An Ossetian in North Caucasus in the 18th-century dress, Ramonov Vano (19th century). The Tsagaraev and Gabis towers. The village of Tsymyti, town of Khalgon, Kurtatinsky gorge, North Ossetia. Collage by the "Caucasian Knot". Photo: Ahsartag, public domain

19 April 2021, 23:52

Law on Ossetian surnames becomes part of campaign to protect native languages

North Ossetia has adopted the law, allowing children to be given surnames based on Ossetian cultural traditions. The law meets the needs of local residents and contributes to the preservation of their language and national identity, scientists note.

According to MP Elbrus Bokoev, who initiated the bill, the idea emerged after appeals from residents of the republic. The MP noted that every year, in North Ossetia, 20-50 people changed the endings of their surnames to sound more Ossetian.

The law “should have been adopted long ago,” says Tamerlan Kambolov, the head of the UNESCO Department at the North-Ossetian State Pedagogical Institute. “The very fact that new generations will be able to bear Ossetian surnames will strengthen their national identity and encourage them to know their native language and culture better,” the expert emphasized.

The urgency of the problem of preserving native languages, including in North Ossetia, has become aggravated after on July 24, 2018, the Russian State Duma had adopted amendments to the Law “On education” providing for the study of the state languages of the republics of Russia “on a voluntary basis.” The bill angered residents of national regions, who saw in it a threat to the existence of the languages and cultures of their peoples.

In 2018, in North Ossetia, the authorities decided to introduce a bilingual (in Russian and Ossetian languages) education system in kindergartens and schools, as it was recognized as successful.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 19, 2021 at 02:13 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tamara Agkatseva Source: CK correspondent

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