NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2018, Book 1

Education and educational research

CHILD REARING IN THE NORTH: THE TRADITIONAL SAKHA FAMILY AND MODERN TRENDS

Dr. Anastasia Yakovleva

ABSTRACT

Yakut people or Sakha (self-designation) are a Siberian indigenous ethnic group in North-East Asia, inhabiting the Sakha Republic in Russia. Their language belongs to the Turkic family, and it is generally believed that they originated from Central Asia and migrated to the north about a thousand years ago. The article attempts to examine the traditional Yakut family, its child-rearing practices and modern tendencies of parenting in the context of the complex ethnogenetic phenomenon. Research suggests that the Sakha people were formed through a long period of adaptation to extreme climatic conditions in the region of permafrost. The Yakut family was inherently multi-generational: the need of several generations to live together in one household was caused by the harsh climate. The elderly lived with their grown children - that cohabitation facilitated housekeeping, saved resources and played an integral part in parenting practices. Additional factors included socio-economic hardships and the communal nature of the traditional Yakut society. All these elements promoted early development of positive qualities in children, such as self-reliance, tolerance and acceptance, hospitality and respect for elders. The child was treated as an equal as soon as he or she started participating in the family activities, first entrusted with small tasks, then with permanent duties.
To examine the contemporary changes, modern rural families were interviewed. The study reveals a change in parental attitudes with signs of encouraging childish qualities in adolescent children and the desire to promote a prolonged childhood. The traditional parenting model “to live with and be a part of my child’s adult life” is replaced with “let my child have less hardships than I had”, lifting the requirement of taking care of the elders in the family. Despite the differences, the core values of the traditional family remain relatively unchanged, mainly its child-centric characteristic and the instilled values.

KEYWORDS

Yakut, family, child-rearing, traditional values

REFERENCE

NORDSCI Conference Proceedings 2018 Book 1, Conference Proceedings, ISSN 2603-4107, ISBN 978-619-7495-00-3, CHILD REARING IN THE NORTH: THE TRADITIONAL SAKHA FAMILY AND MODERN TRENDS, 67-75 pp, DOI paper 10.32008/nordsci2018/B1/V1/7