Ethnocultural Features Of The Perception Of Russian Culture By Kyrgyz Students


The article examines the peculiarities of perception of works of art of Russian literature by Kyrgyz students. The objectives of this study are to study and assess the peculiarities of perception of the realities of Russian culture reflected in the texts of works of art by Kyrgyz students, as well as to identify possible problems in the interpretation and understanding of the ideological and thematic sphere of the foreign cultural text. With the help of observation methods, recording the data obtained, as well as an explanatory and illustrative method, the authors investigate the causes of difficulties in understanding the realities of Russian culture by Kyrgyz students in the process of studying Russian literature at school. Special attention is paid to the concepts of “linguistic picture of the world” and “mentality of the people” as fundamental in the assessment of ethnocultural and ethno-linguistic factors of personality formation. The article raises the question of how schoolchildren (representatives of the Kyrgyz culture) perceive and assimilate literary text created in the field of Russian literature. On the basis of literary texts, the article presents a comparative analysis of the cultural and national ideas of the Kyrgyz and Russian peoples. In the process of studying works of art, it also presents the analysis of work on phraseological units.

Keywords: Russian culture, linguistic picture of the world, Kyrgyz culture, mentality, artwork, Russian phraseology


The aesthetic perception of a work of art is a complex and multifaceted process that depends on many factors. These include the level of education and culture of a person, his reading experience, the system of moral and ethical values, intellectual and mental capabilities, etc. The work of all these factors ensures the perception and understanding of a work of art by the reader, and it is especially important that the degree of awareness of the read depends on how developed these factors are. A fictional text is a garden of forking paths. Depending on the addressee, its interpretation can lead to the most unexpected results – from the discovery of the palimpsest nature of the text to the comprehension of the “death of the author”, when the reader himself becomes a co-creator of the work and models its key meanings in his own way.

Working with text, especially with the text of fiction, presupposes that a person has certain skills and abilities that allow him to perceive, comprehend and assimilate the content of what he has read. For Kyrgyz students, this work is complicated by the fact that they are dealing with a text of a different culture. It should be emphasized that Russian literature is a specially organized database based on certain laws. Entering the literary text of Russian literature means entering the “world of the Russian word” itself, realizing its value content and the key codes of the linguistic picture of the world – from zoomorphic and phytonymic to anthropocentric and ontological.

The relevance of this work lies in the fact that the study of the problems of perception by Kyrgyz students of the realities of Russian culture on the material of fiction reveals intercultural ties that are formed and consolidated precisely at the moment Kyrgyz students enter Russian culture through works of art. The text becomes a “portal to linguistic culture”. The result of such interlanguage and intercultural ties is the formation of an integrated (and often contaminated) linguistic picture of the world of Kyrgyz students. In addition, knowledge by Kyrgyz students of the characteristics and traditions of Russian society in the modern situation of intercultural integration of Russia and Kyrgyzstan becomes necessary.

Problem Statement

The methodology of teaching the Russian language in connection with the need for the implementation of intercultural relations and building a dialogue between the Kyrgyz and Russian cultures contributes to the enrichment of the conceptual and terminological apparatus of the scientific and methodological direction – ethnocultural studies, the purpose of which, in particular, is “to familiarize Kyrgyz students with the culture of the Russian people mainly through the her figurative language based on the relationship between the cultures of both peoples in contact” (Manlikova, 2014, p. 62). The development of the problematics of ethnocultural studies, important for this study, was carried out by such scientists as Sheiman (1981), Manlikova (2017), and others. Discussing the problems of perception of a work of art by Kyrgyz students, it should be noted that one of the main problems is the problem of perception, acceptance, and awareness of the realities of Russian culture. When the phenomenon of Russian culture does not coincide with the national linguistic picture of the world and the mentality of the Kyrgyz student, then there is a threat of misinterpretation of the idea of a literary text, which can lead to misunderstanding or even rejection of the literary work. This happens due to the specific features of each national culture, the originality of the moral and aesthetic norms that have developed among different peoples, the perception of the works of Russian writers is refracted through the prism of the national culture of students and often generates some displacements that are not provided for either by the artist's intention or by the material of the work itself (Manlikova, 2017).

The study of ethno-linguistic problems of the perception by Kyrgyz students of the realities of Russian culture is directly related to the understanding of the national character and ethnic mentality of the Kyrgyz people. First of all, it should be noted that historically the society of the Kyrgyz people is patriarchal; the older generation is respected and appreciated in it, as well as the traditions and customs of culture are preserved. Thus, the cultural and linguistic transmission in the Kyrgyz society is still very intense.

Academician Koichuev (2007) was involved in the study of the peculiarities of the Kyrgyz mentality. In his work “The Mentality of the Kyrgyz: History and Modernity” (Koichuev, 2007), he notes that the hallmarks of the mentality of this people are a benevolent attitude towards other nations, courage and resilience, lack of rationalism and love of work, professional imbalance (one-sided choice of occupations), a serious attitude to the word and wisdom, communality and respect for communal property, the ability to adapt to new conditions and comprehension of other languages.

Thus, the listed mental features constitute a special view of the people on the surrounding reality, i.e. form his picture of the world, which with the help of language forms a linguistic picture of the world. As Tagaev (2015) notes, “the character of a nation is the result of the influence of language on the formation of the ethno-cultural identity of the people” (p. 73).

An important feature of the linguistic picture of the world, which many researchers point out, is that it is formed on the basis of the native (ethnic) language. All concepts, categories, units existing in the language of the people are represented in the linguistic picture of the human world. Precisely because the source of knowledge about the world is the ethnic language, the linguistic picture of the world cannot go beyond its framework. A person is able to perceive and cognize the world only within the framework of the linguistic picture of the world, which, with the help of verbalization of images-concepts, gives specific names to processes, actions, phenomena of the surrounding world. If the phenomenon is present, but not verbalized in the language, then it is not reflected in the linguistic picture of the world either, i.e. “The linguistic picture of the world is capable of displaying only a part of the “image of the world” (Zalevskaya, 2003, p. 44). A person, entering the space of culture and language, immediately begins to assimilate their concepts and categories, while forming an individual linguistic picture of the world.

Research Questions

The subject of this article is the factors influencing the perception and assessment of the realities of Russian culture by Kyrgyz students (based on works of art). In this regard, the main research question is determined: what problems and cultural and national inconsistencies can arise when Kyrgyz students master the text of Russian literature from the standpoint of the ethnolinguistic and ethnocultural aspects of studying the Russian language and literature?

Purpose of the Study

The main goal of the study is to study the problem of eliminating ethnospecific lacunae that arise when reading the text of classical Russian literature in a foreign cultural (in our case, Kyrgyz) audience, as well as identifying ways and techniques to prevent problems that arise when working with a literary text in a Kyrgyz audience.

Research Methods

Using the method of observation, fixing the data obtained, combinatorial explanatory (explanatory) methods (in particular, hermeneutic commentary, joint recreation of the cultural and historical background, and others), we came to the conclusion that the stated problem can be successfully solved using the explanatory approach.


In the process of studying a work of art, it is fundamental not only to understand and assimilate the information of the text, but also to express the student's personal attitude to what is said in the work. In this regard, precisely because of the discrepancies in the mentality and linguistic picture of the world of the Kyrgyz and Russian peoples, problems may arise with the perception by Kyrgyz students of the realities of Russian culture in a work of art.

When studying the play “The Storm” by A. N. Ostrovsky, the main character – Catherine – does not evoke sympathy from Kyrgyz students. On the contrary, her actions are condemned. The situation is similar with the perception of the image of Aksinya in M. Sholokhov's novel “Quiet Flows The Don”. This is due to the fact that these works show an unconventional interpretation of family relations, which do not coincide with the traditional understanding of Kyrgyz students about the relationship between a man and a woman. In Kyrgyz society, the place of a woman is clearly defined. A woman is a wife, a mother, a keeper of the hearth and home comfort. She must endure any difficulties and hardships, while remaining always faithful and loyal to her husband. A woman has no right of speech and expression of will. The origins of this can be found in the traditional way of life of the Kyrgyz society, when a girl could be married off to a stranger for a big kalym. In addition, polygamy was considered the norm, in which a woman was also limited in her rights. As Eshmuradov (2017) notes, “a woman in Kyrgyz society from birth was subordinate to the head of the family, with marriage passed into the power of her husband, in most cases she was deprived of economic, political and civil rights, the right to her own property, was discriminated against in the issue of inheritance” (para. 7). In modern society, the situation has changed, but cases of stealing girls for the purpose of further marriage are still not uncommon.

Thus, when assessing the images of heroines of the above-mentioned works, there is a discrepancy between the perception of the image of a woman among Kyrgyz students, based on cultural and mental ideas, with the image of a woman, which is presented in the literary text. If for Kyrgyz students the traditional image of a woman is associated with such characteristics as “submissive”, “silent”, “meek”, then in the literary images of Catherine and Aksinya there is courage, passion, a desire to be happy and loved contrary to traditions, rules, and opinion of society. However, in Kyrgyz literature there is an image of a heroine who was able to go against the patriarchal structure of society and protest – Jamilya, the heroine of the story “Jamilya” by Aitmatov C.T.

While studying the aspect of the relationship between a man and a woman, it should be noted that admiration for a woman in the verses of Russian poets is not always justified for Kyrgyz students. In the view of the Kirghiz, a man is related to the image of a horseman, a warrior, a breadwinner, and head of the family, who should be alien to sentimental feelings, especially regarding women and love.

According to our observations, there are frequent cases when Kyrgyz students do not understand the meaning of poetic comparisons of the image of a woman with images-symbols of Russian nature: birch (“… Green hairstyle / girl's breast / O thin birch… ” Yesenin S.); willow (“...Walks in a short skirt / Willow near the river...” (Vostrikov F.); pine (“In the north, the wild stands alone / At the bare top of a pine / And slumbers, swaying, and loose snow / Dressed like a robe , she...” (Lermontov M.Y.) This situation occurs due to the fact that in the concept sphere of the Kyrgyz culture, the images-symbols of the tree are underdeveloped and do not have such an important meaning as in Russian culture. This is due to the origin of the Kyrgyz people and the formation of the national linguistic picture of the world. Historically, the Kyrgyz led a nomadic lifestyle, and their whole life took place in the highlands, where there was a lot of vegetation for grazing. In such natural conditions, a person was not surrounded by trees, and his emotional-sensual and conceptual sphere didn’t include images of trees as national concepts. However, it should be noted that a special place in the Kyrgyz culture is occupied by the image of a poplar, which is a symbol of the Kyrgyz land. From a poetic comparison with the image of a girl, the image of a poplar is used in the story of Aitmatov C.T. “My Poplar in a Red Headscarf”. Poplar in the concept sphere of Turks is a special tree endowed with archetypal content. This is a representation of the World Tree, the axis of the universe, the vertical of which permeates all worlds – from lower to higher. Thus, Aitmatov attributes the image of his heroine with additional semes – a woman is sacred, she establishes a life-death-life cycle.

In the process of studying works of art in the middle classes of the school, special attention is paid to fostering a respectful attitude towards animals and teaching them responsibility for them. So, most of the literary texts of Russian literature about animals tell about the difficult life of a dog among people: “Mumu” by Turgenev I.S., “White Bim Black Ear” by Troepolsky G., “Kashtanka” by Chekhov A.P., “The Lion and the Dog” Tolstoy L.N., “White Poodle” by Kuprin A., etc. However, when studying literary texts on such topics in the Kyrgyz audience, difficulties arise with the perception and understanding of a dog's life, as well as with the expression of sympathy and compassion for the image of a dog. This is due to the cultural and religious ideas of the Kyrgyz about the dog.

The main religion of the Kyrgyz state is Islam. In Islamic tradition, a dog is considered an unclean animal that can harm a person and his family. There is a belief that angels will not enter a house where a dog lives. These ideas about the dog might have formed the Kyrgyz perception of the dog as an animal that is not a friend of a man. Therefore, when reading and analyzing a work of Russian literature, in which the author shows sympathy for the dog, shows the difficulties of its fate among human society, it is difficult for Kyrgyz students to understand the author's intention and express sincere feelings of empathy for the animal.

Methodologists of Kyrgyzstan, who study the ways and methods of working with a literary text when Kyrgyz students master the Russian language, note that misunderstanding or inadequate perception of the text can occur not only at the ideological and thematic level, but also at the conceptual, lexical level. Many researchers believe that special attention should be paid to the ethnocultural vocabulary, which accumulates the peculiarities and traditions of Russian culture, when mastering the foreign culture text. According to the definition by Sheiman (1981), ethnocultural vocabulary is “... a dictionary characterizing the system of knowledge about the specific culture of a certain people as a historical and ethnic community of people ... about elements of the culture of the Russian people new for Kyrgyz students” (p. 35) ... One of the groups of ethnocultural lexicon is phraseology.

Phraseology, being a reflection of the linguistic picture, is important in linguodidactics. Phraseologisms act as a means of verbalizing cultural concepts, which preserve knowledge about the life and traditions of the people, broadcast and transmitted from generation to generation. Phraseologisms are born in language not to name any objects and phenomena that have appeared, but in order to characterize the concept already named by the word through a figurative representation, to characterize it, expressing an attitude towards it, its assessment from the point of view of that the social environment in which this phraseology is used. That is, phraseological units satisfy the need of native speakers for expressiveness (Fedorov, 1973). Phraseologisms, possessing allegory, can often be taken literally by representatives of another culture, because to understand the semantics of phraseological expressions, national and cultural knowledge is needed, which is formed in the process of a person's entire life in a certain socio-cultural environment. That is why, when studying the Russian language and literature, Kyrgyz students need to pay attention to phraseological units that are found in the text, in order to better understand the idea of ​​a work of art and understand the realities of Russian culture. The correct perception by students of the situation, which the phraseological unit assesses, ensures the disclosure of not only the author's attitude to the depicted person, but also forms a holistic idea of ​​the Russian person as a representative of a certain cultural and linguistic environment with its inherent behavioral and ideological characteristics.

When reading Rasputin's story “French Lessons”, students will come across the following lines: I studied well here too. What was left for me? – then I came here <...>, but I did not know how to treat things that were entrusted to me at that time (Rasputin, 1973). In this case, the phraseological unit “carelessly” requires commentary. Kyrgyz students can take this expression literally; for example, imagine that a boy had a long-sleeved shirt. The first step is to semantize the unit. Students need to explain that a phraseological unit means any action that a person does badly, reluctantly, with little effort (Telia & Brileva, 2006). A teacher can, build sentences using this phraseological unit together with students, tell about the history of its occurrence, etc. It is important that, understanding the lexical meaning of a phraseological unit, students are aware of its role in a literary text, and are able to recognize it in the proposed context. Therefore, again referring to the read fragment, it is necessary to draw the attention of the students that the phraseologism “carelessly” in this context does not characterize the hero as a person who does the job poorly, since the sentence ends with the words “... I did not know how then” (Rasputin, 1973) ... Thus, it is necessary to conclude that the hero of the work performed his work with due diligence and diligence, and as an example of a phraseological assessment of such a situation, we can cite the expression “rolling up our sleeves”. Comparing the positive and negative connotations of phraseological units on the example of a literary text, students can more successfully master a new phraseological expression, and, as a result, introduce it into their written and oral speech.


The study has revealed peculiarities in the perception of the realities of Russian culture in some works of art by Russian writers and poets by Kyrgyz students. It can be assumed that the source of these problems is the discrepancy between the national linguistic picture of the world of the representative of the Kyrgyz ethnos and the linguistic picture of the world of the Russian person (in this case, the author). In addition, difficulties in understanding the actions of characters, author's intention and the general idea of ​​the work happen due to the fact that Kyrgyz ethnic group (like any other) has a unique worldview that was shaped by the culture of the people. People's ideas about the world have been developing for centuries and are fixed in their linguistic and conceptual picture of the world, as well as in their mentality. Based on this accumulated knowledge, a person perceives reality, realizes his place in the world, evaluates the actions of people. That is why the study of the literature of a different culture can cause some difficulties, since a work of art may represent a different model of perception of the world, man, society, human relations, etc.

In this situation, the goal of the teaching methodology of literature (as well as the goal of the teacher) is “painless” introduction of Kyrgyz students into the world of Russian fiction. In the process of working on a work of art, it becomes important to take into account ethnocultural, ethnopsychological, linguistic and mental factors that can affect the degree of understanding and comprehension of a literary text and its idea. The teacher needs to create such conditions so the student, when reading Russian literature, does not have an internal conflict between his national and cultural ideas about morality and ethics with those ideas in Russian culture.

Studying a work of art is always a complex process because not only knowledge of the text by students is important, but also understanding of its moral and ethical component. In the conditions of the modern world, the development of morality and ethics of the younger generation is a particularly important task facing teachers.


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Polyakova, E. V., & Kovaleva, A. V. (2021). Ethnocultural Features Of The Perception Of Russian Culture By Kyrgyz Students. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization - ISCKMC 2020, vol 107. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1311-1318). European Publisher.