  More than 21% of the district population is Udmurt, therefore it is deemed to be “the most Udmurt” district in the republic.

[3]Irina Khuziakhmetova, “Treasure Chest of School”. (Школалэн зарни шыкысэз; Shkolalen zarni shykysez) Oshmes, 17-05-2012

[4]Nizhniy Baltachevo. Report written by G. M Samirzyanova

[5]Venera Timirshina, “Little Candle, But Its Warmth Is Strong” (Сюсьтыл пичи - пöсез кужмо; Syusytyl pichi, pösez kuzhmo) Oshmes, 16-02-2012

[6]Nizhniy Baltachevo, report written by G. M. Samirzyanova

[7]Venera Timirshina, “Little Candle, but Its Flame Is Strong”. (Сюсьтыл пичи - пöсез кужмо; Syusytyl pichi, pösez kuzhmo) Oshmes, 16-02-2012

[8]Novye Tatyshly, report written by T. N. Shaybakova

[9]Nizhniy Baltachevo, report written by G. M. Samirzyanova

[10]“Metodicheskie rekomendacii po provedeniyu ekskursiy v shkol’nykh muzeyakh” [Methodological Guideline of Guided Tours in School-Museums]; published by National Children Recreational and Educational Center of Tourism, Kraevedenie and Excursion.

[11]“Putevoditel’ po shkol’nym muzejam Respubliki Bashkortostan” [Guidebook of School-Museums of Republic of Bashkortostan] published by Ministry of Education Republic of Bashkortostan – National Children Recreational and Educational Center of Tourism, Kraevedenie and Excursion, Ufa 2010: 4.