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Do You Speak Corona? The Karachay-Balkar people in Russia turn back to agriculture amid financial difficulties

"The problems of our people are not different from those of other Russian citizens. We have no special needs, as the national minority has a high percentage of education and a 100% knowledge of the state language" – says Amina Kubanova from „Bars El“, the organization of the Karachay-Balkar people in Russia.

Although, when it comes to the dangers of getting infected, it turns out that the Karachay-Balkar people are more prone to danger. The Karachay-Balkar people are a Turkic people of the Caucasus region, predominantly Muslims. "The situation is greatly aggravated by peculiarities of national traditions and customs. For example, the mandatory offer of condolences and overcrowding during funeral rites and memorials", Amina Kubanova told us.

From a material point of view, the population of Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkarian republics has found itself in a difficult financial situation. Since there is a large percentage of self-employed people among them, many are financially affected. Some members of the community can rely on their savings, while others have to take advantage of the presence of the natural economy in form of gardens and fields with agricultural production.

In these trying times, the role of mutual assistance is great, as well as the provision of free of charge assistance to the needy and old people. According to „Bars El“ , a huge number of volunteers from the Karachay-Balkar people are involved in this process, both young people and the older generations.

Photos: traditional costumes of the Karachay-Balkar people.

During April 2020 FUEN has conducted a survey entitled Do You Speak Corona? on the situation of European minorities during the pandemic. The online questionnaire focused on the availability of information related to COVID-19 in general, healthcare information related to the outbreak, the existence of an emergency hotline operated in minority language and the availability of online education in minority language. The short report on the results is here and you can download the whole report in PDF format by clicking here.

This series of case studies is the continuation of the Do You Speak Corona? project.

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