The Impact of Globalization on the Religious Landscape of the Kosh-Agach District (Altai Republic)

Prof. Elena Erokhina

The Impact of Globalization on the Religious Landscape
of the Kosh-Agach District (Altai Republic)

Altai Republic is the subject of the Russian Federation, characteristics of this region are cross-border location and multiethnic composition of the population. Each region of the Altai Republic has its own unique social and cultural characteristics. This circumstance is fully applicable to the Kosh-Agach district, the most significant characteristics of this district are the following: 1) close to the Central Asian Geographic Region; 2) later entry into the Russian state, which determined the specificity of the ethnogenesis of the groups of Altai and Kazakh population and the special features of nation-building.
The purpose of the report is the presentation of the study results of the impact of globalization factors on the religious landscape of the Kosh-Agach district. Kosh-Agach district was selected for study because of its specificity, which is including in the representation in the structure of district population of the Kazakh population (as one of the dominant ethnic group of the district population) and Telengits (related Altaians ethnic group among indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East of the Russian Federation). The results of the study suggest the following manifestations of globalization in the Kosh-Agach district. During the decline of collective economy and increase of the degree of permeability of the state borders the value of transit trade as the main source of income of self-employed people increased. Archaeological finds in the Ukok valley attract many tourists (including tourists from abroad) to the area each year. Although traffic to Chuiski tract (road) intense year round, population moves particularly active (including cross-border movement) in the summer season.
The consequence of these processes was the revival of pagan component of Telengits traditional religion. World famous of “Princess of Ukok” increases the importance of the Altai people's beliefs, which become a symbolic instrument of competition for resources in the local community. At the same time, the influence of Islam on the Kazakh population is growing. It includes the branches of Islam originating from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.