We in the West have witnessed first hand the destructive power of “multiculturalism,” which undermines our understanding and knowledge of who we are and where are we going. Before you start screaming, I’m not talking about multi-ethnicity. There is a huge difference.
I am talking about a unique culture that belongs to a country, based on its past, its traditions and the things that make it great. This is what millions of Americans, not illegal immigrants, yearn for — a return to the culture that made America the most powerful nation in human history.
Many countries are grappling with similar cultural challenges. Take Kazakhstan, a young country in the heart of Eurasia. It’s only 26 years old. Secular, mostly Turkic and Sunni Muslim, it has a large Russian, Ukrainian, Korean, and other minorities living there in peace and increasing prosperity.
Vast parts of Kazakhstan’s nomadic culture and Turkic identity were destroyed during Soviet times, as even the language was “Russianized” with the Cyrillic alphabet becoming mandatory. One-third of its people was starved to death by communists in forced collectivization.
Today, President Nursultan Nazarbayev has instituted a cultural, or spiritual, awakening of Kazakhstan, returning the nation to its roots in order to help it succeed in the modern world of the future. It is a unique program that offers an alternative to the Western-style multiculturalism of “anything goes.”
Rukhani Zhangyru (Spiritual Revival) means to bring the nation back to its soul. In addition to political and economic reform, Kazakhstan recognizes the need for self-nation-building — within its own borders. This is the gist of the Spiritual Renewal program. This goes well with the notion of national “resilience,” which is currently broadly discussed in Europe. A country and a society are not just the military and the economic components, but much more: cohesiveness, culture, customs, education, etc.
In essence, it is a reaction to the globalism foisted upon the world over the last few decades. Forcing other cultures on a people does not make them stronger. Quite the opposite, it destroys their ability to work as a team, to achieve a common goal, or even to achieve success.
In America, this means respect for the flag, knowledge of our history, pride in our achievements, and education on the values that have made America great.
For Kazakhstan, Gani Nygymetov, director of the Institute of Eurasian Integration, recently declared in a speech which was posted on the prime minister’s website, “… that today Kazakhstanis are witnessing the birth of a new stage in the history of Kazakhstan. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that the modernization process announced by the President is implemented simultaneously in three directions: modernization of the economy, constitutional reform, laying the foundations for large-scale political modernization, and modernization of public consciousness.”
A very important aspect of this agenda is the return of the Kazakh language to the Latin alphabet, which was used in the 1920s and 1930s, until Stalin banned it and forcibly transferred it to Cyrillic. The Latin alphabet will allow more compatibility with other Latin-writing Turkic languages: Uzbek, Azeri, and Turkish, and will ease the learning of English. Seventy percent of the world is using the Latin alphabet.
Another vital component of the spiritual renewal now incorporated into Kazkah schools is trilingual education (Kazakh, Russian and English) that pupils will start from first grade. The program will also make most significant global textbooks in the humanities available in their native language.
It also includes the recognition of history – expanding archeological sites, literature and folklore – that connects the past with the future.
In addition, the government has started the project “100 new faces of Kazakhstan,” which will highlight living stories of Kazakhstanis from different parts of the country, of different ages and backgrounds, which will serve as a model for the people. These hundred and more new faces will become the personification and portrait of modern Kazakhstan.
“All these projects are important and have a deep meaning, since modernization is a complex process. In turn, Ruhani Zhangyr” is a platform, which is to become the basis for a qualitative transformation of the whole country,” said Mr. Nygymetov.
As President Nazarbayev sees the end of his time leading the people of the country he founded, he is striving to leave the nation on a path to success for his successors to move the country forward into the 21st century. Ruhani Zhangyru – Spiritual Revival – is part of his attempt to do so.
Originally posted at The Washington Times