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To Die in Russia

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 17-04-2011
Мир России. 2010.  Т. 19. № 4. С. 124-161. 
Тематический раздел:
The attitude to death is an inalienable and rather characteristic part of Russian culture. Death is connected with unbelievably large number of superstitions, magic ceremonies and rituals. Death became firmly established in all kinds of art a long time ago: music and cinema, opera and ballet, prose and poetry, painting and sculpture, landscape design and architecture. Death and everything related to it is being studied by many sciences. A lot of actions related to death and carried out by certain people and organizations are regulated by constitutional, regional and local law. Death is being served by special kinds of economic activities and their unique infrastructure. Each of these topics may become a reason for independent ethnological, sociological, economic, lawful, philosophical, etc. study; but in this article the attention is being drawn just to these two issues; what do people die from and how are they being buried in Russia at present. Russia belongs to a number of such few states, where birthrate is law as in the developed countries (depopulation of aboriginal population), and the mortality is as high as in the developing ones. It is shown in the article that such situation is connected with legal income of the major part of the population and inadequate accessibility of the health service's up-to-date achievements, but not to the same degree as with uncertainty about the future and indifferent attitude to the value of life, especially among men. This is the main reason why Russia is a country of widows, where each second child born during the recent years doesn't have a chance to reach the retirement age. Specific features of extremely detailed legislation in the sphere of funeral services are regarded and examples of unique legal collisions appearing in that sphere are given. It is also shown why, despite huge land resources of Russia, a keen problem of cemetery territories and neglected cemeteries has emerged. The data related to the cost of living and burial expenses is given. In recent years the Russian state undertakes measures aimed at stimulating birthrate growth. But to resist a slump run-down of population size is possible by cutting abnormally high death rate (especially among children and capable for work people). It isn't less difficult than to stimulate birthrate growth, because to achieve the first goal, as well as the second one, it is necessary to change, first of all, the most conservative mental component of our existence. It is necessary that ideology of life value will begin to penetrate in mass consciousness, ousting stereotypes of aggressive-infantile and irresponsible behavior. It is necessary to refuse to perceive death, as it is cultivated in cheap novels, special effects of the cinema and computer games, as something insignificant. It is necessary to bring out the attitude to death as to the grand total, but not to the end of life
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