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Negotiating Linguistic, Cultural and Social Identities in the Post-Soviet World

Edited By Sarah Smyth and Conny Opitz

In this volume, researchers in the fields of language in society, sociolinguistics, language politics, diaspora and identity studies explore the contacts between languages and cultures in the post-Soviet world. The book presents a range of perspectives on the effects of migration and of re-drawing of borders among groups and individuals for whom the Russian language has had an instrumental or symbolic prominence. How do recent geopolitical shifts impact on the policies and practices of newly independent states? How have communities and individuals come to redefine their own identities and core values? How does a cultural context in which the power relations between cultural and linguistic groups have been reversed or recalibrated affect the attitudes of each group? How does the potential for transnational identities impact on the interplay between diasporic and homeland communities? How does migration influence linguistic and parenting practices? This collection of fers answers to these and many other questions through case studies from eleven regions in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.

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Part 3 Identities lost and found

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Sari Pöyhönen Language and ethnicity lost and found: multiple identities of Ingrian Finnish teachers in Russia1 1. Introduction 1. Alina:2 Kouluvuosinani en pitänyt omasta suomalaisesta nimestäni. Lähiystävillä oli venäläisiä nimiä ja minulla niin poikkeava. Halusin olla venäläinen, koska siihen aikaan vain venäläisyys oli ollut suosiossa. Sekä isäni että äitini olivat inkeriläisiä, kotona puhuttiin ensiksi vain suomea, myöhemmin vanhemmat sanoivat meille suomeksi ja vastaukseksi saivat kuulla venäjää. Vasta nyt, aikuisena, ymmärrän, että he yrittivät kaiken voimin säilyttää sen, minkä haluttiin pyyhkäistä pois heidän elämästään. [–] Miksi en kes- -kustellut enemmän heidän kanssaan näistä asioista? Nyt, kun he ovat lähteneet pois, tekisi mieli tietää paljon enemmän omista juuristani, mutta on jo myöhäistä. Kaikki, mihin pystyn nyt ja olen pystynyt tähän saakka, on äidinkielen opettaminen. [1. Alina: During my school years I didn’t like my Finnish name. My closest friends had Russian names and mine was so dif ferent. I wanted to be a Russian, because at that time only Russianness was popular. Both my father and mother were Ingrians, and at first we spoke only Finnish at home, later on our parents spoke Finnish to us, and in return they heard Russian. Only now, as an adult, I have come to realize that they [the parents] tried in every way to preserve the precious thing which the system...

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