--- John Lacny <jlacny at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Well, no "race" is ever "pure." How many "English"
> names are Latinate,
> derived from the Normans? "Irish" names that are in
> fact English? There are
> probably all kinds of names all over western and
> central Europe that are
> German in origin even if the country doesn't speak a
> Germanic language,
> since the ruling houses and even lesser nobility of
> Europe where heavily
> German. (Didn't the House of Saxe-Goteburg change
> its name to the House of
> Windsor as recently as World War I?)
It used to be fashionable in Russia, especially if you were a member of the lower nobility and wanted to increase your cred, to trace your heritage to the Tatars/Mongols. Akhmatova, for instance, was not her real name -- it was the name of her Tatar grandmother (who may not have really been a Tatar). She adopted it to appear more mysterious.
Russians themselves are part-Slav, part Scandinavian, part Mongol/Tatar, and part whoever was living here before the Indo-Europeans came. And the place is so multiethnic due to the efforts of the Russian Empire that nationality, as you point out, is totally problematic and largely a function of personal self-identification. Look at Lenin -- he's half Mongol, as is obvious from his facial features if you know what you're looking for. Anti-Communist Russian nationalists often point out that Lenin had no Russian in him at all -- he was Swedish, German and Jewish on his mom's side, and Kalmyk and Chuvash on his father's (the Chuvash people a Bulgaro-Turkic people who live along the Volga. I used to date a Chuvash woman BTW, not that that gives me any burning insight into matters Chuvash.). On the other hand, Chuvash nationalists talk up Lenin's nationality, like Georgians do with Stalin's.
I know a couple with a kid -- he is Russian and she is Buryat (a buddhist Mongol people who live around Lake Baikal). After the baby was born he had to do a lot of housework to make up the slack, and would joke about how the Russians were still under the Mongol Yoke.
> At the same time I can see where Charles is coming
> from in that the
> construction of Mongol warriors as the baddest of
> the bad guys assumes
> problematic connotations in light of subsequent
There's also the use of the term "Mongoloid."
Nu, zayats, pogodi!
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