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Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 2.4
Beyond territoriality: cyberethnicity of Ural-Volga’s Turks
Today's manifestation and self-presentation of traditional cultures are increasingly finding place on the Internet forums, social networks and ethnically oriented sites. In global terms the growing role of virtual life is rapidly updating this type of communication, giving the opportunity to express opinions (sometimes anonymous) on various debatable aspects including some issues of ethnicity with more freedom than in ordinary life. Today's virtual disputes about somebody’s ""myself"" have become more informative and saturated than in real life. Among the peoples of Russia Tatars were the first who began to use the Internet for promoting their ethnic identity. The Tatar Internet appeared in 1994 with the opening of the ""Kazan Internet"" server. Nowadays, numerous Tatar Internet communities are oriented to various forms of communication and ethno-cultural needs, including the popularization of the language, the religious traditions of Islam, special identity, communication and acquaintances. In turn, for the Kryashens living in the neighborhood with the Tatars, the Internet is an opportunity to demonstrate the uniqueness and independence of their own ethnic group. Southern Ural Nagaibaks represent their ethnicity in both real and cyberspaces. The cases demonstrate that the intensive cyber-activity is characteristic for the people who left their native regions and are trying to compensate for their real-life remoteness from them with the virtual activity. These people, estranged from their native communities, sometimes even play the role of the apparent ethnicity leaders, acting however not in the “distant emigration”, but in the momentarily and in a neighborly way accessible Web-environment.